Fox 21 News reported this week that this is happening in the area around Duluth, Minnesota. Deer season begins in Minnesota on November 6 and in nearby Wisconsin two weeks later.
“Every day we’re working at getting ammo in here so people can get out and enjoy themselves,” Matt King, owner of Fisherman’s Corner, told the TV station.
“With the season coming in the next three weeks, that makes people a little nervous if they only have a few bullets left from last year… You turn around the next minute and you’re looking for something else because the other item isn’t in stock so you try to improvise and get something people will like and use.”
In some parts of the country, ammunition has been harder to find, while in others, it’s become more expensive. Either way, everyone from hunters to recreational shooters to police departments have been affected.
“We put in a lot of big orders, we got about three-quarters of what we ordered,” King told the TV station. “12 gauge, birdshot, waterfowl loads, and birdshot pheasant loads,” he said. “We’re working to try and get them the best experience they can have in the outdoors.”
The ammo shortage has been attributed to a variety of factors, many of them having to do with the lack of supply as a result of the pandemic, brought about by the same factors as the shortages of so many other things. Production was knocked offline for a time in 2020, while Remington, a major manufacturer, went through bankruptcy last year as well. In addition, the State Department’s recently announced sanctions on Russia have put new restrictions on cheaper ammo.
There’s also been a great deal more demand than usual. Millions of people became first-time gun owners during the pandemic and took up shooting due to boredom, while many others purchased guns in response to social unrest throughout 2020. And once the Biden Administration was elected, many others bought guns, due to fears about new gun restrictions.
Many see the ammunition shortage continuing into 2022. But there’s one scenario which lays out how it could end.
“This is an incredible opportunity to bring high-quality ammunition to new SAR firearm owners and a market desperate for it,” Todd Pearson, chief operating officer for SAR USA recently told the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated earlier this fall, of a plan to import Turkish ammo. “SAR ammunition is designed, engineered and manufactured to perform to the highest standards.”
Stephen Silver 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.