With summer in full swing, many sporting goods stores throughout Montana are running on slim inventory.

If you've been into a sporting goods store in Bozeman lately, you may not have been able to find what you're looking for. Retailers are having a difficult time stocking high demand items. Not only are major sporting goods retailers taking a hit, smaller businesses are struggling as well.

Richard Wayne Jay, owner of Rich's Tackle in Three Forks, Montana, says that times are tough. For him, it has been difficult to stock items in his small store during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jay makes custom fishing lures, and fishing line is a big part of that. He has had to cut back on production due to not being able to find bulk fishing line, and other items he uses to create his lures.

If you walk into Sportman's Warehouse in Bozeman, many of the shelves are completely bare. Many retailers are struggling due to increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families are spending more time outdoors social distancing, and that puts a lot of stress on businesses that sell items geared towards outdoor recreation. Many retailers are experiencing a short supply of hooks and sinkers, and entry level rod and reel combos.

Production of many items has been greatly reduced during the pandemic, making many items difficult or even impossible to find. If you've been trying to find a raft to float the river this summer, you know that the struggle is real.

Despite inventory shortages, many retailers are having one of their best-selling years in a long time.

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