Ammo supply can’t meet demand as gun-deer season approaches

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Deer aren’t the only things hunters will have a hard time finding in their sights. Hunting down ammunition may be just as difficult.

Gun sales are above average for the second year in a row. FBI Firearm background checks hovered around 3 million a month — double the rate 10 years ago.

Many of those new gun owners are stocking up on ammo — if they can find it.

“People were told not to go to the movies, not to go out to eat. So they took up fishing and shooting,” said Ben Hinton, who works at ACE Hardware in La Crosse. “There was something like 8 million new gun owners the last calendar year. You can imagine, if they each took two boxes of ammo to practice with . It just sucked everything dry.”

And retailers are still trying to catch up.

“Handgun ammunition is getting a little better, they’re pumping them out pretty good. But still, the variety of ammunition is not available, and it’s going to take years to catch up,” Hinton said.

For those looking to hunt this year, Jeff Pritzl of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has some advice:

“Don’t be waiting until the day before the season if you feel that you need a box of ammunition to get through the season,” Pritzl said.

Hinton also suggests sharing.

“If your friend has three boxes of ammo, borrow for a year,” he said.

Workers at ACE Hardware in La Crosse says they are getting shipments of ammo, but tell me that they don’t know how many boxes they get in each shipment.

Wisconsin’s gun-deer season begins on Nov. 20.

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