You don't have to overpay if you're willing to do a little bit of scouting. Multiple online retailers and forums like GON and ODT are all starting to come back down to more reasonable prices. I doubt we'll ever see $.13/rd again, but I've just bought two cases of 12 and 20 and paid around $.30/rd. More than I am used to, but far less than this time before last season!
Academy in Cumming just had Monarch on sale for $7.99 with a limit of 10 boxes last weekend. Bass Pro in Lawrenceville was selling Herters for $8.49, and had about 400 in stock. Able's Ammo online had a case of Winchester Super X for $74.99. I spend about 10 minutes a morning looking through a few sites, and if I see a good deal on something I need, I'll grab it. Otherwise, I move on and let someone else get a good deal.
I get a lot of my .410 shells from Ables. They are usually very good on pricing. I'm glad I have put back cases over the last few years. I have feeling shells may be very hard to find come the week before season.
Check Walmart every time you ride by one and have a few minutes to spare . I’ve been lucky at mine and able to stock up on all calibers I needed . Only place I’ve seen normal prices also . I bought me and my dad enough dove loads to last a couple seasons just in case . You just got to get there early and during the week
OooWeee...dove shooting is gonna be expensive this year. Stopped today and yesterday at 9 places that are usually starting to stack dove loads for sale by now. Not one of them had flats - 12 or 20 ga. I looked on ammoseek.com for 20ga #8s or #7.5s. What was available ranged from $109 - $150 per flat. Hopefully as the opener nears, supplies will get better and so will prices...
I've been looking at the normal places I order from and it is slim, slim pickings. What you can find is about 75% higher than normal.
Unless something changes, there are going to be a lot of dove hunters that can't get shells. Especially since the majority wait until the week before to find them. I'm mighty happy I've been putting cases back over the last few years.