wild food in Sweden - regulations?

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Moonraker

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I would appreciate any help on confirming what the position is with foraging/ fishing/ hunting in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries.

Thinking about my own plans and also the proposed BCUK expedition 2006, focussing on Sweden I have been checking the allemansrätten or Swedish right of public access which is not a law as such but an accepted practice (?) and what is accepted/ lawful to forage or hunt.

This is what I have so far. Please correct where it is wrong and add bits. This is just what I have read so far.

Gathering from Plants

From what I have read it is allowed to pick wild flowers ( those not protected), wild berries and mushrooms. It is not allowed to damage living trees or shrubs in any way ( including taking wood or bark I assume) or to cut up fallen trees (being good sources of habitat for birds and insects). Cones, branches and twigs lying on the ground may be used for campfires (there appears to be tight regulation and bans in dry periods). In National Parks there are special rules. You are not allowed to enter private gardens or enter cultivated crops.

Fishing

Fishing is allowed for free with some exceptions along the sea coasts using hand gear ( rods & reels lures etc) and also in the five largest freshwater lakes (Vänern, Vättern, Mälaren, Hjälmaren and, in the region of Jämtland, Storsjön). In other waters ( freshwater rivers, lakes) you need a fishing permit which you can buy for reasonable cost. Some privately owned waters are excluded. Free fishing does not include use of nets or the use of boats ( trolling for instance). There are lots of regulations. You can check these where you buy the licences. Anyone caught breaking fishing regulations is subject to penalty and may forfeit both catch and equipment.

Hunting

Hunting is not included in the allemansrätten. It is forbidden to take bird's eggs, damage nests, or capture birds or mammals; all such activities are regarded as hunting. To hunt for any birds or animals you need a licence ( not sure on 'pest animals' rabbits, pigeons??) and landowners permission. If you are with a licensed hunter you are allowed to use his rifle if he is close to you and is responsible for you.

From what I can see it is possible to bring a gun into Sweden to hunt but you need official permissions. Hunting is generally managed and done through organised village, regional clubs. It is possible to go as a paying guest more these days.

Other Stuff

So from that you have the great advantage for bushcrafting because you have a right to roam and have access to most land. The main consideration is said to be "Do not disturb, do not destroy". Like every other country there are rules and laws about exactly what you may do. In the right season there may be plenty of wild berries and other plants to forage. Also, with a reasonably priced fishing licence or for free on the coast and some large lakes, you have access to bountiful and fresh food source with a fishing rod and line ( not sure on hand lines.)

I am not sure about the regulation on crayfish and other crustaceans? Or use of nets on the coast. I remember we used to do this when we used to come for the summer but that was a long time ago :smile:

Hunting is pretty much out unless you make the effort to fill out the forms and take a gun and then organise somewhere to hunt with a club or person. Trapping, snaring looks out.

I am not saying what actually happens and what people actually do just from the 'official' line. So I would be interested to hear the real situation 'on the ground' and in Norway, Finalnd and Denmark. Tack :wink:

Simon
 

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Right... I can give you info on Norway, but not Sweden. The laws however are very similar I believe. The rules for hunting are that if you legitimately own a gun and hunt with it in your own country, you may take the gun and use it in Norway for up to three months (max stay time). You need to get a permit from Customs when you enter and exit the country just to bring in the gun, and to hunt you need to buy a hunting licence, which you can get in many places, and they increase in proliferation the closer you get to the hunting grounds.
As regards National Parks, you can pick berries and mushrooms, but no more. Hunting and fishing are permitted providing you have the permits (you must buy a fishing permit too if you want to fish... it's just the same as a hunting permit). You can only have open fires between September and May, and sometimes not at all - it's always worth checking.
On the upside, you can walk anywhere in the whole country and you can camp anywhere in the country providing it is further than 150m from a dwelling - unless you get permission. This is a fantastic law, which I put to use every time I am in the country - why pay for a hotel room when I can wild camp in the woods?
Feel free to ask if I've missed anything :biggthump
Cheers,
Chris
 

Moonraker

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Great feedback Chris. Thanks. Just what I wanted i.e. practical info.

