Whats with the Blaze, Mate?
It’s a valid question and one that should be asked, Why do we wear Blaze orange when we hunt? Who among us has really thought deeply about it? Let’s peer into the realm of the orange.
As long as man has hunted with lethal method, it is likely that accidents have occurred. Man emerged with a natural hunger and instinct to pursue game. Hearts pumped faster, blood ran hot and adrenaline spurred man on to great feats of strength and endurance. Split second decisions were needed as the fleeting window of opportunity presented. We lived and hunted in groups so it is inconceivable that no hunters were accidentally died or injured during hunts. As equipment progressed and populations became dense the problem only became more apparent.
During the 1960’s, a movement started amongst modern hunters in America to address the problem. They presented a simple solution. Hunters were to wear clothing that boldly established them as hunter not game. This blaze orange was a simple solution to the serious problem of accidently wounding or death.
When we hunt in a group we are often with the people we care most about. From close friends, hunting mates, wives, husbands and even sons and daughters. It bears fruit to stop and think about firearm and broad head safety because the very people you care about the most are the people you may inadvertently injure or worse. To consider this and take steps to avoid a tragic outcome is the action of a responsible hunter.
From this we can state the obvious reason to wear Blaze, to visually identify you as human. If you think of yourself hunting in a low light situation, perhaps in thick bush with limited visibility, it’s conceivable to think that a fellow hunter could take a snap shot at a deer that he caught a glimpse of through the scrub. That deer could be you in your favourite old jacket bending down to inspect some fresh sign. This alone is an excellent reason to wear it.
A second reason is one not so obvious but equally important. Blaze identifies you as a hunter of an ethical standard. It proclaims to the world and all you encounter that you are a hunter that has thought deeply of the implications of their actions. A hunter that will follow rules put in place for safety. More so, it demonstrates the commitment to acting in a responsible manner whilst being driven by that deep down instinct that has driven hunters for generations and still drives you now to roll out of your swag at 4 am on a winter morning when any sane person would sleep in.
Blaze is as much a uniform as it is a piece of safety equipment. It is your declaration to the world that you are part of a select group. A group with a dedication to ethics.
So if you see a Blaze cap at the footy or perhaps a Blaze tie at a business meeting, stop and give a nod to acknowledge a fellow hunter and their commitment to being a responsible hunter.