LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's the day before modern gun deer season and all through the state, hunters are gathering their gear and simply just can't wait.

Local hunter Billy Pearson said hunting in south Arkansas keeps getting bigger.

"The expansion of the deer leases, the deer camps, the deer woods, it's huge," added Pearson.

Along Highway 167 South of Sheridan, hunters are fueling up and stocking up at Gibbs Grocery.

Buddy Gibbs and his wife have owned the store for more than 30 years and said opening weekend is like Christmas for them. They were even too swamped for an interview Friday, but regular customers say this is the place hunters come.

"The economy is boosted every year. These store owners, they build up for the last three months thinking about 'Hey, this is our biggest most profitable time of the year.'"

Regular customer Billy Pearson, who works for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, says deer hunters make 167 South one of the most traveled highways this time of year.

"The intersection at Highway 270 and 167 is the busiest in the United States at certain times of the year."

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said deer hunting alone pours for more than 370 million retail dollars into the state, and it's an annual boost that will continue to benefit towns like Sheridan and Pearson for generations to come.

"It's a tradition. Deer hunting in Arkansas is a tradition. Is not about mainly getting the big buck, but just hanging out. It's good times."

It's an Arkansas tradition that boost spirits and revenue in these buck loving towns.

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