There is more details but maybe some guys from Scandi can answer them from above.

Did you get any idea on bushcraft type 'hunting' I mean snares, small scale traps etc?

The attitude to land and access is superb I have to say and agree with you. It is good to see Scotland coming more that way also now especially with the new laws coming into affect this year there. Lets hope it creeps further South of Europe. I guess down here it is the pressure of many tourists into particularly coastal regions which causes the problems and need for regulation. Still, there must be ways of achieving an acceptable balance.

The other big advantage is the (generally) wonderful level of English spoken which makes us so fortunate :wink: I always try some basic words where ever I go. And also a dark sense of humour shared with the british also :) And of course a drink or two :eek:):
 

Abbe Osram

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Moonraker said:
Great feedback Chris. Thanks. Just what I wanted i.e. practical info.

There is more details but maybe some guys from Scandi can answer them from above.

Did you get any idea on bushcraft type 'hunting' I mean snares, small scale traps etc?

The attitude to land and access is superb I have to say and agree with you. It is good to see Scotland coming more that way also now especially with the new laws coming into affect this year there. Lets hope it creeps further South of Europe. I guess down here it is the pressure of many tourists into particularly coastal regions which causes the problems and need for regulation. Still, there must be ways of achieving an acceptable balance.

The other big advantage is the (generally) wonderful level of English spoken which makes us so fortunate :wink: I always try some basic words where ever I go. And also a dark sense of humour shared with the british also :) And of course a drink or two :eek:):

As Viking said it, it looks like you covered it all. But what I know about the regulations for snaring is, that you have to go to a short course (4 hours) to get a license to snare the fjäll bird "ripa". You can then freely snare the birds in the northern parts of Sweden but under the so called "odlingräns" which is a geographical line up here in the north where the protected area for the sami people is. Only they are allowed to hunt and trap higher than that border. If you want to hunt fox with the snare, there is an other course to go too. The local evening schools arrange such a courses. I don’t know how it is with foreigners, if you could go to such a course or not, when you are here?? Could be an interesting question to ask. Between the ages of 15 to 18 you don’t need a hunting license to follow an adult and carry a weapon for the hunt. It should allow father and son or any other hunter to teach a young upcoming hunter the basics. When the young person reaches 18 he will have to go to the evening school and make his hunting license, which doesn’t cost much, accept lot of learning.

Cheers
Abbe
 

Abbe Osram

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Moonraker said:
Thanks for the advice Abbe :biggthump

Welcome! I forgot to tell that it is not allowed to snare rabbits because they can suffer a great deal in the snare. There are different live traps allowed and killing traps allowed to hunt but you can not build simply your own design but have to build yourself a trap after a government tested design. When you place a trap you have to check it twice a day and for some animals only onces a day. You will have to have your name, address and phone number on the trap. And you will have to ask the owner of the land if it is ok to lay out the traps.

cheers
Abbe
 

Abbe Osram

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Hi Moonraker,
funny think happened! I was in my hunting school and my teacher told me that he was teaching a bunch of english guys how to trap "ripa". He told me that the guys he was teaching like that survival stuff. I told him that I like the survival and bushcraft stuff too. He smiled and said ah yes ok. I ask him what the names of the leaders where. And he told me that one was Lars Fält! when I heard that Lars was there I ask him if the other guys name was Ray and he said yes. He didn't know them. He said that he got hired to teach the group trapping. Well, long story short. I ask him if the english guys now have the right to do trapping here in sweden according to the swedish law and he told me.
Yes they do!

cheers
Abbe
 

Viking

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Abbe Osram said:
Hi Moonraker,
funny think happened! I was in my hunting school and my teacher told me that he was teaching a bunch of english guys how to trap "ripa". He told me that the guys he was teaching like that survival stuff. I told him that I like the survival and bushcraft stuff too. He smiled and said ah yes ok. I ask him what the names of the leaders where. And he told me that one was Lars Fält! when I heard that Lars was there I ask him if the other guys name was Ray and he said yes. He didn't know them. He said that he got hired to teach the group trapping. Well, long story short. I ask him if the english guys now have the right to do trapping here in sweden according to the swedish law and he told me.
Yes they do!

cheers
Abbe

Abbe do you know where a course in trapping ripa is held and can you get a license to trap ripa without having the hunting license?
 

