LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Saturday, November 12 marked the first day of modern gun season in Arkansas and hundreds of thousands of hunters headed into the woods. That first day of deer season also means a long day for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officers.
We started at 3:00 a.m. getting a decoy set up just off a main road in Saline County. The purpose was to see if hunters on their way to the woods would pass up the chance to take a shot. If anyone pulled the trigger before daylight or from the road, three officers would end their hunt before it began.
A few slowed down, several took a second look, but by daylight the mechanical buck was still on it's feet. With the sun finally up, it was time to hit the trails of Ouachita National Forest.
"In the area that I cover, we have a lot of open public hunting lands in our particular enforcement district. We are just on general patrol and we're checking for hunting licenses and making sure everybody's got the proper equipment," says Cpl. Glenn Tucker of Arkansas Game and Fish Enforcement.
We came across a few hunters without their proper identification. They left the woods with a ticket instead of that prized buck.
"We are making sure that if they do harvest a deer that they are recording all their information properly and things of that nature, checking camps," says Tucker.
"The majority of the problems we run into this time of year are going to be trespass complaints, you know people getting on other people's property without permission," says Tucker.
Not many calls this Saturday morning, a good sign for the officers tasked with covering thousands of acres of hunting land.
Corporal Tucker says the best way to avoid a stop by his team this season is to simply play by the rules.
"Pick up the guidebook. We distribute hundreds of thousands of those guidebooks and if you follow the guidebook for your particular area, you're not going to have any trouble," says Tucker.