Ammo Shortages Continue Again This Year, Hunters Feeling Impact

by Chris Haney

Once again, the nation is dealing with ammo shortages, which continue to impact areas of the country where hunting is a popular hobby and way of life.

This is the second year in a row that Americans have dealt with national ammunition shortages. It began last hunting season and has filtered into this year’s hunting season as well. Many states across the country have dealt with the issue for months now. For example, northern Minnesota has been hit hard by the ammo shortages.

Earlier this week, the Pine Journal and Duluth News Tribune in Minnesota reported on the ammo issues. The reports suggest that hunters in the area that haven’t restocked their ammunition could be out of luck this year. Deer firearm season begins on Nov. 6, and many hunters might not have ammo to partake this season.

The reports included a survey of local physical ammunition shops and online sporting goods stores. The surveys revealed that the stores had “almost no popular loads in 12-gauge shotgun shells or .30-caliber rifle cartridges.” And that goes for birds or big game ammo.

Superior Shooters Supply owner Pat Kukull in Superior, Wisconsin also spoke to the Pine Journal. Kukull noted an increase in gun ownership along with a decrease in the ammo supply chain as the main issue.

“We have 8 million new gun owners now that we didn’t have before the pandemic. And they all need ammunition,” Kukull told the Pine Journal. “There’s just been this huge increase in demand while the supply has been really slow to catch up because of the pandemic.”

Therefore Kukull and many other businesses aren’t receiving as much ammunition stock as they used to.

“I’m the ammo Nazi right now. No one is getting more than one box, maybe two,”  Kukull added.

Remington’s Bankruptcy Heavily Contributed to Ammo Shortages

There are various reasons for the last two years worth of ammo shortages. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic played a huge part in the decrease in production. Factories were shut down temporarily, safety precautions slowed production, and some companies even went bankrupt during the pandemic.

Popular ammo makers Remington Arms filed for bankruptcy last year. For multiple months in 2020, they came nowhere close to keeping up their normal output of ammunition production. The Pine Journal also spoke to another Minnesota-based manufacturer about the ammo shortages – Federal Cartridge.

“We continue to produce and ship hunting ammunition for deer, waterfowl, and upland game birds every day. Like many other companies during the pandemic, we face some supply chain hurdles,” Federal Cartridge VP of Marketing Jason Nash explained. “But we’ve increased our production overall and are committed to providing ammo to our customers for the hunting season.”

As the ammo shortages continue well into 2021, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Hopefully, as the nation continues to combat Covid-19, ammo production will increase sometime next year. Until then, hunters will have to weather the storm with a limited supply chain.