Colorado hunters want to be pretty in pink

pink, hunters, legos, Colorado

Pink is the new orange.

That’s what Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat, hopes to convince the Senate in the coming week. She’s the sponsor of Senate Bill 16-068, which would allow fluorescent pink to be used in hunting wear.

Donovan told the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee Thursday that fluorescent pink has a number of advantages over blaze orange hunting wear.

Pink is harder for deer to see, she said, citing a University of Wisconsin-Madison study. In addition, traditional orange blends in too well with the yellows, oranges, reds and browns of fall foliage.

Donovan said fluorescent pink has another clear advantage: It would be more attractive to women hunters.

She recounted hunting with her father and brothers, and wearing blaze orange hunting gear that wasn’t made for women.

“I wore it because it was safe, but the message was clear that hunting was just for men,” she said.

That’s changed, she said. Women are the fastest-growing demographic in the $30 billion per year industry.

Donovan’s bill picked up the support of the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, as well as a group that tracks mule deer populations.

And although she wore pink shoes to today’s hearing, Donovan had no examples of pink hunting gear, since no companies make it, with the exception of fluorescent pink camouflage gear.

Her bill, which passed on a 6-3 vote, will next be debated by the full Senate.

The idea has already taken hold in the Badger State. Just moments before Thursday’s hearings, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a law that would permit fluorescent pink to be a certified color in hunting wear.


Photo credit: Chris Christian, Creative Commons, Flickr

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.