GERMANTOWN, Wis. — A lot of shelves at local gun shops are looking bare nowadays with very little ammo available for hunters looking to stock up for the season.
"I have a gun, but I have no ammunition for it right now," said Wisconsin hunter Donavon Myszka.
Myszka has been hunting in Wisconsin since he was 12 years old. Normally, he'd be ready to go for deer gun season which starts November 20th. But this year, he's having a difficult time hunting down the ammo he needs.
"I'm looking for the 6.5 Creedmoor caliber. I actually just bought the gun about two weeks ago. I've probably been to about eight to ten stores in the last couple of weeks," said Myszka.
Myszka's search for hunting ammunition ultimately led him to Ron's Gun Shop in Germantown. But unfortunately, like many other sporting goods and gun stores in Southeast Wisconsin, that kind of ammo hasn't been in stock for a while.
"The unfortunate part is that there just has been almost no availability for almost all calibers. Any that we get is in very small quantities, and once people find out about it, it's gone very quickly," said Paul Lippold, the owner of Ron's Gun Shop.
Lippold says a number of things, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 presidential election, and manufacturing delays, have contributed to hunting ammunition being in short supply.
"Pretty much the push has been all on the popular handgun calibers. So, I think the manufacturers have been pretty much just trying to keep up with the 9 mm and the 5.56 ammo," said Lippold.
And he says it could take years before hunting ammo is steadily available again.
"Once you hit that level of depletion, it takes a really long time to basically fill that well back up with ammo supplies, "said Lippold.
Lippold adds that without ammo, his business along with other stores that service firearms, will continue to feel the financial impacts of the shortage.