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Hunting elk is 'in the DNA' of Swedish hunters

The Local/AFP · 26 Sep 2011, 11:33

Published: 26 Sep 2011 11:33 GMT+02:00

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A dozen hunters huddle together at dawn in a thick evergreen forest deep in Sweden's northeast, getting their orders as they anxiously await the day's first kill.

"Today we can shoot elk and bears," guide Emil Toivonen informs the group he will lead for the day.

It's 6am, the sun has yet to rise, and wisps of fog float in the brisk air.

The hunters -- fortified by the previous night's feast of smoked elk killed in last year's hunt, and washed down with moonshine -- are raring to go, clad in head-to-toe camouflage, outfitted with fluorescent orange safety stickers.

By 7am, they will be set up in their pre-established positions that they pulled out of Toivonen's hat. At age 26, the guide makes his living organising hunts like this one.

In Sweden, hunting is a national pastime enjoyed by around 300,000 people, mostly men but some women too. Two-thirds of hunters are affiliated with the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Jägareförbundet).

A variety of animals are hunted in Sweden, including wolves which has sparked controversy both in Sweden and abroad.

But today's group is primarily out to hunt elk because of its reputation as "the king of the Swedish forest".

"It's written in the DNA of Swedish hunters," says Örjan, 56.

Yet with the local quota not yet filled for brown bears, they can also be shot ... if the hunters are lucky enough to set their eyes on one.

Waiting patiently in the middle of the forest for a hulking elk to amble by, one can't help but recall the photos of a recent hunting expedition that were passed around the supper table the previous night.

A 280-kilo bear hanging by one leg. The same bear skinned of its thick, luxurious fur.

A large basin full of innards, in the middle of which lies ... a blue sock.

Nobody wants to think about how it may have gotten there.

For now, the long wait is on, silent and still. On the screen of his smartphone, Örjan follows the dogs' trail thanks to the GPS collars they are wearing.

"You can even phone them and hear if they're barking," he whispers, a sign they're on the scent of an elk.

"You can even see how fast they're advancing and how many times they've barked," he adds.

Suddenly, Oerjan looks up: in his earpiece a hunter tells him one of the dogs is on the trail of a elk nearby.

"We have to be ready," he says quietly, clutching his Winchester .338 Magnum.

Two shots ring out through the air. It's Markko, the shooter in the neighbouring position hidden behind a knoll.

From a distance of 75 metres, he puts two bullets behind the elk's shoulder, in its lungs, after one of the dogs chased it to within shooting distance.

"After the first bullet, the elk stood still and hunched over. After the second one, it staggered a bit and then collapsed," he says, his voice void of emotion after killing the 19th elk of his hunting career.

"The shots were perfect," praises Robert, nicknamed "The Norwegian" because he hails from Oslo.

The lungs, and the region just below, the heart, are the bullseye zone, but "aiming for the heart is dangerous because if you hit too low you just wound the animal," explains The Norwegian.

With precise, determined and experienced hands, he begins gutting the beast which weighs in at around 450 kilos, 2.50 metres long and 1.80 metres (six feet) tall.

Story continues below…

He makes a 30-centimetre incision down the neck. He pulls the skin away and slashes the throat to grab hold of the oesophagus, which he clips and ties in a knot.

"It's to avoid the stomach coming out," he says, pushing the entire length of his arm into the gaping wound.

Then, standing over the body, he guts the animal in one swift move. With a gurgling sound, the innards seem to rise up and spill out of the stomach.

"Since the stomach wasn't opened, neither by the bullets nor the knife, there's no smell," explains Robert.


He doesn't need to finish the sentence.

At the end of the day, the hunters will return to the spot to pick up the elk on a special wagon. They'll cut it up and divide it amongst them.

