Pink gets new purpose in Northwest Colorado | CraigDailyPress.com

Pink gets new purpose in Northwest Colorado

Patrick Kelly

Melissa Hill and Lynda Filler, employees at Murdoch's Ranch & Ranch Supply in Craig, show off some of the store's pink apparel. Fluorescent pink hunting gear is now acceptable as an alternative to orange, though pink items with a camouflage pattern do not satisfy the blaze requirement for big game hunters.

Throughout the month of October, wearing pink clothing, displaying pink ribbons and presenting various pink accessories is the most common way to show support for breast cancer awareness.

The display of pink is to get people's attention about a disease that affects one in eight American women and which there were 246,000 new cases of in 2016, according to the American Cancer Society.

But this October, pink can be worn in Colorado for a new purpose.

As riffle seasons begin for Northwest Colorado's big game, more and more hunters can be seen around town and this year they have a new fashion option that relates to Breast Cancer Awareness Month — blaze pink.

Earlier this year, a law was passed allowing hunters to choose between traditional blaze orange or hot pink.

The state requires any person hunting elk, deer, pronghorn, moose or black bear to wear a fluorescent orange garment and now pink has been determined to be a suitable alternative.

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"I thought it provided a nice way to send the message that women belong in hunting," said Colorado Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, who sponsored the bill.

Donovan said before sponsoring the bill, she wanted to ensure that bright pink was just as visible as blaze orange.

Safety is a priority for all hunters and being visible around dawn and dusk is very important, she said.

Professor Majid Sarmadi, a color scientist at the University of Wisconsin, has studied the issue and provided testimony to several state legislatures in support of blaze pink.

In his studies, Sarmadi found that blaze pink is just as visible as orange, if not more.

In some situations, pink has even proven to be the safer option.

"Blaze pink was more visible when set by colored leaves such as the ones you see in fall," Sarmadi said.

As for the deer, pink and orange only appear as different shades of blue.

But Sarmadi stressed that although pink is a viable alternative to blaze orange — safety is still in the hands of the hunter and should be the top priority.

"No matter what you are wearing, a cautious approach is good hunting practice," he said.

If you happen to be hunting this fall and want to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, don't be afraid to pick up some pink blaze. However, pink clothing items with a camouflage pattern do not satisfy the blaze requirement for big game hunters.

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.