The majority of the country’s deer hunters are just now reaching buck firearm season, but they’re not as prepared as they would like to be. As widespread ammo shortages continue, both sports store owners and hunters are feeling the effects. Since the pandemic, sportsmen and women have struggled to find ample bullets to supply their hunting seasons, and it doesn’t seem that the situation has improved much.
Some states, like West Virginia, are feeling the hurt of the ammo shortages worse than others. According to Stacker, West Virginia ranks ninth among the states with the most registered hunters with almost 12 percent of the population owning licenses. Because of this, store owners are struggling now more than ever to keep their inventories stocked with the right types of hunting ammunition. With buck firearm season beginning on Monday, the state’s store owners are expecting an influx of hunters who may leave their shop empty-handed.
“Man, it’s coming. Monday morning is big stuff in the Mountain State,” Glenn Yeager, owner of Valley Outdoor Sports, told FOX affiliate WCHS. “You better have your act together, and we’re trying to get our act together for folks.”
In order to try and supply as many hunters with ammo as possible during the shortage, Yeager placed limits on merchandise. But even this didn’t stop his stock from flying off shelves.
“I got in five cases of .30-06, but there’s a lot of people around, so we’re letting people buy a box or two at a time,” Yeager shared.
During buck firearm season, the most popular rounds that hunters use tend to be .30-06, .308, .270 and others. But according to Yeager, the chances of finding these ammo types during the shortage will be like looking for a bullet in a haystack. Already, he’s ceased any online sales.
The Reason Behind Ammo Shortages, According to W. Va. Store Owner
Unfortunately for store owners and hunters, there’s not much they can do to remedy the ammo shortages across the nation. According to Yeager, the problem lies further up the supply chain.
“The problem is manufacturers weren’t making it,” Yeager said. “If they’re not making it, then we can’t give it to you.”
While this might be just an inconvenience to most recreational hunters, this poses a serious problem for hunters that depend on wild game for their food supply. Without a store close by, the most sustainable solution for a constant source of protein lies in the woods.
“We definitely eat what we harvest, but a lot of folks depend on that,” Yeager said. “They don’t go to Kroger quite as often as some of the folks near town, so we’ve got to look out for those guys.”
Until the ammo shortages finally cease, hunters may want to hang on to their brass shells – if they have any left.