Ammo shortage ahead of Wisconsin’s gun deer season

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 3:07 PM CST
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DENMARK, Wis. (WBAY) - Just days ahead of the 2020 gun deer season in Wisconsin, there’s an ammo shortage. No matter where hunters go, rifle ammunition is hard to find, and in many cases, the shelves are empty.

In 35 years of selling guns and ammunition, Arlyn Bradley can recall a few times when there’s been a rush on ammo. But like so many other things in 2020, this year is different.

“Not like this, there were shortages before but it was always just a few, the real popular like the 9mm, .380, ‚223, but it’s everything right now, I mean everything, it’s unbelievable,” says Bradley, owner of Bradley Gun Sales in Denmark.

Whether it’s smaller gun shops like Bradley’s, or big outdoor retailers in Northeast Wisconsin, supply and demand is far from balanced.

“If we would have ammo for everybody that called, it’d have to be coming in by the semi load, it’s unbelievable, every day the phone just ring, ring, ring steady,” says Bradley.

“Very little rifle ammunition, everything is just sold out, you go on and you’re not finding a whole lot,” adds hunter Tim Vandenbush from Denmark.

So what’s triggered the shortage?

According to Bradley, and many national reports, it boils down to two main reasons, starting with the pandemic.

“They were talking about a lockdown for the whole country, February-March, right in there whenever that was, we just got cleared right out then and we’ve never caught back up,” says Bradley.

The other reason is politics and the recent election.

“Probably one of the biggest things, you know, it’s not exactly a pro-gun bunch that are coming in there, that we know,” says Bradley.

“Think there’s a lot of people that are worried about guns and ammo due to the whole political situation and they just wanted to make sure they had their stock and they were set,” says Vandenbush.

Another factor Bradley points out is that Remington, one of the four primary ammunition manufacturers is this country, recently went out business.

While Bradley expects greater supplies in 2021, the current shortage has likely left some hunters counting their number of rounds ahead of gun deer season which opens Saturday.

“Pretty bad when you take your son or daughter to the shooting range and say well, you can take one shot,” says Bradley.

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