Wisconsin bill would approve blaze pink wear for hunting

(Reuters) - Pink could become the new orange in Wisconsin under a proposed change to state law that would allow hunters to wear blaze pink in the woods in a bid to draw more women into the sport.

The proposed change in state law, which requires hunters to wear blaze orange, has drawn bipartisan support in the state legislature where the Wisconsin Sportsmen’s Caucus began to circulate the measure on Tuesday.

“We hope that it will signal that we recognize and appreciate female involvement in the deer hunt,” Representative Nick Milroy, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Wisconsin would be the first U.S. state to allow hunters to wear blaze pink if the legislation is approved, though Arkansas permits hunters to wear florescent chartreuse, the International Hunter Education Association said.

Representative Joel Kleefisch, a Republican and co-chairman of the caucus, said the goal was to get more Wisconsin men and women off the couch and into the woods.

Throngs of male hunters wearing protective bright orange jumpsuits, jackets and hats plunge into the forest the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year at the start of the main deer hunting season, leaving behind wives and girlfriends, sometimes known as “hunter’s widows.”

But women outnumber men three to one among new hunters in Wisconsin, where about 10 percent of the total population applies for deer hunting licenses each year, about 600,000, the caucus said.

And pink has advantages over orange, according to research by University of Wisconsin-Madison color scientist Majid Sarmadi, the caucus said.

Sarmadi found that humans see pink as well or better than orange and deer do not see pink as well as orange, making blaze pink camouflage a good hunting option, the caucus said.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Sandra Maler