And one evening next year, they'll dine on the meat with friends before waking up before dawn to go hunting again.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:09 September 26, 2011 by Borilla
Perfect. A bunch of drunks wandering the forest shooting things. Very brave.
12:42 September 26, 2011 by Tysknaden
This happens if you are trying to conserve your DNA in alcohol.
12:56 September 26, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
here we go again, another season of mass killing with guns.

so brave. u hunters should b so proud, sitting and waiting in a tree for a defenseless and stupid animal (a mother, father or baby) to walk in front of your gun.
14:33 September 26, 2011 by jacquelinee
OBS! This is a repost from an older thread, but I feel it applies. If you have read it before, please be indulgent.

There are those who hunt because they need to provide food for themselves or their families. Even in this day and age there are people who have a scant income and the availability of legal fishing and hunting provide a welcome way to offset the cost of feeding a family. It is up to those individuals to hunt with conscience.

To kill endangered species, genetic rarities. animals with young etc. shows no conscience. Also, it is on their conscience to kill the animal humanely, to cause the least amount of stress and suffering to the animal. The same principal as this should apply to domesticated animals.

Humans, as a species are a predatory. As with all predators, we have our eyes in the front of our heads in order to focus fully on hunting.. Predators are flesh eaters. Species that are prey (herbivore) have their eyes on the sides of their heads, so they have far better peripheral vision to watch for predators. We are meat eaters by nature.

I think many of us on here do not have a problem with hunting from this aspect. Not all probably. But a good many. The problem arises when one does not hunt for food but for the love of killing, to elevate oneself in some way by having a head mounted on their wall to brag about.

The North American Indian people were arguably some of the best hunters in recorded history. They followed the buffalo and hunted as a means of livelihood. But they hunted with a deep respect for the buffalo, and offered prayers and a eulogy of the greatness of each animal as it fell. They hunted with dignity.They hunted with a reverence. This is what is missing so much today. This is what I have a problem with when it comes to hunting. I can only speak for myself of course, but hunting just to kill, hunting with no conscience, with no thought or reverence for the life you are taking, just to show off to your drunken buddies makes me sick. It does not take much intelligence to pull a trigger really and if you have enough bullets and keep whirling that gun around and pulling the trigger, eventually you will shoot something (or someone as many drunken hunting stories have ended) This type of hunter feels it is an accomplishment to fell an animal like this that should have been preserved.
15:45 September 26, 2011 by jimmyjamjoojar
I see it in the woods around my home every year, local hunters drunk and driving around the roads, Danish people who just come to their second homes a few weeks a year to slaughter the animals and then leave. Why is there not a proper discussion around hunting.......... well it is a vote loser. Like so many things no one wants to upset the status quo but for this to be acceptable is sad. I think hunting to control deer numbers by individuals who live in and have a bond with the landscape is fine but does not appear to be the norm. Hunting woives and bears is not justifiable in any case and the joy these people show when they have killed an animal is just disgusting. Are they going to eat a wolf?
17:58 September 26, 2011 by skogsbo
I see the city slickers and the townies who don't even live in Sweden are online.
19:04 September 26, 2011 by calebian22

LOL, indeed.
21:14 September 26, 2011 by philster61
This is what happens when you mix your DNA with your sister...
22:22 September 26, 2011 by Dukratus
@ Skogsbo Don't tell me you're a member of some hidden tribe who lives in a part of Sweden unknown to the rest of the common mortals where one still has to hunt to survive and to feed its family, if that is the case then you're totally right if not why make a comment at all ?
22:27 September 26, 2011 by superturbo
Good thing there are hunter and butchers doing all the messy work so that ordinary people can by nicely packed meat at the local supermarket and then complain about how wrong it is to hunt animals :P
23:05 September 26, 2011 by ooh456
I never understand why people would spend their free time hunting. They are sick mothers.
23:07 September 26, 2011 by shiraz
This is wrong! this is primitive and this is unlike the Sweden we read about and hear about. You are supposed to be a modern socialist democracy ! not a primitive medieval middle eastern potentate. Besides just think what would Jesus say to people who go around killing harmless and innocent herbivores? Don't do it! make love ! don't kill innocent animals!
23:13 September 26, 2011 by Redbee
The article on hunting brought tears to my eyes because in the west there is no need to eat meat . I have been a vegetarian for forty years and have good health plus the fact i am a keen vet racing cyclist at the age of seventy two which is more than can be said of many unhealthy meat eaters .
23:14 September 26, 2011 by reason
Gene therapy?
23:44 September 26, 2011 by notasaint
Is there anyone who thought that chasing is not just for hunters to put food on the table or their bloodlust. It is also known as the care of nature. To prevent the forest from being eaten up and destroyed by too many mooses, and prevent accidents involving wild animals on our roads. = Less spilled human lifes. This is just the reason why every part of Sweden get a number of elks that the hunters are allowed to put down. And no I am not a hunter! But i understand how a modern nature needs to be kept intact when some breeds like wolfs doesn´t exist in such numbers to kept it in natural way.
00:16 September 27, 2011 by jack sprat
@notasainta you hava nota a clue about......

