New York is seeing pink, as the Empire State has followed a new idea that Wisconsin started back in February of making pink a new safety-color option for hunters.
Make no mistake, the decision of adding “blaze pink” as a safety color is meant to attract more women to hunting.
The New York Times reports the new law went into effect July 21. The previous law required junior hunters and mentors to wear a shirt, jacket or cap with at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned blaze orange that’s visible in every direction. The new law is the same but with a pink option.
Though some love the idea, it has rightfully received some backlash.
When Wisconsin introduced the idea, the state’s Women’s Hunting and Sporting Association told National Geographic the idea felt “demeaning” to woman. New York’s decision has experienced similar feedback.
Katie Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Bass Pro Shops, told The Times that hunting has increased as a family activity and with single mothers, however added that while some women appreciate having a pink option, “many women have told us they don’t necessarily care to wear pink and are more concerned with fit and performance in the field.”
More focused on the safety aspect, Dr. Majid Sarmadi told The Times there’s a benefit to blaze pink. A professor of textile science at the University of Wisconsin, Sarmadi told the newspaper pink is a better option in autumn because orange could blend in with fall leaves, while pink provides more contrast for hunters to spot fellow hunters.
The general response from hunters and those in the industry seems to be asking is adding pink actually necessary. Though the color option could draw in new hunters, a lot of women that want to hunt are already hunting. And, specifically in New York, female hunters have increased, with The Times reporting the number of female hunters in the state has increased from 7 to 9 percent in the last decade.
So, would having the option of wearing pink instead of orange really convince women that avoid the woods to have a change of heart?