NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The first day of modern gun deer season is Saturday and many hunters are already at camp. But for others, this is the last day to get ready and load up supplies.
What does this mean for local businesses who cater to the hunters and their families?
Friday, consisted of lots of last minute supply shopping, filling up trucks and fourwheelers and, for Fort Thompson Sporting Goods in Sherwood, some big bucks in their cash registers!
"In the state of Arkansas, a lot of these grown men: most of them they've hunted all their life! And it's kinda easy to wait on that guy!" says Manager Louis Janski. And he knows his stuff.
He also knows that some of his customers are hitting the deer woods for the very first time. He says "...when you get that customer that's never hunted before it's fun to take them under your wing and teach em everything they need to know!"
In the meantime, Bill Goodwin is taking his son Grant deer hunting for the first time Saturday. He says, "You know the old saying, they say if you take your kids huntin', you won't be huntin' your kids!"
Another hunter, Brent Rohrer, says he's been bow hunting Friday, but is looking forward to modern gun opening Saturday morning. He says, "Tomorrow I'll have a gun, with my daughter. We were out there scouting this morning, while I was hunting. We know where we're sitting ready to go for tomorrow!"
Janski says, "As far as gun sales, ammunition, accessories, this IS IT. This whole past week has been unbelievably busy."
Janski says just this week they've sold more than 150 new guns with scopes.
Rohrer says, "This place is packed! There's more cars in the parking lot than I've ever seen! And you can tell people are getting ready. I just needed to pick up a few last minute things!"
According to Janski, who's killed turkeys, dove, elk, bear, anetelope, deer and more, "You're gonna hunt! Opening gun season is the time of year when everybody gets together it's like a big family reunion!"
There are rules and regulations to hunting in Arkansas including permits, licenses, zones and times.
- Always wear hunter orange
- Keep up-to-date licenses
- Tag your deer
- Don't go over your limit
- Hunting hours are legally 30 minutes before sunrise til 30 minutes after sunset.
For what's in season where you are, and what you need to know, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's website.