Trekking in the woods in light rain as the temperature drops is not everyone’s ideal way to spend a day, but for hunters, this can be as close to paradise on earth as one can get. However, while this year’s paradise isn’t lost exactly, it will cost more – at least if there is a shot to take.
Across the country, ammunition remains in tight demand and the result is a significant uptick in the cost of a box of popular hunting ammunition.
Southern Gun World owner Karen Ballengee said that as ammunition shortages persist, and could get even worse, prices have skyrocketed. Speaking to WRIC.com, Ballangee said that she hasn’t even been able to obtain any .410 or even .30-06, while .243 caliber is even in short supplies.
“These calibers that are very, very popular that they hunt with,” Ballangee explained and said she’s had to limit purchases of almost all ammunition so that customers can get at least one box of rounds when they buy a good. However, even with rationing Southern Gun World, located in Chesterfield County, Virginia, could soon have empty shelves and unhappy customers gearing up for hunting season.
“I have not been able to get one box — much less one case — one box of ammo from my large companies in six months,” she added. Ballangee said the lack of supply is putting a strain on local businesses. Her shop depends on the regular flow of ammunition.
The story is very much the same half a nation away in Marion, Iowa whereas early hunting season opens, sportsmen are experiencing a shortage as well. The Cedar Valley Outfitters hasn’t been able to keep up with demand, and owner Ernie Traugh said that he’s never seen such a backlog on orders from his suppliers.
“This ammo on my shelf that the distributor sent me last week was ordered by that distributor probably a year or 16 months ago,” Traugh told KWWL.com. “They have to future things out. You know any industry does that.”
The shortage isn’t just impacting hunters. Small town police forces have also had a hard time maintaining a stockpile of ammunition, and that has continued to impact training.
“It’s a balancing act between the amount of training that we do and the availability of rounds but we’re adapting to it,” said Marion Police Chief Mike Kitsmiller, who explained that the department has budgeted for the next fiscal year expecting a 35 percent increase in price.
Even with the added cost, Kitsmiller said he may have to wait months for the ammo to arrive, but the department will adapt.
“Certainly, proficiency with a handgun or a firearm is something that you can’t really cut back on so we’re getting the training we need to get,” Kitsmiller added. “We’re just being smarter about it.”
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.