North Dakota Lawmakers Reject Bill to Approve Pink Hunting Gear

by Chris Haney

North Dakota lawmakers have rejected a recent bill that would have expanded hunting apparel colors from bright orange to blaze-pink as well.

According to The Bismarck Tribune, the North Dakota House voted against Senate Bill 2143 with a 14-78 tally on Tuesday. In January, the state’s Senate passed the bill 43-4. However, a House Committee suggested against it last week with their “do not pass” recommendation.

Supposedly, Sen. Kristin Roers (R-Fargo) got the inspiration for the blaze-pink hunting gear while shopping. She could only find orange hunting apparel in unisex sizes. She then realized that other states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, allow fluorescent or blaze-pink hunting apparel. Additionally, Roers thinks the blaze-pink colors could help attract newcomers to the great outdoors and hunting.

Supporters of Bill 2143 agree with Roers, and think the magenta hue could help recruit new enthusiasts. In contrast, those who opposed the bill say that people with red-green colorblindness can not differentiate the hot pink gear. Those same critics fear that hunters in the blaze-pink would not be as safe, which could create dangerous situations while hunting.

North Dakota Sticking With Orange Hunting Gear

In addition to the blaze-pink suggestion, Bill 2143 also pushed for camouflage patterns of up to 50%. Likewise, critics rejected that idea as well. The same Tribune report says that blaze-pink is an “unstandardized safety shade” and that camouflage can obstruct visibility.

“[Orange] is for complete safety so that no matter where you are with your trunk, which is the vital portion that you really don’t want to get shot in, and your head, which is another fairly important piece of equipment, that you don’t want to get shot at,” Rep. Todd Porter (R-Mandan) explained. “We want to make sure that people are visible.”

“We want everyone to participate in our outdoor activities, but we want it to be done safely,” Porter added.

For now, North Dakota will stick with the tried and true color of blaze-orange, which is well-known in most hunting communities. The classic hunting color will be the only shade available to hunters purchasing gear in the state.

The North Dakota Game and Fish has specific regulations for hunters in the area. For example, deer hunters must wear “at least 400 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange.” The gear must be above the waistline, and it must include a hat and outerwear.

You must wear both a hat and outer garment above the waistline totaling at least 400 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange,” their official site explains.