New hunting rule: minors wear orange

Youth hunters must wear orange beginning Aug. 1, 2011
By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

SALEM, Ore.—New rules that require youth to wear hunter orange when hunting take effect Aug. 1, 2011.  As of that date, hunters age 17 and under are required to wear a hunter (fluorescent) orange exterior garment or hat when hunting game mammals or upland game birds (except turkey) with any firearm.

Details of the regulation:

* Exterior garment means a shirt, jacket, coat, vest or sweater.
* Hat means any head covering (hat, bandana).
* The upper garment or hat must be visible in all directions (e.g. 360° of hunter orange).
* Hunter orange camouflage patterns are acceptable.
* Game mammals are deer, elk, bear, cougar, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain goat, bighorn sheep and western gray squirrel.
* Upland birds are forest grouse (blue and ruffed), chukar/Hungarian (gray) partridge, pheasants, quail (California and mountain) and sage grouse.
* “Hunt” means to take or attempt to take any wildlife by means involving the use of a weapon.

Archery, turkey and migratory bird hunters are exempt from the hunter orange requirement. (Turkey and waterfowl have excellent eyesight and wearing hunter orange could reduce hunter success.)

The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the new rule last year to protect youth hunters from vision-related firearm incidents. Adult hunters are also strongly encouraged to wear hunter orange when in the field.

Some controlled (limited entry) youth elk hunting seasons open Aug. 1 and general season bear and cougar will also be open that day. But most hunting seasons don’t open until September or October.

Important fall 2011 general hunt season (unlimited entry) dates follow:

Sept. 1-Jan. 31, 2012: Grouse, some quail seasons
Oct. 1-Nov. 4: Western Oregon deer centerfire (Cascade closure Oct. 15-21)
Oct. 8-Dec. 31, 2011/Jan. 31, 2012: Pheasant, chukar/partridge, remaining quail seasons
Oct. 15-21: Cascade elk centerfire
Nov. 5-13: Rocky Mtn elk centerfire 2nd season
Nov. 12-15: Coast elk centerfire 1st season
Nov. 19-25: Coast elk centerfire 2nd season

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