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Vargjakten 2024: The Annual Wolf Hunt in Sweden Takes an Unexpected Turn

Vargjakten 2024: What’s Going On?

Come 2nd January, Sweden’s annual wolf hunt, Vargjakten, for the year 2024, kicks off. A total of 36 wolves can be, well, ‘dispatched’ across six districts. The hunt typically lasts until mid-February. However, this year, it might just take an interesting turn.

The Hunt Proceeds with a Twist

Historically, the hunt has been divided among three management areas, with northern, central, and southern regions each providing their quotas. But this year, the northern region hasn’t been allowed license hunting because the wolf population barely scratches the minimum level. So this year, it’s between the heart and the lowlands of Sweden.

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The State of the Wolf Pack

Why this reshuffling though? Simply put: we’d not want the big bad wolves going extinct. But siding aside, Sweden’s goal is to maintain a national wolf population that meets a minimum of 300 for the species’ long-term survival. There’s no cap, but who wouldn’t aim for a balanced co-existence, right?

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is even conducting research to determine the impact of a population between 170-270 individuals. Quoting Maja Widell, a wildlife handler at the agency, “The past years saw a stable trend. There were some uplifts, but last year we saw a slight decrease from 460 to 450 wolves.”

This might seem plenty to some. But get this, the government previously stated its intention to halve this wolf pack.

“The government wants to halve the wolf population.”

Hunt Division for 2024

This year’s hunt is divided among five counties as follows:

Södermanland – 6
Värmland – 6
Västmanland – 6
Västra Götaland – 6
Örebro (in two territories) – 12

In the End, Balance

The wolf hunt is a time-honored tradition in Sweden. But as Sweden’s wolf population teeters on the brink, it’s clear that more than tradition is at stake. It’s about balance, co-existence, and survival too – for the wolves and us. So, let’s cheer for a fair hunt – and maybe, just maybe, for fewer gunfire echoes through the frosty Swedish forests this year.

Happy 2024, folks!

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