Bear hunt begins, hunters threatened

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UPDATED: Wildlife conservation authorities have issued permission for hunters to shoot a total of 17 bears in Hedmark, Oppland, Troms, Nordland and Finnmark counties. The hunt can run from August 21 through October 15, but several hunters have already been threatened.

“I got around 200 phone calls, and there were several who thought I was the one who should be shot,” the leader of one hunting group told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday.

Bears are protected in Norway but can be hunted when they present a danger to the public or when they attack livestock in areas designated for open grazing. Because of various attacks recently, hunters are now allowed to shoot four bears in Hedmark, three in Oppland, four in Troms and Finnmark, four in central Norway and two in Nordland.

News bureau NTB reported that two other bears were shot earlier this year, one in Sør-Varanger in Finnmark and one in Ringebu in Oppland.

“Some believe that the bear is worth more than the sheep,” hunter Rune Berg of Salten, one of the few bear hunters who dares to be publicly identified, told NRK. “But taking it out on the hunter is wrong.” He feels he’s carrying out a public order to shoot the bears, and that both bears and livestock have a place in the outdoors.

newsinenglish.no staff