A bunch of total eejits who haven't even the faintest idea what real hunting is all about, as against a series of badly organised executions.

Though no doubt a few elk antlers on their walls will help make up for their deficiencies in the trouser dept.
01:19 September 27, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ jack sprat #16

hahahahahaha. I thought is was just we women who knew the connection between giúys who have big shiny new sports cars, big muscle dogs, big expensive toys, big guns and little, well....appendages. Like the song says "Some men act so big..... to make up for smaller things." Hats off to you!
01:59 September 27, 2011 by JoeE
I have to laugh at all the anti-hunters here. If you want to live in some urban setting relying on your petrolium based vegetarian lives go right ahead. But for some of us, we care enough about the land and it's animals to want to be a part of that system. And by killing and eating from it, we join it's sacredness. To have a land base where elk meat is actually a sustainable harvest, that is a true blessing. In a country like Sweden, meat and dairy is the key word to sustainability and local food economies. THIS is what is in every Swedes DNA for sure. Anyone who says otherwise is uneducated or apparently from the tropics.
02:43 September 27, 2011 by mibrooks27
Actually, almost all of the anti-hunting twits, here, are American's. Most of these dweebs don't have any idea of Swedish culture except that they think it is "liberal" in the American limp membered bed wetting sort of way.
05:36 September 27, 2011 by volvoman9
'Again I'm posting this comment as it is hunting season in the civilized world. Everywhere else hunting season is year round. Makes one think eh?More of the mindless dribble meant to justify violence. I live in a place where hunting is a primary industry. I'm all too familiar with the type of individual that makes this absurd argument.

Culling the herd wouldn't be necessary if we had not killed off most of the natural predators. It's as if these folks wish to be thought of as 'stewards' of the environment. Do these 'stewards' cull the old,weak or naturally injured? Nah. One might get sick from eating the diseased ones and who wants to brag to their like minded moronic buddies about killing an invalid or God forbid hanging the freak in the trophy room.

My personal favorite is the use of the term 'sport ' to describe this activity. I believe the term sport describes a contest between two individuals on a somewhat level playing ground.

Now let's see. Man has an arguably superior intellect, a weapon with which to blow a hole the size of a football in you at a range at which you probably won't see him and certainly won't be a threat to him.

The animal has in his arsenal the cunning which comes from having to survive in this hostile environment, some natural camo, and speed. Oh ya! Best of all. One individual doesn't know they are engaged in this contest! Ya that's my idea of sport.

But you of course know that all wild animals are vicious creatures bent on killing your offspring. When was the last child killed by one of these monsters? Must not make the news much. Although I'll grant you the bears around here bag their quota of 'hunters' every year. Animals usually become violent when threatened unlike the human animal that merely does it in the name of entertainment and gluttony.

Speaking of gluttony... The preponderance of modern science indicates that a meat diet is neither healthy or necessary for the human animal and in fact poses severe health risks. (I'm not a vegan nor am I a tree hugger.) Not my opinion but fact.

