MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding hunters that wearing blaze orange in the woods is one of the most effective ways to stay safe and help the state have a second year without any hunting related shootings.
Department officials cite the wearing of bright colors as a major factor in the safety milestone as well as the hunter education program that has worked to emphasize safe hunting.
"We can't rest on our laurels," said Chris Saunders, the department's hunter education coordinator. "Every year should be accident-free, and wearing at least hunter orange hat and vest can go a long way to ensuring that."
Among the most common causes of accidental shootings are hunters moving into the line of fire of other hunters or mistaking hunters for game. Both underscore the need for hunters to be seen.
The issue is especially important during the November rifle season and the December muzzleloader hunting seasons, but also during rabbit and hare hunting and bird seasons.
As proof, the department cited a New York study that found 94 percent of hunters involved in mistaken-for-game shootings were not wearing hunter orange.