ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Letter: Let's not rush to legalize fluorescent pink garments for hunters

On Jan. 21, the Senate passed the bill 43-4, sponsored by Sen. Kristin Roers, R-Fargo, that would add solid fluorescent pink, as well as 50% camouflage orange or pink, as color options for big game hunters. If it passes in the House and becomes law, North Dakota would join other states with similar options of pink and camo/orange and camo/pink like Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.
We are part of The Trust Project.

As a father of a 5-year-old girl, I am surrounded by pink clothes, pink toys, pink everything. Then I escape to the great outdoors to hunt, and I am surrounded by camouflage and blaze orange. But that could soon change if North Dakota Senate Bill 2143 becomes law.

On Jan. 21, the Senate passed the bill 43-4, sponsored by Sen. Kristin Roers, R-Fargo, that would add solid fluorescent pink, as well as 50% camouflage orange or pink, as color options for big game hunters. If it passes in the House and becomes law, North Dakota would join other states with similar options of pink and camo/orange and camo/pink like Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Roers testified at a Senate hearing, citing a study from Dr. Majid Sarmadi, a professor of textile science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “…analysis indicated that the blaze pink color had a visibility similar to, or better than, the blaze orange." However, I contacted Sarmadi, and he informed me the study consisted of college students sitting in a classroom viewing PowerPoint slides of pink and orange hats with both summer and fall foliage backgrounds, then selecting which one they thought was more visible.

RELATED

Two different local optometrists I spoke with believe a thorough study should include different color options, including orange, pink, yellow, and camo blends. And with subjects of all ages, some subjects who are colorblind, against a few different backgrounds, at different distances, and actually done outdoors during different times of day when people would be hunting (dawn, midday, dusk).
In her testimony, Roers gave her reason for introducing the bill, “This change could allow some hunters more options when shopping, to be being slightly safer – when their clothes fit correctly – and maybe even attract more people to hunting.”

ADVERTISEMENT

As an avid outdoorsman and father of a young daughter who loves to accompany me while I hunt, I am behind the popular R3 movement to help recruit, retain and reactivate more hunters. But there is no current evidence that adding pink as an option for big game hunting would help with the R3 movement. However, an organization such as the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (CAHSS) would gladly perform such a study to see if adding pink would increase a desire for higher participation among women. A state like North Dakota just needs to step up, request it, and fund it before trying to just guess if it might work.

I interviewed Alex Baer, executive director of the International Hunters Education Association-USA, whose 55,000 instructors teach hunting and shooting safety and responsibilities throughout the United States. While the CAHSS studies the R3 side, his organization of the IHEA-USA would gladly partner with the North Dakota Game & Fish Department to perform an in depth study on the safety side of different clothing options.

Perhaps instead of making a rash decision, our legislators should throw out Senate Bill 2143. And instead introduce and pass a bill that would provide for a legislative management study performed by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, and partnering with organizations like the CAHSS and IHEA-USA, to take the time to do some research of our own.

Jeff Benda lives in Fargo.

Related Topics: NORTHLAND OUTDOORS
What to read next
Charles writes, "Now it looks like climate change will be the new weapon of control and your coverage is falling right in line."
Sims writes, "Voting to discontinue saying the Pledge of Allegiance because it includes “under God” was not a wise decision. It was not only an unpatriotic decision, but a foolish one."
Minch writes, "Our children and their teachers are not served by self-indulgent, virtue signaling motions from a member of the board that do nothing but display his inauthentic and misplaced 'wokeness.'"
Berube writes, "I do know if we tolerate this type of very dangerous behavior, it will only get worse."