IL Gov. signs bill allowing hunters to wear blaze pink, increase poaching penalty

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation legalizing blaze pink hunting gear in addition to orange and increasing penalties for wildlife poaching.

Both colors of clothing are equally visible to the human eye, however, deer are believed to be color blind to red and can see very little orange or pink.

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"We want to make sure that Illinoisans are able to hunt and enjoy the outdoors safely," Rauner said. "The new legislation provides more variety in hunting gear while preventing tragic hunting accidents in Illinois."

Six other states have also authorized fluorescent pink as an alternative color to orange.

"Blaze pink laws have already passed in several other states, so this change in the law sends the message that our hunting laws put safety first," said Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton, lead House sponsor of the bill. "This action gives the consumer a choice, and though I'm no fashion expert, I believe blaze pink will look good on sportsmen and women in Southern Illinois."

"As a lifelong hunter and supporter of the Second Amendment, I was proud to help sponsor this important safety measure," said Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, House co-sponsor of the bill. "Though I am quite partial to the color pink, the scientific research I have seen shows that people see the color pink better than the color orange. I am grateful that the governor recognizes the importance of hunting safety and that hunting is an important part of the culture and a tourism driver for Southern Illinois."

House Bill 4231 takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Another piece of legislation, House Bill 5317, requires people who illegally capture or kill white-tailed antlered deer to pay restitution to the Department of Natural Resources.

"White-tailed deer are the state mammal of Illinois and a crucial part of our ecology. We must manage the deer population responsibly so future generations of Illinoisans can enjoy Illinois' wildlife," Rauner said. "Poaching is a serious crime and should be punished accordingly. Illegal hunting hurts legitimate sportsmen, deprives the state and local businesses of revenue generated from hunting, and harms Illinois' wildlife population."

House Bill 5317 is effective immediately.

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