• Sweden edition

Swedish women turn to moose hunting

Published: 30 Aug 2006 10:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Aug 2006 10:53 GMT+02:00

Hunting is a hugely popular national pastime in Sweden, in particular the moose hunt, and is as much a part of life for the country's working class as it is for the rich.

Some 300,000 moose, or elk as they're known in Europe, roam Sweden's woods during the summer months, and about a third of those are killed off each autumn during the hunt.

"Society has changed over the years. Now people can pursue their interests, regardless of gender and there's nothing stopping them. Women have always been a part of the hunt but in a different way," Anja Kjellsson, a game manager in the northern county of Västerbotten and who runs a network for women hunters, told AFP.

In the past, women took care of the hunting dogs and the animal meat from the hunt, and minded the children while the men were out in the forests.

"The hunt has always been a little traditional, but now it's really caught on among women," she says, noting that the change started in earnest in the 1980s.

"Now they shoot the animals themselves," Kjellsson says.

According to the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management, the share of women passing the hunting exam has risen from 18 percent in 1995 to 25 percent this year.

Some 14,200 women in Sweden have now paid the annual hunting conservation fee required to hunt - including Sweden's glamourous, 24-year-old blonde-haired blue-eyed Princess Madeleine (who shot a roe deer last year) as well as Communications Minister Ulrica Messing.

Special networks for women hunters have in recent years been set up nationwide.

"Women need help initially to get started, without the pressure of men looking on. Men often have an advantage because they learn to shoot a weapon during their military service," says Ewa Klingspor, a 61-year-old sculptor who runs a network for women hunters in Stockholm.

Some women prefer to hunt in all-female groups while others enjoy a mixed group.

The highlight of the hunting year is the moose hunt, which this year opens on September 4 in the northern parts of the country and October 9 everywhere else.

A large hulking beast, the moose is dark brown with massive shoulders, shovel-shaped rounded antlers, and a long muzzle and short goatee. It can easily weigh up to 500 kilos (1,000 pounds), yet it roams the forest on awkwardly long, spindly legs.

In addition to moose, Swedes hunt bear, deer, boar, as well as small game such as hare, pheasant and grouse.

The sport is considered a popular social outing and an opportunity to breathe in the fresh clean air in Sweden's pristine outdoors - another of Swedes' favourite pastimes.

"It's fantastic to be out in the woods before dawn and see nature wake up. Suddenly a fox or a deer turns up in front of you, it's fascinating," says Klingspor, who has taken part in hunts since she was a little girl tagging along with her father.

The hunt "is primarily about the outdoors, but also the excitement and the knowledge that is required to become a good hunter," she adds.

The meat is consumed by the hunters, with 20 percent of households nationwide and up to 90 percent in the north consuming meat from game.

Weapon manufacturers have caught on to women's swelling interest in the sport and now make rifles adapted for women. So-called 'lady guns' are lighter, with shorter barrels and butts.

Men have also gradually come to accept women as equals on the hunt.

"Some men gave me funny looks in the beginning. They didn't really know how to deal with it," says Jaana Arvidsson, 42, who passed her hunting exam six years ago and who works for the Board of Fisheries when she's not out hunting.

"But once they see you shoot, it changes. They're often very helpful, they want to share tips and stuff," she says.

Pia Ohlin

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »


25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

How immigration became a key election issue
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
People-watching August 27
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
People-watching August 22-24
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: