At this time (Spring of 21), guns should be cheap as dirt, all ammunition from .22 to 8 gauge has been unobtainium for 4 months plus.
If you do not have a stock of ammunition, save your money and buy baseball bats...they will be equally effective.
Currently, the most effective "at range" weapons are the reverse draw crossbows:
Broadhead arrows have the added benefit of cutting easily through Kevlar, impact plates will stop them cold.
In practical effectiveness if you are looking to discourage predators light draw weight (40-60 lbs) recurves and field points will fill the pot and do little damage to pelts, broadheads are expensive and damage easily, but ensure more humane kills. There are poly broadheads that are less expensive.
Air rifles are available up to .45 caliber, but velocities are low. Terminal performance is dependent on shot placement.
Air powered arrows are available but are illegal to hunt with in most states.
Pump up air rifles in .22 caliber can offer equivalent performance (without quick follow-up shots!) to powder actuated .22's for varmint and rodent control.
Black powder weapons are currently only slightly less impacted, black powder itself has dried up, pyrodex and 777 are marginally available, to minimize market manipulation, true flintlocks are your best bet, as caps are just as manipulable as any other source of ignition.