LAVON, Texas — The ammo shortage remains another casualty of the pandemic, forcing Texas hunters to ration with deer hunting season underway. 

For Lavon, Texas, resident Mike Powell, his annual deer hunting trips with his grandkids in East Texas mean the world to him. 

“They love it. They love getting with each other, and it’s kind of a bond,” Powell said. 

Mike Powell and his grandkids spent two days in East Texas, hunting wild hogs and deer. (Spectrum News 1/Michael Lozano)

The North Texas family has had to approach the last few years differently due to the nationwide ammo shortage. 

“It affects just going out and plinking, you know, target shooting and getting some experience with a gun,” Powell said, adding that his grandkids have had fewer opportunities to sharpen their shooting skills. 

Mike Powell is shown unloading his guns for his deer hunting trip in East Texas. (Spectrum News 1/Michael Lozano)

Gun shop owners say like most commodities, the pandemic created an issue with the supply chain for ammo. The problem has only worsened, with an estimated 3.2 million people buying firearms for the first time during the first half of 2021, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation

Powell says he’s been able to stock up on ammo, but it isn’t cheap when he needs to purchase more. He says ammo boxes used to be $15 to $16, “and now it’s like $44, and, you know, each bullet you’re like over two dollars a bullet.” 

Mike Powell says he’s stocked up on ammo but still chooses to be mindful how much he uses for target practice or hunting. (Spectrum News 1/Michael Lozano)

When the North Texas local isn’t hunting or preaching at his church, he’s busy with his taxidermy business, being a finger to the pulse of the hunting world. 

“I know a lot of people will go buy shells just because the shells are there out of fear,” Powell said. 

Powell hopes the end of the shortage is in sight, but until then, he and his grandkids are hoping to enjoy a successful deer hunting season.