Jacob Schoeck

Setting sights on spring season - Jacob Schoeck, of the Isle School Trap Team, pictured during practice last week.

Across the country, gun ammunition supply is not meeting demand, according to multiple media outlets and local gun enthusiast, Dannille Schik. This ammo shortage has hit home and canceled the Onamia School trap shooting team season due to lack of ammunition availability for students.

“Ammo is definitely hard to get,” said Boone’s Fine Guns Manager Dannille Schik. She added that the ammunition makers, Federal and Hornady, are almost two years behind. Schik said she believes most of the shortage comes from the nine million new gun owners along with the availability of online ordering.

Onamia Trap Shooting Coach Austin Hackett said that he is not finding ammo anywhere. “Since I started coaching the team, we have not had more than about 15 participants which never required pre-ordering bulk ammo for the team,” said Hackett.

Hackett said, with reduced participants this year at about five or six, he would need about 12 cases of ammo, and no stores have had any on their shelves for months. He said he had contacted Federal Premium Ammunition, a major sporting ammunition company out of Anoka, and they were not able to help, even with increased hours of production.

Schik said that Remington has opened their ammo production plant to run 24/7. She is hopeful it will help put more ammunition on the shelves soon.

The Isle School trap shooting team has been able to hold their spring season entirely due to the efforts of the Isle Sportsman’s Club, according to Isle Trap Coach and Agricultural Teacher Stephanie Paulsen.

“The club has provided ammo and clays for events and will have just enough to get us through this season,” said Paulsen. “The sportsman’s club will not be running their own trap league this summer due to that. Shells are incredibly hard to come by, and generally when you do find them, they’re going to be much more expensive than they have ever been.”

She said that this year, 27 students will participate in trap shooting. “The club charges students a very small fee to go towards the use of ammo, which they have not increased even with the ammo shortage/price spike, and had the ammo we currently use on hand,” she said.

Each student will go through 13 boxes for the regular season this year at 25 shells per box. “If all the students make it to every shoot, every week, we’ll go through 8,775 shells for the regular season,” noted Paulsen. This would not include the state qualifier shoot which would require 100 targets per person, or state competitions in June, she added.

A CNN March, 2021 article reported that gun sales in the United States reached a record level last year with the largest increases in background checks, a 65% increase from 2019, for firearm permits. The article reports that industry data, along with the permit background checks, show nearly 23 million guns were purchased compared to the estimated 13.9 million guns purchased in 2019.

The article cited unrest following the death of George Floyd and the pandemic as the reason companies have struggled to keep pace with the surging demands for popular home defense and permit to carry calibers. Coupled with lockdowns and temporary closures of factories, manufacturers have been forced to run at a lower capacity despite ballooning sales, the article goes on to say.

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