Lean, tasty and too many – time to eat wild boar?

If Swedes become less sensitive to what the Anglo-Saxons are doing (Atkins, 5:2) and take aim at their domestic potential, the wild boar diet could very well be the next thing on the menu for eco-conscious Swedes.

Lean, tasty and too many - time to eat wild boar?
A Swedish hunter takes aim at wild boar for dinner. Files: TT

Earlier this year, the Swedish government earmarked 51 million kronor to its work on how to manage the country's wild boar (vildsvin) population next year. In part because the wild boars have gotten so numerous that they now threaten farms and sometimes get in the way of cars. In Blekinge County, wild boar attacked hunters twice this season. 

Unfortunately for the wild boar, their meat is delicious. It's quite lean, and as it's a gamey version of pork it has a distinct flavour. Being more than edible, the wild boars thus offer eco-conscious Swedes who don't want to give up meat, but may have ethical concerns about the industrial meat industry, a bit of a golden opportunity. Filling their bellies while helping Swedish hunters get to grips with the swollen boar population. 

For many Swedes, the notion of eating wild boar might bring to mind the popular Belgian comics about Asterix and Obelix, but the cooking website, which specializes in cooking game, shows that eating boar can put a new twist on old Swedish recipes, but why not add strips to a Cesar salad? The site has an entire subsection dedicated to wild boar meat.

From ragu, chilli, sausages and spare ribs, the list is exhaustive and there is even a suggestion to replace the Christmas ham with a Christmas boar. 

Getting your hands on it doesn't need to be difficult., which is part of the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Svenska Jägareförbundet), suggests ordering game from your local supermarket, who will in many cases have the meat with you within just a few days, but also point out you can now order meat straight from the producers, and include a smattering of companies to chose from.

If you want to shoot your own boar, however, it could be time to get a hunting license. For more information, in English, here. 

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Many missed shots in this year’s bear hunt

Hunters taking part in this season's bear hunt have failed to bring the targeted animal down at least 34 times. Some bears have remained unharmed, but blood trails show that others have been maimed.

Many missed shots in this year's bear hunt

“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.