When hunting in the great forests to the north, the open prairies to the south, or the high mountains to the west, safety should always be the hunter’s number one concern. There are many things to keep track of when hunting, many things to think about, and safety is the biggest thing that should concern a hunter at all times. If executed properly, hunting can be a very safe and enjoyable sport, one where the hunter and his or her companions need not fear at all. It can be a sport where they can just relax in the woods and wait for game and think about the huge buck stories that will be told around the roaring fire that night. One of the first steps toward having this sort of safe and relaxing hunting experience is getting a hunting safety vest.
Now, a hunting safety vest can mean many different things, or a combination of different things. First and foremost, it means a vest adorned with bright, brilliant hunter orange. This may seem like a huge deterrent in the woods, where one is trying to remain hidden and unseen so as to attract game. The hunter does not need to fear that the orange will detract from this goal, however, as deer do not see in color and are therefore oblivious to the fact that there is a very bright hunter sitting just in front of them. Deer are more prone to notice movement, and sometimes patterns, so if the hunter stays still, he or she will be invisible no matter the color. Some orange vests are made in a camouflage pattern, with the orange substituted for the standard green, and this can help so that the deer do not notice any difference in the pattern of the forest when they see the vested hunter. Orange is very safe, as there is nothing else like it in the forest, and other hunters can see it from a long way off.
Some hunting safety vests are reversible. On one side, they are orange, almost neon in color. On the other side, they sport a more traditional camouflage pattern of green and gray and brown. This is so that the hunter can still wear the vest for warmth even if they choose to wear other bits of clothing that are orange, such as pants and a hat. Warmth in the forest is also a very crucial part of hunting safety, as the temperatures can sometimes drop drastically and unexpectedly. If a hunter is not properly dressed, he or she can run the risk of frostbite in the winter or hypothermia in the late fall — if it rains in the early part of the day and then the temperature plummets down into freezing. Such a vest is also safe, though the orange side is decidedly safer as it is at eye level for other hunters and will be more noticeable than pants or a hat.
Another kind of hunting safety vest is a tree stand harness. Every year, hunters fall out of their tree stands. These can be very high, especially if they do not require a ladder but instead use a pulley system or other apparatus for getting the hunter into the tree. The results of falling from one’s tree stand, especially common after a hunter falls asleep, can be disastrous. A hunter can break arms and legs, or, worse yet, their back. Occasionally even death can result, as often there is no help very near to the hunter at the time of the fall. A harness vest is generally camouflaged much like a standard vest, but it is much stronger through the shoulders and around the waist. Straps come off of it at those points that can be attached to the tree or to the stand itself, ensuring that the hunter will not fall even if they fall asleep.
No matter what style of vest one needs, a hunting safety vest is of the utmost importance. In many states, it is illegal to hunt without one. From the newest hunter to the most experienced, all would be smart to wear a hunting safety vest at all times, even while walking into or out of the woods.