Ammo still in short supply in Wisconsin; sellers say it will impact Gun Deer season

Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 9:54 PM CST
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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - Gun deer season is just under two weeks away and ammunition is still in short supply.

Product sellers and makers say this ammo shortage has been going on since the pandemic shutdown in March of 2020.

Those professionals who have been in the business for decades say this is the longest they can remember that an ammo shortage has lasted. They say if you don’t have a supply of bullets yet, it’s probably too late.

“Right now, we don’t know tomorrow, if we’re going to have what we need to manufacture our ammunition,” Daniel Butcher, a gun and ammunition manufacturer for Red Legion Defense in Evansville said.

“Our components are three or four or five times more than what we’ve ever seen them and that’s the reality or today,” Butcher said. “That supplier now has all of our components on back order. But people are afraid to get rid of or try to part with whatever they have in excess.”

Regular suppliers, who used to be able to provide everything in one order for bullets, can’t anymore.

Brett Fankhauser, owner at Deerfield Pistol and Archery, is having a similar problem on the seller side, saying, “Hunting wise, it must be thin all over the place, because this year more than any other year, we’ve gotten more phone calls than any other year looking for ammo.”

Both men say this shortage will likely have an impact on ammo for gun deer season in Wisconsin.

“You can’t get the components you need to make the calibers to deer season for Wisconsin for Midwest deer season, that ammunition is pretty non-existent right now, if you can find it, grab it,” Butcher said.

Until the market changes, sellers and manufacturers are stuck.

“I’m at the whim of our wholesalers to get ammo, we’re not ordering it for people anymore, because I just don’t know when I’ll get it,” Fankhauser said.

“We’re on a day-to-day basis of ‘do I have components of do I have ammunition?’ I can ship out what I make and see what happens tomorrow,” Butcher said.

Many people point to the inflated sales of guns at the beginning of the pandemic for this shortage. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports people purchased 39.7 million guns in 2020. That’s more than 11 million more than the previous year.

A reminder that gun deer season runs from Nov. 20-28.

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