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Most hunters must wear blaze orange clothing while participating in the small game seasons, which open Saturday, Sept.16, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

"You can't take small game unless a visible portion of at least one article of clothing above the waist is blaze orange, except when hunting wild turkey, migratory birds, raccoons or predators, or when hunting with nontoxic shot or while trapping," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR education program coordinator. This restriction does not apply to persons hunting by falconry.

Blaze orange, more than any other color, is the most easily seen and recognized bright, unnatural color against a natural background. This shade of orange is the only satisfactory color for hunters to wear under all weather and light conditions.

From the standpoint of hunter safety, Hammer said the wearing of this high-visibility clothing while small game hunting in heavy cover, such as for grouse and pheasant, is a great communications tool.

"Blaze orange clothing is a tremendous aid in helping hunters maintain visual contact with one another, particularly when moving through dense cover or woods," Hammer said. "Any hunter who has ever identified someone strictly by seeing an orange patch knows its value in keeping track of other hunters in the field."

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