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Ammo shortage frustrates area hunters and stores

It’s just a few weeks away, but a shortage of ammunition is making it hard on stores to keep up with demand.
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 7:16 PM CDT
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ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (WSAW) - If you’re getting ready for gun deer season, you’ll want to stock up on ammo now. It’s just a few weeks away, but a shortage of ammunition is making it hard on stores to keep up with demand.

It’s a combination of supply chain issues and an increase in gun owners from the pandemic that’s triggering high demand. It’s frustrating for stores and hunters trying to get out.

“What if there’s still a shortage going into next year, what am I gonna (sic) do then?” hunter Chersa Ly said.

Ly is just now getting back into hunting ahead gun deer season, but with supply chain issues, he might be too late.

“I’m down to my last box of ammo and I didn’t even get a chance to fully zero in my scope so now I’m kind of scrambling to find ammo,” Ly said.

Ly said to find the right ammo he’s looking for, he may have to travel to Appleton or the Twin Cities. It’s not good for him or someone running a business.

“Obviously our shelves are super full of ammunition right now but it’s not every caliber that’s available,” Chase Outdoors Owner Justin Gaiche said.

Gaiche said while stores appear to have a shortage of certain ammo, bullet production has increased by nearly 30 percent, but it’s still not enough.

“All these manufacturers are assuring us that they’re doing everything they can,” Gaiche said.

Much of the ammo production is aimed at target and defense weapons, not hunting. Though production is non-stop, shipping delays, staffing shortages and a lack of metallic material are slowing everything down.

“It’s a crazy juggling match right now, we’re doing everything that we can to follow things on a daily and hourly basis,” Gaiche said.

Over the past two years, Gaiche has seen more new hunters than ever. The National Shooting Sports Foundation said nationwide, about 8.4 million people bought a gun for the first time in 2020. As for those itching to get out, Gaiche said to be patient.

“Do what you need to do to get yourself accurate and prepared to participate this season, but with what you can’t use this year… hold on, it is gonna (sic) get better, I’m quite confident,” Gaiche said.

Wisconsin gun deer season runs from Nov. 20 through Nov. 28.

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