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Plan to attract women to hunting: Let them wear pink

ALBANY – Whether deer will notice is, of course, uncertain, but more pink may be coming to the woods of New York.

An upstate Republican senator introduced a bill Wednesday to add the color “fluorescent pink” to the now-required orange color on vests or jackets and hats worn by young teen hunters out hunting deer or bear.

The idea, as stated in a memo accompanying the bill by Sen. Patty Ritchie of St. Lawrence County: to attract more women to hunting.

“While women comprise a relatively small percentage of hunters, that number has increased in recent years according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau. But by giving young hunters and those accompanying them the choice to wear fluorescent pink instead of orange, more women may be encouraged to join this time-honored tradition,” states the memo accompanying the bill introduced Wednesday.

Those 14 or 15 years old cannot hunt unless they are accompanied by a parent, guardian or “youth mentor” over the age of 21, and they must each display at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned fluorescent orange on material worn above the waist. The memo cites studies showing pink can be observed in the woods better than orange.

“If color choice encourages more young people to become involved with hunting and safety is preserved by providing the preference, this legislation will increase the number of sportswomen and contribute to our state’s culture and economy. For all of these reasons, it is imperative that this bill is enacted,” the Ritchie memo states.