If you’ve hunted more than just a few times, you know full well that hunter orange is unlike any color in nature and can easily be seen from miles away. That’s why, when used to make clothing, it is so effective at keeping hunters safe in the field for a wide variety of different hunting types. All hunter orange jackets are not created equal, however. To choose the right one for you, consider three important factors—expected temperature during your hunt, whether it will be wet or dry, and whether camouflage hunter orange is an option for you.
This orange hunting hoodie is made of 100 percent polyester MTR filament fleece and sized for young hunters. Amazon
Hunter orange jackets increase hunters’ visibility and make them safer in a wide range of conditions, from warm weather on the plains of New Mexico to winter hunts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If it’s going to be mild early in the morning, then warm up enough an upper cover garment isn’t needed, a light jacket in hunter orange will be perfect. If it’s bitter cold and only expected to get colder, you’re going to want to find a multi-layer parka that keeps you plenty warm while keeping you safe. In between those two extremes are different jackets with a range of thermal levels. If you hunt a lot in different locations, it’s likely you’ll need to own several hunter orange jackets to accommodate the different temperatures.
This hunter orange fleece pullover is made to dry quickly after it gets wet. Amazon
Temperature aside, whether or not you have a chance to get wet on your hunt is another important factor to consider when choosing a hunter orange jacket. Getting too cold when hunting can be deadly. Under very frigid conditions, getting cold and wet can be much worse, as hypothermia can set in much faster. If it’s going to be extremely cold and wet, a heavy-duty hunter orange parka with a waterproof outer will be your best bet. For not-so-cold days when it might rain, a light fleece jacket in hunter orange might do the trick, since fleece is comfortable and a very fast-drying material.
This heavy camouflaged hunter orange parka is made to keep hunters warm and dry in cold, wet conditions. Gamehide
Scientists tell us that deer and some other large mammals don’t see in color, and that’s why they don’t notice a hunter decked out in hunter orange pursuing them. They do, however, see shapes quite well, and with a big expanse of hunter orange it can sometimes be hard to break up the human shape we all exhibit. To compensate for that, some companies make camouflage hunter orange clothing. Camouflage hunter orange breaks up the outline of a hunter while still keeping him very visible for safety purposes, and hunting jackets for conditions ranging from cool to frigid are offered in this option. Note, however, that in some states it isn’t legal to wear a camouflage hunter orange jacket as your fluorescent orange requirement. Check the regulations where you plan to hunt before making a purchase.