BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – Before hunters head out this weekend for the deer gun opener, they’re stocking up on supplies at local stores.
Although the shelves are full at Bismarck Runnings, they have struggled to keep ammunition stocked even though there are fewer customers buying bullets this year.
“It’s much slower. The number of deer tags issued is there. The loss of animals over the past two years due to drought and chronic wasting disease in this area is slower. Still, it hasn’t changed everyone’s general attitude,” said Kevin Lockard, manager of Runnings Bismarck.
Shortages are also making it difficult for the owner of Mandan Sporting Goods. Brandon Charvat works hard to keep certain ammo types in stock.
“For a few years now the supply chain has been a pretty tough issue, you know, ammo and caliber, you have to shoot. It probably won’t be the same or pull from previous years, you know, the same box that you’ll probably have to change,” Charvat said.
He says that while it’s been a tough year, it’s similar to the shortages he faced last season.
“I’ve become so picky now about product availability that you might have a gun that you’ve used in previous years that you won’t find ammunition for,” Charvat said.
Despite a slower retail season, both companies have plenty of customers ready to come out and hunt, like former Bismarck mayor Steve Bakken.
“I didn’t get a deer tag this year, but quite a few deer in the area I hunt. So I’m super excited to come out,” Bakken said.
This year, Game and Fish released 8,000 fewer tags than last year.
The opening of the deer gun will officially begin on November 4.
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