A shortage of ammunition could be a problem for some hunters as deer season gets underway in Vermont. “I wouldn’t say things are dire yet, but we are seeing shortages in a lot of key areas,” said R&L Archery manager Jon Sanborn. He said ammunition for home defense are among the harder items to find right now, but certain popular hunting rounds are also scarce. Sanborn said the shortage doesn’t just affect guns and ammunition. “We have seen an absolute huge spike in bow hunters this year,” Sanborn said. He said R&L has sold about double the normal number of crossbows. He said it was even hard to get arrows at one point. “We actually ran out [of arrows] for a little while. We finally managed to get them back in, but again, it took almost a month to get an order in that should have come in within five days,” said Sanborn. Like so many products these days, he said, COVID-19 has affected manufacturing and distribution for shooting and archery. The reduced supply may leave hunters struggling to find what they need this season, so his advice to hunters is to be flexible. “There are a lot of other calibers that maybe we have ammo for that we can recommend to somebody that’s perfectly functional, just not what grandpa always had,” Sanborn said. The supply shortage is made worse by higher demand. Sanborn said some people are stocking up for home defense amid fears of increasing turmoil, others are making a run on ammunition as soon as they hear of a shortage. Still, he said another factor is that Vermont is seeing more people apply for hunting licenses.
Vermont’s Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife, Louis Porter, said it’s a marked difference from recent years. “This is going to be one of the biggest years in recent years anyway, if not in the last decade,” said Porter. He said there’s a 20% spike in the number of hunting licenses just through June, representing about 7,000 or 8,000 more licenses than last season. [full article]