Is it necessary a bulletproof vest for hunting?
Hunting might be a risky activity, after all, you are dealing with guns in the middle of the forest, surrounded not only by wild animals but also by other hunters, sometimes beyond your visual range.
With such a scenario, some people might think that wearing a bulletproof vest is a good idea to keep themselves as safe as possible, but is it worth it?
Certainly, there's a risk of being injured during a hunting expedition but the truth is that most injuries are due to falls and cuts rather than getting shoot because the vast majority of hunters are responsible people complying with safety measures.
In this regard, it's supposed that no one should shoot if there's an orange vest around the target area, and if everyone is wearing their orange vest, no mistakes should occur, moreover, no one should shoot when there's not a clear sight of what's beyond the target.
These basic safety rules aside some many others have been successful to minimize firearm accidents during the hunting season but it's also a truth that the number of "mad hunters" is increasing (nobody knows why) and from time to time a bullet may fly where it's not supposed to do.
That's why some people worry about their safety and might be considering wearing a bulletproof vest when hunting, but... Is it really necessary?
Well, everything depends on what you are expecting from this decision.
When hunters were using small caliber, low-velocity firearms, a low-level bulletproof might be helpful to prevent injuries without adding too much weight and allowing free movement however, with modern high-speed, high caliber ammunition, a body armor level beyond III is useless, in fact, level I is not used any longer while level II body armor is useful only against handguns ammunition but not rifles.
So, to get some protection the minimum armor level should be III but remember
it's a bulky vest that will not only increase the total weight you have to carry on your shoulders but also will restrain your movement.
On the other hand, using a bulletproof vest will make you feel hot, something desirable during the winter season, but if you are out hunting in warm or hot weather, using a bulletproof vest might turn into a nightmare.
Certainly, it will add an extra layer of protection but the inconveniences seem to be more than the protection, especially considering there are not so many accidental shots among hunters.
Moreover, most hunting accidents with firearms do not involve the core body but arms and legs which remain unprotected despite wearing body armor.
At the end of the day, it's a personal decision but balancing the pros and cons of a bulletproof vest, it does not seem the best choice, not only because you will be expending some extra money for almost no extra protection, but also because the extra weight and movement restriction might render you prone to another type of injuries such as falls.
That's why there are no official recommendations related to the use of armored vests when hunting and when you search on the internet, most hunters' opinions are against its use, basically because the extra protection seems to be overweighted by the inconveniences.
At the end of the day, using the mandatory orange vest and following safety rules for firearms use when hunting aside from hunters' safety education seems to be the best way to keep all those hunters and hunting hounds safe during the season.