Just once I would like to hear a 'hunter' tell the truth about the reason for this archaic activity.... That they just like to kill stuff. It's that simple. Oh the cool camo clothes and uber cool guns and knives are a huge factor but really it comes down to the killing. I can respect honesty even if I don't agree with it.
07:47 September 27, 2011 by jimmyjamjoojar
Oh, by the way, I'm not American and not strictly anti hunting providing it is done for the right reasons. I am not a 'city slicker' and have lived PERMANENTLY in rural sweden for 7 years. I just don't see the justification for some 'hunters' action, and yes I would prefer to eat hunted deer than factory farmed pig. However those people who argue I have no idea what a properly planned hunt is like are wrong, I have seen it first hand. What is missing is the broader argument and in some of the above, any real thought. One of the biggest problems the world faces is the destruction of our environment and many of the attitudes express reflect our disconnection from our environment through a questionable attitude to the creatures we share this world with. Surely it is important to other people. As for you Jack Sprat I would suggest the opposite. The wielding of a gun to kill animals for fun really suggests you have a massive member, or maybe that you are a big......
09:22 September 27, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ volvoman9 #20

Brilliantly stated.
11:50 September 27, 2011 by eppie
That animal on the picture is not an elk. It is what we in the US call a badger. Not to be confounded with the common titmouse.
11:51 September 27, 2011 by Ranjit T Edward
Comment: Firstly, JoeE, you are an absolute bag of bile, to speak for all the Swedes. You claim, 'THIS is what is in every Swedes DNA for sure. Anyone who says otherwise is uneducated or apparently from the tropics' You might actually learn a lesson or more, if you looked at the tropics in detail.

And you dare to say, 'we join it's sacredness' What so sacred about, dressing up like rambo, flaunting your guns, have dogs with GPS collars and then cornering an Elk and killing it?

Civilisation can surely move forward by ridding itself off low quality gene pool products. The first culling and management that is needed is for people like you and the likes of you.

You seriously need to check from which orifice you spew out your thoughts. For sure, it is not the one that is associated with intelligence.
14:25 September 27, 2011 by JoeE
@Ranjit T Edward- Quite literally you are the one who needs to check their history as a Swede. Show me Swedish culture 80 years ago or more that did not rely on meat, dairy and hunting? If it wasn't for this part of the culture we WOULDN"T have spread our DNA. And you throwing verbal insults at other peoples lifestyles in a violent manor as yours shows your total lack of respect for other cultures. Go tell the Sami that they are a bag of bile for the killing "innocent" reindeer. You stereotyping hunters as rambos and uneducated shows your lack of understanding rural life. A typical urbanite who doesn't know how food is produced or their past history with food. So either show me in an intelligent way how hunting and meat hasn't been a part of Swedish culture and importance or stop polluting this forum with your disrespectful ideology.
15:36 September 27, 2011 by mibrooks27
JoeE - I warned you! These are American dweebs. Liberals in that failing cesspool of a culture are generally thoughtless clods. Twenty-five years ago, these same cretins, were the ugly American's running amuck in Paris wearing Hawaiian shirts. None of them has any idea whatsoever about Sweden, except they read some inaccurate nonsense n the New York Times about how "liberal" Sweden is and they, thus, overlay their opinion of Sweden with their own mindless sophomoric self centered kind of liberalism. You run into problems when you act differently than their preconceptions. It's rather like being a Native American in the US. So long as you are clean, stick to the reservation, look noble, and vote Democrat, they forget all about you. Show up to s party dead drunk and ripped up clothing, showing actual poverty, show a willingness to do just about anything for a job, advocate a voting for Sarah Palin, and the rabid rabbits of the American left turn into nasty little bigots, racists, a vile mob of fanatics. None of them wouldn't survive a month in Sweden and would create headaches for us if they were inflicted on us. As for our Indian expat, Ranjit, he's a pretty typical US guest worker who's seen US liberalism up close and found out it isn't so pretty. He's dumb enough, however, to have bought into it and is genuinely surprised at what a bunch of racist bigots US liberals can turn into in an instant, once you leave the reservation they have you on. The single smartest thing The Local could do would be to establish a toxic containment zone for the opinions of it's "liberal" US readers, sort of an outhouse, waaaayyy out in left field, to surround their opinions.
17:00 September 27, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ mibrooks27

You have no idea how your comment # 26 only proves the case for those who feel that Swedish hunters have the minds of hillbillies. We get your point that you don't like americans , but quite frankly, what has an american in a hawaiian shirt on a Paris street got do do with Swedish hunters?

