Thinking of going walking in a winter wonderland? Hunters are allowed to use shotguns for the next few weeks, so be aware when heading out.

December brings more than just snow in Massachusetts, it also brings shotgun season.

Deer hunting season is open and from December 2 through 14 whitetail deer can be hunted with shotguns.

That certainly means taking extra precautions when going out for a walk in the woods with family and four legged friends.

If you haven't gotten your dog an orange vest for fall and winter walks, maybe now is the perfect time to put one under the tree for them.

Wearing bright orange is required for those that are hunting and strongly suggested for walks in the woods.

Of course hunting for deer is only legal in certain wildlife management zones and only by those with a Massachusetts hunting license. Still accidents can happen, as one hunter in Wareham has already learned this shotgun season, so prepare yourself before you head out.

Hunters are advised to always point their firearms in a safe direction, keep it unloaded when not in use and always look beyond your target before pulling the trigger to see what else may be in your path.

Non-hunters are advised to wear orange or other bright colors, to make noise while walking and even think about carrying a whistle and of course know where the hunting zones are to avoid them.

You can learn more about where the Massachusetts hunting zones are and hours hunters are allowed to use them on the Mass.gov website anytime.