It’s been in the news quite a bit over the last year that the United States is facing an ammunition shortage. A combination of pandemic-related supply constraints, a huge rise in demand for guns and a comparative lack of manufacturing capacity have made ammunition most more expensive and harder to find, while some expect the problem to get worse, now that the State Department has issued new sanctions against Russian-made ammunition.
Now, a new report says there are signs there’s been an unlikely winner from these circumstances: Archery stores.
WOWK TV in Ohio reported over the weekend that archery shop owners in that region have stated that they have been seeing more business than usual this year, ahead of the official archery season in Ohio and West Virginia. That season began on September 25.
“We’ve seen our business probably triple this year,” Larry Hendershot Jr., of HP Archery, and son of that business’ owner, told the TV station. “I’ve probably restringed 80 bows this year between crossbows to vertical bows and we take care of the traditional people as well.”
However, the ammo shortage may not be the main reason why archery has become more popular.
Hendershot also said that a “wet year” has led to “enticing pictures of bucks and whitetail deer taken by trail cameras,” and also that “archery men will always be archery men.”
The pandemic is also part of the equation.
“I think people are just ready to go out and do something this year, they’ve been cooped up all last year, we’re kind of post-covid, and people are just ready to get [out] and do something,” he added.
Back in January, one message board for hunters speculated about whether the ammo shortage would lead to a gain in popularity for archery.
“Hope not, sort of. It’s a double edged sword. It keeps the activity of hunting as a conservation tool alive, but will decrease everyone’s “self-served” chances as a whole for opportunity by throwing it all into one basket,” a participant named “Roadrunner” said. “It could also mean more pressure and human activity in the woods for herd management since archery tag fill rates are much lower.”
“I’m not sure that anyone will be able to differentiate between archery gains from ammo shortages, and archery gains from the constant exponential growth that seems to have been happening over the last several years on its own,” a participant called 5MilesBack said. “Either way…….bowhunters will fill every campground, dispersed camping sites, and trailhead come September.”
Still another participant said that an archery shop they attend had itself been running low on arrows.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.