Hunting season has arrived, to the delight of many hunters across the U.S. However, there is a current ammunition shortage they have to deal with. How will this situation affect the hunting season?
Dealing With An Ammunition Shortage
September 2020 marked the ninth consecutive month of record-setting firearm background checks. This brings the total for the year to 28.8 million – already exceeding the total for all of 2019 (28.3 million).
Now, hunting seasons have begun and are seeing increased demand, as well.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reported bringing in $900,000 on the first day of hunting licensing and permitting in 2020. Last year, that number was $300,000.
North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department is reporting a 40% increase in licenses in 2020.
Firearm retailers that were struggling to keep shelves stocked earlier in the year, predict shortages to continue until at least spring of 2021.
Anticipating Long-Term Ammunition Shortage
In a July 30, 2020 article titled “Why is the ammo gone?” Recoil Magazine anticipates a long-term ammunition shortage.
“Some industry experts estimate that we won’t see a return to normal inventory levels for 12 months, even when assuming a Republican presidential victory in November,” Recoil stated.
“Normal inventory is defined as being able to buy as much as ammo as you want and can afford from the internet or your local retailer.”
“We try to sell ammo but that’s been a challenge in 2020, it’s very, very hard to find ammo,” South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance Executive Director Brian Phelps said.
Gun shops and ranges are resorting to rationing ammunition, limiting purchases, and creating waitlists for relentless customers that check in each day for new deliveries.
“We’ll limit them to one box of ammunition vs. the normal three to five hundred rounds,” Phelps said.
Phelps has been in contact with major ammunition retailers, who are on backorder throughout the rest of 2020.
Usually, personal protection ammo may be limited, but now even hunting ammunition could be impacted.
“Usually shotgun shells are around, they’re plentiful, but we had another manufacturer telling us it’s the parts to make the ammunition… the primers are on a one-year backorder,” Phelps said.
Many avid hunters are already well-stocked, but those that are new to hunting may have trouble finding guns and ammunition.
And those that do find ammo should be prepared to pay an unusually high price.
Prices May Surge Up After Shortage
The Recoil Magazine article, by Caleb Giddings, said that prices may not return to pre-COVID levels for a year after the shortage eases.
“The long term disruption to the supply chain tends to result in increased costs for manufacturers which will get passed on to the consumer until we see a full economic recovery,” Giddings stated.
“Unless one of the factors causing massive demand suddenly changes or disappears, we can expect to see increased prices and rationing for some time to come.”
50-round boxes of once-common target ammo that were $13 a box and easy to find in December 2019, are now $40 to $55 a box and often out of stock. A thousand rounds of 9mm were $200 and now goes for over $700.
After months of being cooped up at home due to COVID-19, Americans are anxious to get outside and hunt.
“The hunting season hasn’t had that big of an impact in gun sales in years, but with folks being homebound — they’re sick of that,” Tim Kinton of Kinton Guns in Farmington, NY, explained to KXAN.
Are you also looking forward to the hunting season? How do you feel about the current ammunition shortage? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section!