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Blaze Orange Hunting Requirements, by State (USA)

Blaze Orange Hunting Requirements, by State (USA)

Posted by Samantha Simma on Mar 30th 2021

Blaze pink may slowly be stepping on the hunting scene, but as it stands, hunter orange is still the king. Rules differ from state-to-state on the minimum hunter orange requirements, so we've condensed the basics into a state-by-state guide for your reference.

Please note that this information has been sourced from the latest blaze orange requirements available, but that these regulations are frequently changing. Stay on top of your local rules and regulations, noting which areas allow blaze orange camouflage or blaze pink in place of solid hunter orange.

Alabama

Hunters must wear at least 144 square inches of solid blaze orange on an outer garment worn above the waist, or a blaze orange hat during deer firearm season. Camouflage blaze orange does not meet this requirements. Exception: turkey and migratory bird hunters; hunters in a stand elevated at least 12 feet above the ground or in an enclosed box stand.

Alaska

Blaze orange is highly recommended, but not required.

Arizona

Hunters are strongly encouraged to wear blaze orange.

Arkansas

Hunters, and anyone in their company during hunting, in firearms zones during deer, bear, or elk seasons, must wear an exterior garment above the waistline that is at least 400 square inches of blaze orange or safety green. As well as a fluorescent orange or green hat. Additionally, pop-up ground blinds must also bear at least 144 square inches of blaze orange or safety green on each visible side (and at least three feet above the ground). Exception: during migratory bird hunting.

California

Hunters are strongly encouraged to wear blaze orange.

Colorado

Hunters must wear at least 500 square inches of solid blaze orange or pink material as an outer garment above the waist. This must include a hat or head covering while hunting deer, elk, pronghorn, moose or bear during any firearm seasons. Orange camouflage does not count toward this requirement and bow hunters are not required to wear blaze colors during archery-only seasons.

Connecticut

From September 1 through the last day of February, all hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange exterior clothing above the waist. In this case, camouflage orange is permitted. Exceptions: Archery deer hunting not during firearm deer seasons. Archery hunters may remove blaze orange garments while sitting in a tree stand that is at least 10 feet above the ground. Turkey hunters; waterfowl hunting from a stationary position; raccoon and opossum hunting at night.

Delaware

On their head, chest, and back, hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange during deer hunting firearm seasons. Those hunting from a ground blind must display that same amount of blaze orange within ten feet of the blind and at least three feet off the ground. Exception: migratory game bird hunters.

Florida

Deer hunters and their companions, when hunting on public lands, must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange above the waist, as an outer garment. Exception: bow hunters during bow season and those hunting on private lands.

Georgia

Hunters pursuing deer, bear, and feral hogs, and their companions, must wear at least 500 square inches of blaze orange above the waist, as an outer garment, during firearm deer seasons.

Hawaii

Hunters (and their companions) of game birds or mammals (in firearm areas) on public hunting lands must wear a solid blaze orange shirt, vest, jacket, or coat. Exception: designated archery-only public hunting areas.

Idaho

Hunter orange is only required on sponsored hunts (such as organized youth hunts) or when hunting pheasants where the Upland Game Bird Permit is required. Under these conditions, 36 square inches of hunter orange is required to be worn above the waist. Otherwise, fluorescent colored clothing is not required, but strongly recommended--especially for big game hunters.

Illinois

Hunters must wear a minimum of 400 square inches of solid blaze orange, as well as a hat, while hunting any species* during firearm deer season. Any upland game hunters must wear a blaze orange hat. *Exception: migratory waterfowl.

Indiana

Hunters of deer, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant, woodcock, quail and turkey (when fall turkey season overlaps a deer firearms season) must wear a solid blaze orange vest, coat, jacket, coveralls, hat, or cap. Orange camouflage does not qualify. Exception: bow hunters outside of firearm seasons.

Iowa

Deer hunters during firearm seasons must wear an exterior blaze orange vest, coast, jacket, sweatshirt, sweater, shirt, or coveralls during deer firearm seasons. While hunting in a blind, 144 square inches of blaze orange must be visible in all directions. Upland bird or small game hunters must wear an exterior hat or cap that is at least fifty percent solid blaze orange.

Kansas

During an open firearm or muzzleloader season, big game hunters (and their companions) must wear a blaze orange hat, and at least 200 square inches of blaze orange exterior garments above the waist. Of this, 100 square inches must be visible from the front of the torso and the other 100 square inches must be visible from the back. Camouflage orange may contribute to this requirement.

Kentucky

Solid blaze orange exterior garments must be worn by all hunters on their head, chest, and back while hunting during an open deer, bear or elk firearm season. Camouflage blaze orange does not meet this requirements. Exception: waterfowl and dove hunters.

Louisiana

During deer firearm season, hunters must wear a minimum of 400 square inches of exterior blaze orange or pink above the waist, including a hat. Quail and woodcock hunters and hunters participating in special dog seasons for rabbit, squirrel and feral hogs are required to wear at least a blaze orange or pink hat. 400 square inches of blaze orange or pink must be displayed by concealed blinds. Exceptions: Hunters hunting in elevated stands; on privately owned land, a blaze orange or pink hat may meet the minimum requirements; and archery hunters hunting on land not open to firearms.

