Hunters in Illinois now have the option of wearing blaze pink thanks to a new regulation that took effect on Jan. 1.
Prior to 2019, Illinois hunters were required to wear caps and outer garments in blaze orange — also known as “safety orange” or “hunting orange” — as a precaution against being mistaken for wildlife.
“Whether hunters select blaze orange or blaze pink, we want hunters to be able to see, and be seen by, other hunters in the field, and enjoy their time afield safely,” said Wayne Rosenthal, the director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, in a message shared shortly after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed off on the law in August.
Gov. Rauner further stated that pink, as opposed to orange, might even be more useful for hunters during autumn hunting seasons.
“The reality is in the fall, when we’re hunting in trees and in some fields, there are orange leaves,” Rauner said in a statement obtained by the Illinois New Network. “There is orange in the background, so it’s not always easy to see orange. So we’re adding blaze pink to be one of the colors.” (Michigan's Natural Resources Commission, however, once decided in 2017 that pink was not a suitable replacement for orange "for hunter safety.")
At the time Illinois' new law was first announced in August, the Illinois News Network noted that states such as Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota and Colorado allow hunters to don blaze pink as an alternative to blaze orange.