I am very sure there are a lot of Americans who hunt too and a lot of Swedes who are opposed to it as well. You know, if people could just state their opinions without mindlessly attacking other people their point would appear more valid.

But there are always those who are so insecure and unhappy with themselves that they try to medicate their own insecurities and build up their own self worth in their own minds, by tearing down others. Frankly it would benefit them far more to read a self help book or take an anger management class. But it seems they would rather grab a gun and go blow up an elk instead.
17:13 September 27, 2011 by mibrooks27
How typical of an American liberal. You so easily toss off insults, suggest that anyone disagreeing with you is less than human, suggest that men who think you are a flea bitten piece of trash, are less than men. You, "mam", are exhibit "A" of why most people detest American's. Your Wall Street brokers, traders, bankers, and political leaders defrauded Europe out of trillions of dollars, managing to bankrupt entire economies, using rules that were written by your President Clinton's economic advisors and Treasury Secretary (and, before launching one of your knee jerk reactions, "Its Bush's fault", please go look up Lawrence Summer's and see who wrote the regulations that permitted all of those exotic financial schemes and understand that the damage continues because this crook and his fellow gangster, Geithner, is still running amuck. To be sure, American conservatives are no better, but the point is you live in a bankrupt culture, inhabited by thieves, delusional, nitwits, and an assortment of suicidal uneducated and extremely stupid dunces, the busy-bodu old ladies of the world, meddling where you aren't wanted, creating and leaving messes behind like some spoiled brat, expecting the rest of the world to "understand" your tortured souls and cut you slack. Forget it! Now, go away or I shall taunt you some more (and, numbskull, that's a quote from the only decent video ever to come from modern England, "Monty Python And the Search For The Holy Grail")
17:32 September 27, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ mibrooks27 #28

But Sweety.........I am not American, never even lived in the USA.

I'll give you some "hunting" analogy though, so you may understand. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck...it's a duck. If it talks like a hillbilly, acts like a hillbilly, thinks like a hillbilly...whatever country it comes from, It's a Hillbilly.
17:45 September 27, 2011 by mibrooks27
Jag är ganska säker på att du är och har bara blivit pinsamt nog att förneka det. Britterna är dumma, men de är vanligtvis inte den offentliga trångsynta vi ser med er amerikaner. Det kräver en sorts dumhet som vi vanligtvis bara förknippar med sjuka uppträtt barn och psykiskt sjuka.
17:58 September 27, 2011 by jacquelinee
Neither ill behaved, mentally ill or British. Strike 2. But you are getting warmer. At least you are on the right side of the ocean now to where I live...let me know when you get far enough north, that you hit Sverige. hahahaha Surprise!

Like I said before, there are those in The USA who hunt and those who don't like it in theory. There are those in Sverige who hunt, and those who don't like it in theory.

There are responsible hunters as I made a case for in my post #4 and then there are "hillbilly" hunters In the USA and In Sverige.

Ha det bra. Hej då!
19:34 September 27, 2011 by mibrooks27
You're an American. I'll leave it to the other readers to point out to you where you tripped up.
20:33 September 27, 2011 by JGKarhu
I'm a pro-hunting American (I've been to Sweden several times), though I do not hunt myself. There's absolutely no moral reason for forbidding hunting of non-endangered animals; and it's frankly disturbing how many comments there are disparaging or even wishing death upon hunters.