Maine

During an open firearm season, hunters must wear at least two articles of solid blaze orange exterior clothing. One of these articles must be a hat, with the second covering a majority of the torso. Outside of these seasons, but during an open moose hunting season in a WMD, all hunters must wear one article of solid-colored hunter orange clothing. Exception: waterfowl hunters while hunting from a boat, blind or with waterfowl decoys.

Maryland

Hunters (and their companions) must wear a solid blaze orange or pink hat, vest or jacket with at least 250 square inches of solid blaze orange or pink, or an exterior fluorescent camouflage garment above the waist that is at least fifty percent blaze orange or pink. This amount of blaze orange or pink must also be displayed while hunting from ground blinds. Exceptions: hunters of wetland game birds, doves, crows, and wild turkeys; falconers; and bow hunters during archery season.

Massachusetts

Deer hunters, as well as other hunters during deer firearm season, must wear at least 500 square inches of blaze orange on their exterior above the waist. Otherwise, a blaze orange hat must be worn by hunters on Wildlife Management Areas during pheasant or quail season. Exceptions: waterfowl hunters in a blind or boat.

Michigan

All firearm hunters on any land during daylight hours must wear a blaze orange hat, vest, jacket, or rain gear. Camouflage that is at least fifty percent blaze orange is acceptable. Exception: Archery hunters during archery deer season; archery bear hunters; turkey and migratory bird hunters; falconers; stationary hunters pursuing bobcat, coyote, or fox.

Minnesota

During deer firearm season, hunters and trappers must wear a blaze orange or pink hat and exterior clothing above the waist must be blaze orange (excluding sleeves and gloves). Camouflage that is at least fifty percent blaze orange or pink is acceptable. Outside of firearm season, hunters of small game (other than turkey, migratory birds, raccoons, and predators) must wear at least one article of blaze orange or pink clothing above the waist. Exception: migratory bird hunters on water or hunting from a stationary position; trappers on the water; in areas only open to archery hunting.

Mississippi

Solid blaze orange must cover at least 500 square inches of a hunter's exterior during deer firearm season. Exceptions: hunters in a raised stand or fully enclosed blind.

Missouri

Hunters must wear a hat and exterior torso garment (shirt, vest, or coat) that is solid blaze orange, during firearm deer or elk season, black bear season, or during a managed firearms deer hunt. Camouflage blaze orange does not meet this requirement. Exceptions: migratory bird hunting; hunting on archery-only lands; while hunting small game or furbearers during the firearms portion of elk season.

Montana

Big game hunters (and their companions) must wear at least 400 square inches of exterior blaze orange above their waist. Exception: archery hunters during specific archery season.

Nebraska

Big game hunters (and turkey hunters during November firearm deer season) must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange above their waist, on their head, chest and back, during firearm season. This includes archery hunters during the November firearm season and during the January 1-15 antlerless deer season.

Nevada

Blaze orange is not required, but highly recommended for hunters.

New Hampshire

Archery and firearm hunters, except those hunting waterfowl, are strong encouraged to wear blaze orange that is visible, above the waist, from at least a distance of 200 feet.

New Jersey

Firearm hunters are required to wear a solid blaze orange hat or exterior garment that totals at least 200 square inches of blaze orange. Those hunting from a ground blind must also display 200 square inches of hunter orange. Small game hunters must wear a blaze orange hat while hunting on wildlife management areas stocked with pheasant or quail. Exceptions: waterfowl, crow, wild turkey, coyote, fox, and woodchuck hunters; bow hunters (except when carrying a deer decoy into and out of the hunting area).

New Mexico

In most areas, hunters are strongly encouraged to wear blaze orange, although not required. 244 square inches of blaze orange are required when hunting on military properties or Valles Caldera National Preserve.

New York

Deer or bear firearm hunters that are age 14 or 15 (and their mentors) must wear a shirt, jacket or vest that displays at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned blaze orange or pink, or a hat that is at least fifty percent blaze orange or pink. Other hunters are not required to wear blaze orange or pink, but it is highly recommended, especially for small or big game hunters.

North Carolina

Hunters of bear, feral swine, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant or quail, as well as deer hunters during firearm season, must wear a hat of blaze orange or another exterior blaze orange garment that is visible from all sides.

North Dakota

Big game hunters must wear a minimum of 400 square inches of solid (not camouflage) blaze orange on their exterior above the waistline, which must include a blaze orange hat. Exceptions: archery hunters outside of gun seasons.

Ohio

During firearm deer season, hunters must wear an exterior vest, coat, jacket, or overalls of blaze orange. Solid or camouflage hunter orange is acceptable. Exception: waterfowl hunters.

Oklahoma

Big game hunters, during firearm seasons and using a firearm, must wear a hat and exterior garment of solid or camouflage blaze orange that is equal to at least 400 square inches of blaze orange. Archery hunters and other types of hunters hunting during open firearm seasons must at least wear a blaze orange hat during firearm season. Exception: waterfowl, crow, or crane hunters and hunters pursuing fur-bearing animals at night.

