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Ongoing Ammo shortage puts strain on businesses, hunters

Superior Shooting Supply store with empty ammo shelves
Superior Shooting Supply store with empty ammo shelves(KBJR 6)
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 11:18 AM CDT
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SUPERIOR, WI. (KBJR) - Half-empty shelves greet customers at Superior Shooting Supplies, as the nation continues navigating through an ammunition shortage.

Superior Shooting Supply with empty ammo shelves
Superior Shooting Supply with empty ammo shelves(KBJR 6)

Owner Pat Kukulla said the two-year shortage has been upsetting to everyone.

“In all the years we’ve been here we’ve never seen anything so bad as this,” Kukulla said.

Kukulla said customers have called every day to check ammo supply availability, upset with the shortage.

“There’s still that surprise when people come in to get their usual 243, 308 hunting ammo and that extends also to shot gun ammo, and it’s not there. And they’re surprised and they’re unhappy and I get that but it’s not going to improve anytime soon,” Kukulla said.

Superior shooting supply empty ammo shelves
Superior shooting supply empty ammo shelves(KBJR 6)

The pandemic shut down production facilities for a time, but the political unrest later in 2020 also sent gun and ammo sales soaring.

Now supply chain issues are taking their toll on regular customers like Don Otwell.

Otwell said the shortage is bad news for hunters who didn’t prepare ahead of time.

“Fortunately, I have enough ammo for hunting season but I feel sorry for all of the hunters who are looking for ammunition now that didn’t think ahead,” Otwell said.

The severity of the shortages has driven many customers to either order online or visit multiple stores just to get ammo.

Otwell drives an hour and a half from Hinckley regularly and said it’s been tough to find what he needs.

“There’s no ammunition anywhere. And uh it seems like Pat or Superior Shooting Supply can get ammo more frequently than other stores around,” Otwell said.

Kukull said she doesn’t see an end in sight anytime soon. “It’ll stay in their minds, I think we’ll be looking at people buying whatever they can buy.”

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