Back in 2015 at the DSG Outerwear office, we reached out to the Wisconsin state aide that represented state Representatives Nick Milroy, Joel Kleefisch and David Steffen about a new proposal to make pink legal for hunting in seasons that use firearms. The Reps are the authors of the now passed 2015 Wisconsin Act 131 - Blaze Pink Hunting Clothing Bill visible in detail here: 2015 Wisconsin Act 131. We asked the aide about the fluorescent or blaze pink hunting bill and the motivation behind it, as we were in the process of developing a women's specific hunting apparel line. The aide was very excited to hear from us and immediately asked if we were available to help lobby the bill and explain the benefits it would have on a small Wisconsin businesses. We were immediately on board and offered our help, if needed.
Continuing on with our discussion, we learned that a UW Wisconsin professor who is a textile expert, Majid Sarmadi, was busy studying fluorescent or blaze pink and the visibility compared to traditional blaze orange in the wilderness. The results were somewhat of a surprise and Professor Sarmadi concluded that fluorescent or blaze pink hunting gear is just as visible, or in some instances (specifically in the fall with orange fall leaves), more visible than blaze orange. The complete conclusion is available to read here: Why Deer Spot Hunters and here: Hunt Pink . Our specific question about using pink for our women's hunting apparel (which at that time was in the development stage) was: what pantone color does blaze pink specifically have to be? The answer is no specific pantone of pink. Just like the Wisconsin DNR deer hunting regulations book states, "When and where a firearm deer season (listed on page 7) is in progress, no person may hunt any game, except waterfowl, unless at least 50% of their outer clothing above the waist is colored blaze orange or fluorescent pink. A hat or other head covering, if worn, must be at least 50% blaze orange or fluorescent pink. Faded or stained blaze orange or fluorescent pink clothing is unsafe and may not meet law requirements. Although not as visible, camo-blaze is legal if 50% of the material is blaze orange or fluorescent pink. The DNR recommends 100% solid blaze orange or fluorescent pink." Colorado's blaze pink Bill 16-068, however, does require a certain pantone color of blaze pink (806c), which is what we based our pink color off of.
One of the biggest reasons for introducing the blaze pink for hunting bill had nothing to do with the visibility. The Wisconsin State Reps said, "the bill is designed to attract more women to hunting and hope it will encourage apparel manufacturers to partner with nonprofit groups working to get more people, men and women, interested in hunting" and "the bill will give hunters more clothing options and give apparel manufactures a boost." This is certainly the case for DSG Outerwear, as we were already in the process of developing our new women's hunting line. Some backlash over the blaze pink for hunting bill came from the statements from women hunting groups calling the bill sexist, misguided and insulting as you can see here on National Geographic's website: New Hot Pink Hunting Gear has Women Hunters Seeing Red. Our opinion about the controversy is very simple, the studies from Professor Sarmadi prove that pink is a great alternative and has great visibility. Having another color option for men and women is great and refreshing, and we agree that adding a more feminine color in the mix will indeed get more women and girls involved in the sport, so why not?
The bill is now passed in other states in addition to Wisconsin (New York, Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, Illinois and Louisiana). Always check your local hunting regulations to confirm! It is still being debated in Michigan, Montana and others to come. The new line is currently available on our website in multiple colors: blaze orange, blaze pink and Realtree Xtra Camo. Please visit www.DSGOuterwear.com to view the line in it's entirety.