Tom Flynn: (603) 271-3214
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
October 20, 2005
Make Blaze Orange Your Fashion Statement
CONCORD, N.H. -- Whether you're a hunter, hiker or walking the dog in rural areas, it's a good idea to put on an item of highly visible blaze orange clothing when you're out enjoying the great outdoors this time of year. Be aware of hunting seasons and prepare to share the woods. To make sure you can be seen, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts should wear a fluorescent orange hat, vest or jacket. To play it safe, put on the orange!
"Wearing hunter orange has definitely been shown to decrease hunting incidents across the country," said Tom Flynn, a Hunter Education Coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. "It's especially important for hunters, because the overwhelming majority of hunting-related incidents involve members of the same hunting party, not non-hunters. Along with wearing blaze orange, the top safety rules for hunters are controlling the muzzle of your gun at all times and positively identifying your target and what's beyond 100 percent of the time."
New Hampshire has an excellent record for hunting safety. The average yearly number of hunting incidents in the state has dropped from 21 in the 1960s to 5 or fewer in the last 8 years -- a remarkable accomplishment with upwards of 63,000 deer hunters in the field during the 26-day season. Progress in reducing hunting-related incidents can be attributed to both the widespread use of blaze orange clothing and mandatory hunter education. The first hunter education law was passed in New Hampshire in 1963, and hunter education became a requirement for all first-time hunters in the state in 1977. Click here for more on hunter education in N.H.
Many New Hampshire hunting seasons are already underway, including bear, pheasant, grouse, small game and archery deer. The season that brings the most hunters into the field is firearms hunting for deer, which begins with muzzleloader hunting from October 29 through November 8, 2005, followed by the regular firearms deer season from November 9 through December 4, 2005.