JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Thousands of hunters in Region 8 have taken to the deer woods this weekend as the opening of modern gun season has begun Saturday morning. While hunters gassed up their vehicles and bought groceries for the weekend, they were also out at local supply stores Friday.
"This time of year, it's a little bit of everything, it's obviously, with rifle season starting in the morning, it's a lot of ammunition and rifles," said Cody Driskell at DNW Outdoors. "I've had a group of guys come in and easily spend probably 5,000 inside of the week."
Driskell said many people were purchasing clothing Friday. He said some of the fastest selling items included hats, gloves and shirts.
"Every year we've been fortunate enough to grow and stay more and more busy, but this year, by far, especially the last two weeks," said Driskell. "By far, this year has been busier than in years past."
Also in Bono, Big Kreek Outdoors was packed with customers gearing up for the weekend. Colton Shadwick, who has been working at Big Kreek for two years, said deer scents were among the top sellers.
"Everybody is getting guns, bullets, all their scent sprays, gloves, little things, deer stands," said Shadwick, who said he's just like his customers.
"Last year in here, alone, I think I spent 2900 dollars. I bought a bow, last year I bought a new shotgun, and every time I go, I got to have something new. I got to have new broad heads, new arrows, something new every time I go," said Shadwick.
Shadwick said business has picked up in the last year, especially the last few weeks. Most of the merchandise sold in the store eventually makes way northwest.
"Every hunter who comes through here, is usually heading north, somewhere in zone three, Lawrence County, Randolph, even up in Missouri," said Shadwick.
Shadwick, who is also a hunter, said part of the attraction to hunting is the camaraderie with friends. He said he looks forward to going to deer camp.
"Going to deer camp, telling stories, everybody tells lies at deer camp," said Shadwick.
"Duck season coming in next weekend, we start getting a lot of out of state people in this weekend, going into all of next week," said Driskell.
Driskell said after deer season, most hunters look forward to duck season.
"Guns, decoys, shells, mostly the duck hunting part of it is probably the biggest sales," said Driskell. "People have already gotten their old stuff out. They're packing their stuff up now, and they're like, well I'm missing a shirt or I need a hat. It's definitely going to be clothes today, clothes and boots."