Humans are just as naturally predatory as other animals - the health problems with meat stem more from consumption of artificially processed meat foods than it does from natural sources so this isn't a valid argument, and debates about cruelty should no more be applied to humans killing animals than any other predator.
20:52 September 27, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ mibrooks27

Sorry...wrong. Unless you classify being to Detroit once for 4 days with my pappa and mama when I was 11 years old as qualifying me to be an American citizen..
10:51 September 28, 2011 by Ranjit T Edward
@JoeE: I clearly implied that you DO NOT represent the voice of all Swedes. I was not insulting any culture but criticising YOU. And under no circumstance do you or your words represent the Swedes! For you to make a statement, that those that do not understand your Swedish DNA and hunting yarn, must be either from the tropics or uneducated, only shows - not just a lack of respect, but- a gravely deficient degree of awareness to equate those in the tropics to be uneducated. But then, what else can one expect when one lives in a well. Criticise

Maybe I am an urbanite, even though I live in a little village deep inside Västra Götaland. You state that I do not know how food was produced in the past. What is your point? That people used to hunt then, and it is ok to do it now? Are you such a plank? If that is your analogy (weak as it sounds!)?Then, may I suggest that you drop your guns, use the tools of the past...and lets see where it gets you.

@mibrooks27, how unfortunate to be you. Thank goodness people like you do not represent Sweden. Or at least the smart Swedes who are in plenty. You seriously need to take up the suggestion meted out to you by jacquelinee!! Self help book, Anger Management. I have been told that even screaming therapy helps!

As for your suggestion that The Local should establish a toxic containment zone. Beware, you might be its first inmate! Välkommen mibtooks27 till HillyBilly Zone!! But, keep the post coming. I must admit, they are very entertaining!
13:50 September 28, 2011 by JoeE
@Ranjit- You speak of me, but you know nothing about me. Pretty large assumptions for a one paragraph opinion. I know that the vast majority of Swedes are meat and dairy consumers. And the further you go back in time, the less plant based agriculture you will find in the Swedish diet. I'm sorry, but if you're Swedish by ancestry, then I do speak for all Swedes (since Sweden had no choice but to eat what was grown and raised here). What tools of the past are you referring to? My family also comes Västra Götaland, and they celebrated with lots of meat and animal products with very little plant foods in my families past and present. Hunting, fishing and the farm animals were the life blood of our family. And I revere that way of life. I think maybe folks who blow up at the idea of killing animals for food should take some cultural sensitivity training themselves.
15:04 September 28, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ JoeE

First.I am not opposed to hunting.... with a conscience (my post #4)

I just wanted to say that very often on here I keep hearing "Well that was how we Swedes have lived since the beginning of time" or something like that. I can certainly understand the various discussions and reasons for hunting etc even though I personally have a problem with even killing a fish and I fish, and love to eat fish too. But that is just me.

But this "If it was good enough for us 300 years ago...it is good enough today" stuff I keep hearing is a bit hard to swallow. I am all for tradion and traditional values I do not mean to criticise but "the further you go back" argument is a bit redundant today. If I go back far enough we were wearing loin clothes and had our feet bound with bear hide. But I would not dress like that today or want to, or actually need to because we have manufactured clothing. I am really understanding everything you are saying otherwise, but what our ancestors did hundreds of years ago, although they helped to shape who we are today, has not a lot of similarities to the time, place, situation or circumstances that affect our lives today. They are just too dissimilar.
17:06 September 28, 2011 by mibrooks27
Wow. Criticized by an incompetent Indian Guest worker free loader and an American pretending to be Swedish, both writing from the U.S. Have fun in that cesspool, guys!
14:42 September 29, 2011 by Ranjit T Edward
@Joe: Firstly, I am sorry if I offended you or your background. That was never my intention, it was just that statement you made, which to me, implies so many things. Personally, I am a meat eater myself (a pretty heavy one, at that) and I am not opposed to anyone doing so. But, what I do have a problem with is the fact that hunting today is not what it was in the past. It is not even hunting. It is cold blooded murder. In the past, nearly all of us hunted and lived off the earth to survive. Having said that, I am sure you will agree with me, when I say, that what we have today has nothing to do with survival. Irrespective of where you come from, we do not do the same things that we did in the past. We do not thrash our kids any more, we do not chop people's heads off and bring home their skulls as trophies, nor do we believe the earth to be flat. That is the progression we have made from then, and in years to come things will be very different to what it is now. It is in that context, that I see hunting as something utterly disgusting.

