“If there’s a wounded bear, there’s a risk for humans if it comes near inhabited areas,” said Josefin Olsson, conservation officer at Norrbotten’s County Administrative Board, to national radio station SR.
Björn Sundgren, from the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Jägareförbundet), is dismayed at the large number of failed shots fired this year.
He believes a possible explanation lies in the record-sized population of 3,300 bears, which has led to more inexperienced hunters coming eye to eye with Sweden’s largest predator.
“There are so many bears now that sooner or later you’re going to stumble across one in a hunting situation. And if you don’t have experience shooting bear but do it anyway, it might go wrong,” he said to SR.
Sundgren pointed out that it is very difficult bringing down a bear.
“It’s definitely better to hold off. The hit area isn’t large, it’s the size of a couple of hands,” he said.
Thus far, 224 of the allotted quota of 295 bears have been shot and killed. In total, Sweden has a bear population of roughly 3,300 bears.