An estimated 300,000 deer hunters are out across the Natural State Sunday (Nov. 11) for opening weekend of modern gun season.
Among them is Greenwood's Police Chief Will Dawson, who says he takes his vacation this time of year so he can be out in the woods hunting, which is something he's always loved to do.
"When I was 12 years old a long time ago my uncle took me hunting and I've been hooked ever since," Dawson said. "I'm trying to get son interested in it and take him. It's a good way to get out. For me it relieves stress and lets me get away from things and have a good time with family."
Dawson climbed up in his tree stand in Greenwood Sunday morning, waiting patiently for the deer to walk by.
"When you finally do see the deer you get excited," Dawson said. "Killing a deer is definitely exciting. It's also a pride thing for guys to display how big of a deer you got, so it's a good time to go out."
At the same time, Dawson explained the top priority is staying safe, especially during modern gun season.
"There's a lot of things that can go wrong especially when you're hunting with a gun," Dawson said. "That's the foremost important thing for safety - treat [your gun] like it's loaded at all times and follow all of the safety tips that are out there."
It's also important that hunters wear their orange as required by state law. Both an orange hat and an orange vest must be on at all times so that other hunters don't mistake you for game.
In addition, all hunters should wear safety harnesses while in their stand to make sure that they don't fall out.
"It can be really dangerous sitting in a stand for several hours," Dawson explained. "That harness needs to be worn so it can protect you and keep you from falling out if anything like that were to ever happen."
Modern gun season in our area will run through Dec. 1. Archery deer season lasts through the end of February.