Louisiana hunters struggle to find ammo due to supply chain issues

Gun retailers don’t know when they’ll have enough to stock the shelves.
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 4:34 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:16 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Outdoor stores across Southeast Louisiana blame supply chain and shipping issues for the ammunition shortage.

At Paulie’s Pistols in Slidell, the hunt is on, but not for wild game.

“They’ve bought it all,” said owner Paul Scali. “All the American citizens have been stockpiling it. So there’s nothing left.”

Scali said ammunition of all kinds, but especially steel shots, are hard to come by. His phones are ringing off the hook with customers calling and asking for shells for their big hunting trips.

“A lot of stuff is stuck in port in Los Angeles on ships,” said Scali, and he doesn’t know when the next shipments will arrive to his store.

Having the right ammo is important. There’s a federal and statewide mandate on the use of non-toxic ammunition for waterfowl that comes with stiff penalties.

“If you’re caught hunting with lead ammunition, if you are waterfowl hunting and caught not only hunting with lead ammunition but if you have it in your possession there are consequences to that,” said Mitch Samaha, southern regional biologist manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

He said when it comes to deer hunting, there are some states that require hunters use non-toxic shots, but Louisiana is not one of them.

When it comes to finding the right ammo, Samaha said it’s the perfect storm -- throw in a global supply shortage and shipping crisis, and it makes finding it that much harder.

Kenneth Samson, an avid deer hunter, said it took trips to several outfitters to find ammunition.

“You can find some ammo, but a lot of the most popular ones... is what I haven’t been able to find,” he said.

Samson said preparing for his hunting trips is now a year-round task.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” he said. “Seems like anywhere you can find it, if you’re not the first one there, if there’s not a limit on what they can buy, then one person will buy up all of it and not leave any for the rest of us.”

Back at Paulie’s Pistols, the shelves are starting to look bare.

“That’s it,” said Scali. “And then when that’s gone, that’s it.”

Gun and ammunition retailers say many hunters have resorted to using other methods for hunting due to the ammo shortage -- such as using rifles or bow and arrow.

To find information on waterfowl hunting, click here.

To find information on deer hunting, click here.

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