bipartisan group of legislators who focus on outdoor
issues formed last January is preparing to unveil a
bill next week that would legalize blaze pink for deer
Real men - and women - could wear pink in Wisconsin's woods
if a group of lawmakers get their way.
Legislature's sportsmen's caucus, a bipartisan group of
legislators who focus on outdoor issues formed last January,
is preparing to unveil a bill next week that would legalize
blaze pink for deer hunters. The group has scheduled a news
conference Tuesday at the state Capitol to announce the
state Sen. Terry Moulton, one of the caucuses' co-chairmen,
wrote in a column published in the Dunn County News that the
blaze pink bill is designed to encourage women to become
hunters and keep them involved in the sport.
aide referred questions about the bill to Rep. Nick Milroy,
another co-chairman, but Milroy's aide said he was
vacationing and couldn't be reached. Nine female legislators
are part of the group, including Democratic state Sen. Janet
Bewley. She said she doesn't hunt but her husband does and
she believes the bill is a great idea.
that gets people more excited about getting out in the woods
and enjoying hunting is a good thing," she said.
current state law, no one can hunt anything except waterfowl
during a gun deer season unless at least half of each
article of clothing worn above the waist, such as jacket or
a hat, is colored blaze orange. Violators face a $10
to state Department of Natural Resources data, female
hunters made up about 10 percent of the state's gun deer
hunters in 2014, 2013 and 2012. They made up about a quarter
of hunters between ages 10 and 12 in 2014, however, and
comprised 35 percent of new gun deer license buyers last
Schinkten, president of Whitetails Unlimited, a national
nonprofit organization that works to improve deer hunting
and deer environments, said he'd never heard of legalizing
blaze pink. He said he likes the idea of trying to encourage
more women to become hunters but he's worried the color
isn't as visible as blaze orange and could lead to shooting
like the idea that we're catering to the women to get them
into the sport ... but I'm more about safety than
fashion," said Schinkten. "My buddies aren't going
to wear any blaze pink, I can tell you that."
wrote in his column that the caucus met with Majid Sarmadi,
a textiles expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He
said Sarmadi conducted experiments on blaze pink and blaze
orange visibility and concluded that blaze pink clothing is
equally visible or more visible to the human eye than blaze
not explain Sarmadi's metholodogy in the column. Bewley said
Smardi presented the caucus with an analysis he performed
that showed the visual wavelengths of blaze pink and blaze
orange are similar.
are so sure it's safe," Bewley said.
not immediately return voicemail or email messages. DNR
spokesman Bill Cosh declined to comment.