Whitetail deer and bear hunters in New York must wear fluorescent clothing in 2021. They may choose between hunter orange or pink colors. Historically, New York has not required brightly-colored clothing during big game seasons. The move came about in an effort to reduce accidents sustained while hunting. According to a press release from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), “most two-party hunting-related shooting incidents in New York involve a hunter victim who was not wearing fluorescent orange or pink clothing. Similar fluorescent orange requirements exist in most states.”

“I am confident that the rule changes announced today will provide hunters with a better all-around experience while ensuring their safety,” says DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “In addition, these actions bring New York in line with the common practices of states and provinces across North America.”

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State agencies encourage blaze orange during rifle season across the country, and its required equipment in the vast majority of states. New York’s new requirements are listed on the DEC website and mandate “a minimum total of 250 square inches of solid fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink material worn above the waist” or “a hat or cap with no less than 50 percent of the exterior consisting of solid fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink material.” The brightly-colored material must be visible from all directions.