(KATV) Sheridan - It is finally that time ofyear again. Modern gun deer season starts at sun up Saturday, and a quarter ofa million people in camo and hunter orange are expected to be in the woods thisweekend.
Gibbs Grocery-Hunter's Outpost in Sheridan is a favoritefor hunters on their way to the south. Just a decade ago U.S. 167 in front of Gibbswas 2 lanes. The owner says hunting season traffic proved to be too much, andit was the main reason it is now 4 lanes.
You're the odd one out ifyou are not decked out in camo in this neck of the woods. Before heading intothe deer woods it is tradition to stop at Gibbs, family owned for 36 years.
Buddy Gibbs says, "This islike homecoming. We all grew up together."
It is not just a gasstation. The Gibbs know their customers by name and enjoy meeting the youngergenerations of hunters, like Alysee Barrett who showed Channel Seven a pictureof her recent kill. It might get a spot on the wall at Gibbs gas station.
The walls tell 30 years ofstories about the tradition that runs deep. Buddy smiles, "We like that, it isimportant to us. We have a lot of nice people that stop here."
Hunter, Randy Madden pumpsgas into his ATV's, "I get to see a lot of people I haven't seen in awhilefrom school and it's just a good time."
The season is also an economybooster, bringing in an estimated 370-million retail dollars to the state.Buddy adds, "We make a little 12 months out of the year and then when this hits,it's almost like a second Christmas."
Madden says, "I reallydon't care if I kill one, I just like being out just being out enjoyingnature."
South Arkansas is popularbecause it is timber country. The Game & Fish Commission estimates 200,000 deerwill be killed this year. A small percentage seeing that there's possible amillion deer in the state.
Even with the summer drought,Arkansas has had rain lately and there are a lot of acorns on the ground,especially in the south. Acorns attract deer and keep them healthy.