HUMBOLDT, S.D. (KELO) — Residents-only pheasant season starts in South Dakota Saturday with hunters still facing the lingering effects of a shortage of ammunition. The shortage is related to supply-chain problems going back to the start of the pandemic.

They aren’t pheasants flying in the air, but these clay pigeons offer a timely warmup to the start of hunting season to visitors to Hunters Pointe Shooting Complex.

“It gets you a little practice. You get used to your gun again and shoot a little bit,” Mason Bunker of Arlington, S.D. said.

Arlington hunter Mason Bunker is glad he loaded up on ammo well ahead of time.

“I was lucky and I stocked up pretty good before it got too bad, threw in some cases of shells, it hasn’t been too bad for me, but definitely some of my friends have noticed it,” Bunker said.

Beginning last year, Hunters Pointe started selling ammo to be used on-site only due to the shortage.

“We don’t have any off-sale. The guys come to Hunters Pointe to shoot, we’ve got enough to supply them, but we don’t have enough to let any go out the gate,” Hunters Pointe Shooting Complex owner Chris Chamness said.

Shooting clubs across South Dakota have formed an informal network among themselves where those who have ammo to spare share with those who don’t have enough.

“Our 12-gauge stuff has been fine, but 20-gauge, and sub-gauge, the smaller guns have been hard to come, so one friend will have this and the other friend needs this and we’ve just been trading back and forth to make sure that we take care of each other,” Chamness said.

Hunters helping their fellow hunters, taking a far-sighted approach to the upcoming pheasant season.

Chamness says shells cost $30 more per case than last year. He says the price increase is comparable to what we’re paying for food or gasoline.