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As deer season begins, the ‘Great Hunting Shortage’ is here

Hunters are experiencing what’s being named the “Great Hunting Shortage.”

That’s causing some to scramble just as hunting season is set to begin this week.

Missouri duck hunter Levi Lewis said he’s currently dealing with the shortage by utilizing old stock and hitting up friends.

“I’ve got ammunition leftover from last year. A handful of boxes,” Lewis told a southeast Missouri TV station.

He recommended to folks who are running low, to buy it when they see it on the shelves or borrow from a friend.

That would have to be a really good friend.

“When you’re out, make sure you check all the stores to see if you can find anything,” he said. “If you can, stock up while you can because it may be here sometimes it may not.”

Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) is reporting that hunter Tony Blattler, chair of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, “watched as employees unloaded a shipment of .270 Winchester hunting cartridges recently at the Fleet Farm in Marshfield. People waiting in line pulled out their cell phones. Not long after, around two dozen people had filed into the store, grabbing ammunition as fast as workers could unload it.”

Battner told the network that “within an hour or two they were sold out of that ammunition just by word of mouth.”

The ammo shortage is being blamed on several factors, including a labor shortage driven by Biden administration policies,  supply chain disruptions,  and increased demand for firearms and ammunition.

It is even more pronounced as deer hunting season approaches.

Why the Great Hunting Shortage? 

Stores from Wisconsin to Missouri are finding new ways to meet the demand for a lack of supplies.

“We try to supply things here that you can’t go anywhere else and get,” said Rich Roark, the general manager at Armstrong Outdoors in Jackson, Mo.

He said with a shortage of hunting rounds and other supplies, he offers his customers other opportunities.

“With our big and tall camo, our hunting trips, you know the selection of live bait and stuff we have. You know that’s all ways to make up for the shortcomings everywhere else,” said Roark.

He said he doesn’t know exactly why there’s a bullet shortage, but because of it, it’s bringing other outdoor businesses closer.

Pat Kukull, owner of Superior Shooters Supply, told WPR that vendors have sent only about 2 percent of the usual five hundred cases of shotgun ammunition for trap shooting they usually receive. She added that there’s been “absolutely nothing” for pheasant, grouse, or waterfowl hunters.

“Now, we’re moving into rifle season, and we haven’t had any .30-30 shells in a year to speak of, really,” she noted, adding that the store has been rationing ammunition to one box per individual.

“It’s no big conspiracy at all. It’s simply there were eight million new shooters, and the new shooters want guns and ammo,” Kukull said.

“That started it. And, then with the riots that went on in the (Twin Cities) area, that self-defense (gun purchases) went way up. It’s just a perfect storm,” she added.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has estimated that roughly 8.4 million people purchased a gun for the first time last year.

“We gotta have these products available to them because that’s what’s the spark for all of it,” said Roark.

The next hunting season in Missouri and Kansas is for deer hunting, starting on November 13.

–Wire services