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Ammunition shortage affecting pheasant season opener

It’s the busiest day of the year for sporting goods stores in South Dakota, and many of those...
It’s the busiest day of the year for sporting goods stores in South Dakota, and many of those stores are having to deal with a shotgun shell shortage on top of it.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It’s the busiest day of the year for sporting goods stores in South Dakota, the day before the pheasant season opener. Many of those stores are having to deal with a shotgun shell shortage on top of it.

The shortage of ammunition isn’t anything new. But the demand for shotgun shells is now affecting stores around the state, as they prepares for their busiest days of the season. That’s the situation that SoDak Sports Co-Owner AJ Hoffman finds his stores in.

“Ammo’s been short for the last 16 months, supply and demand. We’ve been very fortunate for what we’ve tracked down all summer. We get ammo every week, we’re maybe not getting what we want.” said Hoffman.

Those hunters visiting South Dakota know that finding shells will be a challenge. But they’re ready to do what they can to make sure they have enough for opening weekend.

“I know back home, even in Ohio, there has been some shortage of ammunition. So we are leaving the airport and going directly to go buy some ammunition, because we want to make sure we’re ready for the hunt this week.” said Chris Woodworth, visiting from Ohio.

“We are fortunate that we’ve had a little bit of help from our friends and family here. But as far as ammunition, it’s been absolutely hard to find everything from shotgun ammo to handgun.” said Julie Mann, visiting from Michigan.

Hoffman said SoDak Sports is doing what they can to make sure everyone has a chance to get shells before they head out pheasant hunting. He said he’s confident that even though they will still be scarce, people will be able to find at least something to get them going this season.

“We have a two box limit, unfortunately, on shells for the first time in the 19 years of me being here. And people are pretty good with it. I think everyone’s going to get through it. They’re coming from places with no ammo. So at least they’re happy to see some ammo here.” said Hoffman.

Hoffman said it could be at least a couple of years before their inventory returns to a normal size, after talking to manufacturers. Until then, he hopes to maintain at least availability for anyone looking to buy shells.

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