As for hunting mapped in the DNA, there is no evidence of such a phenomena. I am assuming you meant it in a more figurative sense.

Västra Götaland? Don't tell me you are my neighbour in Ulricehamn!

@mibrooks27: If you had the residual IQ of a dead bacterium, you must know that I have no American influence. My spelling speaks for itself.

And if you are looking for a reaction on your claim that I am an Indian, guest worker and free loader…. Well, what a sorry, sad person you are. Knowingly or unknowingly to you, you are only projecting (or screaming out) your own insecurities.
04:49 October 2, 2011 by JoeE
@Ranjit- I would have to disagree on the views of hunting as non-essential. Sweden, as well as Norway and Finland, is a place very unique to Europe in having lots of wild places and being bountiful in wildlife. In saying that, I will say that when I harvest/kill/murder or what ever ones emotions will take to that act, a deer or elk I am eating an animal that has foraged its entire life off nature. Quit literally I am also eating the nutrition of the forest and fields as well. That nurtures my body and I pass that along to my family and community. With wildlife management using scientific principles and research we know the threshold of what is possible with harvesting game animals. There is no logical reason we cannot eat those animals. The same is true with fish as well, which you never see people freak out over. When one becomes upset with killing wildlife, even though it does not even come close to puting that population at risk, you are then using your own emotions to guide your beleifs. Which there is nothing wrong in doing, but there are other lifestyles. I beleive that we as a culture should celebrate and participate in nature. Not exclude ourselves from it. I hunt, I fish and I buy as much local food as possible. In doing this I have built a relationship with place. To argue that there is no need simply degrades what it is that I value in that. I could just as easily say that there is no need to buy food that has become the antithesis of what is wrong with a globalized world, where your vegetables come from Africa, your wheat from the United States and your beef from Denmark. A system that will ultimately degrade our environment. I would be careful to lump all hunters into a hillbilly category. In a lot of ways they are much freer than most, whether even they know it or not.
14:17 October 3, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ JoeE

You sound like a hunter who hunts with conscience.

But, even as a hunter, I am totally sure you have come in contact with the hunters that many of us take exception too. These are the "boys club" hunters who wait every year to get together with their buddies with a WHOLE lot of booze and head for the hills totally drunk and brandsihing weapons for a weekend of booze and bullets to make themselves look like some kind of a heman to their buds. (which they really don't, cuz any idiot can fire a gun) It is NOT about aquiring natural food. It has nothing to do with food...butchering the animal and taking the meat home is just an extra to the thrill of drunk he-man dun firing. Often they even give the animal away. I KNOW you know EXACTLY the type I am speaking of. These are the hunters that make me sick. That is NOT a "celebration and participation in nature" That is just neandrathal, unintelligent "hillbilly" disrespect for the natural world.
21:09 October 5, 2011 by Value
I hope that Sewedish hunters do not have some genetical disease.
12:07 October 6, 2011 by andosh
The English word for "älg" is moose, NOT "elk", that is another kind of critter.


04:13 October 8, 2011 by DOZ
Hail the Hunter. This is the only reason a Firearm should be used . Down with the Barbaric Acts of War and Vengance.
22:02 October 8, 2011 by skogsbo
Moose and Elk are different ever ever so slightly genetically, but were originally one, prior to the continental split of Europe and North America, hence their rather strikingly similar appearance.

ps Jaqui... is a yank, you can tell by the words used like buds or strike, plus more.
Today's headlines
Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

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Analysis & Opinion
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Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

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