OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s almost time to head into the woods and try to get that big buck. Deer hunting season begins on Saturday in Wisconsin.

Will it be easier for hunters to find ammunition this year compared to last year?

“This year we’ve seen ammo start to come back, we have far more options on the shelves than we did the last two years,” said Chief Operating Officer for Fireline Shooting and Training Center in Appleton Brandon Powers.

Powers said there hasn’t been the last-minute rush of people coming to stock up on ammunition in the days immediately before the season starts.

He said he believes hunters learned from last year when ammo supplies were very short.

“When they’re seeing things on the shelves the frustration of the last couple years of things not being there they’re picking it up and snagging it and having it in reserve ready to go,” said Powers.

He also said ammunition for popular types of guns is easier to get right now than more specialty types. This is because manufacturers prioritized the most used guns during the pandemic when demand was lower and they were producing fewer products at the expense of the more specialty brands.

Over at Jon’s Sports Shop in Oshkosh, their phones are ringing off the hooks and they are seeing the rush of hunters buying their last-minute supplies.

Owner Jon Gafner said the ammo supply is better than last year, but that it still isn’t great. He said they are doing as much as they can to keep their shelves stocked.

If hunters do go out to buy ammo, they can expect to pay more. Both store owners say that inflation is impacting prices and estimate that prices are up about 20 percent compared to last year.

Despite inflation, ammunition is something that gun shop owners say hunters will still buy.

“Is it better for me to apologize and say I have it but it’s two or three dollars per box higher than say it’s too expensive we don’t have it,” said Gafner. “The guy will buy a couple extra bucks to know that he has it.”

Both gun shop owners Local Five News spoke to advise hunters to shop around for ammo, and to not be too picky when it comes to the certain type or weight of a bullet.