Oregon

Firearm hunters of game mammals and upland game birds (with the exception of turkeys) under age 17 must wear a solid or camouflage blaze orange hat or exterior garment above the waist. Blaze orange is recommended for all firearm hunters.

Pennsylvania

Hunters pursuing small game or deer, bear or elk during firearm seasons (as well as October muzzleloader antlerless deer and bear seasons) must wear at least 250 square inches of blaze orange on their head, chest or back. Woodchuck hunters are only required to wear at least a hat of blaze orange. Those hunting from blinds or enclosed tree stands must display 100 square inches of blaze orange. Exceptions: waterfowl, dove, turkey, crow, or furbearer hunters; archery deer, bear or elk hunters during archery season.

Rhode Island

All hunters and users of management areas and undeveloped state parks must wear at least 500 square inches of solid blaze orange during firearm deer season. These restrictions apply to solid blaze orange worn above the waist. Otherwise, small game hunters during small game season, fall turkey hunters while traveling, and muzzleloader deer hunters during muzzleloader deer season must wear at least 200 square inches. Archers traveling to and from elevated stands during muzzleloader season must also adhere to this requirement. Hunters using pop-up blinds during firearm season must display 200 square inches of hunter orange. All other users of State Management Areas must wear at least 200 square inches of blaze orange, annually, from the second Saturday in September through the last day of February, as well as the third Saturday in April through the last day in May. Exceptions: waterfowl hunters in a boat or blind, over water or field with decoys; crow hunters utilizing decoys; spring turkey hunters; first segment dove hunters; nighttime racoon hunters.

South Carolina

During any gun or muzzleloader hunting season for deer, bear and hogs, all hunters on WMA lands must wear a solid blaze orange hat, coat, or vest. Exceptions: dove, duck, geese, turkey and other migratory bird hunters or nighttime small game hunters.

South Dakota

One or more exterior garments above the waist must be blaze orange for all big game hunters. Exception: turkey and mountain lion hunters.

Tennessee

Big game hunters must wear at least 500 square inches of blaze orange during firearm seasons--including a hat and outer garment above the waist that is visible from both the front and back. Exception: turkey hunters.

Texas

On public hunting lands, while firearm hunting is permitted, all persons must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange with orange headgear, or at least 144 square inches of blaze orange appearing on both the chest and back. Exceptions: hunters of turkey, migratory birds, alligators, or desert bighorn sheep.

Utah

In areas where a centerfire rifle hunt is in progress, hunters are required to wear a minimum of 400 square inches of blaze orange on your head, chest and back. Solid blaze orange is preferred, but camouflage orange is allowed. Exceptions: hunters pursuing bighorn sheep, bison, moose, or mountain goats where a statewide conservation permit or statewide sportsman's permit is in possession--unless a centerfire rifle hunt is simultaneously in progress in that area.

Vermont

Blaze orange is highly recommended for hunters, but not required.

Virginia

During firearm deer season, hunters (and their companions) must wear a solid blaze orange or pink hat, exterior garment on their upper body that is visible from all sides, or at least 100 square inches of blaze orange or pink material that is on display within reach, at shoulder level or higher and is visible from all sides. When hunting from a ground blind, hunters must display 100 square inches of solid blaze colored material as well. Exceptions: waterfowl and dove hunters; dog field trial participants; fox hunters on horseback without firearms.

Washington

Hunters of bear, bobcat, cougar, coyote, deer, elk, fox, grouse, hare, rabbit, raccoon or turkey during and in areas open to elk or deer firearm seasons are required to wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange or pink on their exterior, above the waistline and visible from all sides. This can include a combination of the colors to reach the minimum. This requirement also applies to upland game bird hunters (which does not include grouse). Exceptions: upland hunters, falconers, elk or deer hunters in Game Management Units that limit hunting to muzzleloaders and archery.

West Virginia

During firearm deer season, deer hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange on their exterior.

Wisconsin

During firearm deer season, at least 50% of a hunter's outer garments above the waist (including a hat or head covering) must be blaze orange or pink. Solid blaze colors or blaze camouflage is acceptable. Grounds blinds must also display 144 square inches of solid blaze orange. Exception: waterfowl hunting.

Wyoming

Hunters pursuing big and trophy game during firearm seasons must wear at least one exterior blaze orange or pink garment. Fluorescent camouflage in either color is acceptable. Archers must also follow these guidelines during an open firearm season, as well as any person hunting pheasants within the boundaries of any Wyoming Game and Fishing Commission WHMA or on Bureau of Reclamation withdrawl lands bordering on and including Glendo State Park.

Safety First

While these regulations stipulate a bare minimum of blaze orange, hunters will increase their safety in the woods and fields by wearing as much exterior blaze orange above their waistline as possible. Especially during firearm seasons, all hunters should exercise caution in their hunting areas by covering themselves and their companions in blaze orange. According to the International Hunter Education Association, "Hunter orange should have a dominant wavelength between 595 and 605 nanometers, a luminance factor of not less than 40%, and an excitation purity of not less than 85%."

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