Abbe Osram

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Nov 8, 2004
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Viking said:
Abbe do you know where a course in trapping ripa is held and can you get a license to trap ripa without having the hunting license?

I don’t know how it is down there in Gothenburg but in the 4 northern “Län” (here in nordbotten), one has to get some guys together and find a teacher to teach you. I ask my teacher Bertil who was teaching Rays gang up here last weekend and he is willing to teach me if I find 5 guys to join up with me. I want to do the license to hunt with foot snare for fox too, that course is 4 hours long and cost 100 SEK, for that course too I will have to find 10 guys otherwise the only teacher left here to teach doesn’t want to come from his village which is 2 hours car drive from here. So now I am stuck to find 10 guys who like to make the trapping course. Which is not so easy because people don’t trap here much anymore :roll:

But I don’t give up and are happy that the thing with Bertil will take off soon I hope. You know, the teachers are getting a bit old now 60 and 70 years old and wonder why I would like to learn trapping. They are saying that it is too much job to go twice a day and check the traps and if snow has fallen one has to build the trap new etc. Still I think they like my enthusiasm and I believe I get them to teach me soon.

All the best
Abbe
 

Abbe Osram

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Nov 8, 2004
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Viking said:
Abbe, I got a meeting weith 10 guys tomorrow that are in to bushcraft and survival and a couple of those are hunters. Maybe we can arrange something :wink:


Ok, I check with Bertil and I have to get in contact with the Fox Trapper to teach us.

cheers
Abbe
 

Moonraker

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Aug 20, 2004
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Abbe Osram said:
Hi Moonraker,
funny think happened! I was in my hunting school and my teacher told me that he was teaching a bunch of english guys how to trap "ripa". He told me that the guys he was teaching like that survival stuff. I told him that I like the survival and bushcraft stuff too. He smiled and said ah yes ok. I ask him what the names of the leaders where. And he told me that one was Lars Fält! when I heard that Lars was there I ask him if the other guys name was Ray and he said yes. He didn't know them. He said that he got hired to teach the group trapping. Well, long story short. I ask him if the english guys now have the right to do trapping here in sweden according to the swedish law and he told me.
Yes they do!

cheers
Abbe

Small world indeed :) I think the ripa is what is called in Britain a 'ptarmigan' (pronounced tar-mi-gan). If I remember it was bird they were trying to trap on RM 'The Heroes of Telemark' when they were staying in the cabin? Using twigs to create funnel into a hole with a snare on the trails of the ripa, and caught one eventually. They can be found in Scotland.

Perhaps you could ask if you need a hunting licence ( with guns) to be able to do this or on it's own. was really thinking of foraging without a gun.
 

Abbe Osram

New Member
Nov 8, 2004
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Sweden
milzart.blogspot.com
Moonraker said:
Small world indeed :) I think the ripa is what is called in Britain a 'ptarmigan' (pronounced tar-mi-gan). If I remember it was bird they were trying to trap on RM 'The Heroes of Telemark' when they were staying in the cabin? Using twigs to create funnel into a hole with a snare on the trails of the ripa, and caught one eventually. They can be found in Scotland.

Perhaps you could ask if you need a hunting licence ( with guns) to be able to do this or on it's own. was really thinking of foraging without a gun.


No, that was the point of it all. You only need the short course and you can trap without a gun or hunting education.

1. You need to do the short course which gives you permission
2. You will have to buy a jaktcard which is like a fishing licence for a certain area.

Thats it.

What is really interesting is that you don't need to have a hunting licence or gun to hunt a fox. After you went to the trapping course (4 hours) you buy a hunting card and off you go. The funny thing is how do you kill the fox when you get him in the snare. We are only allowed to foot snare him with a special build snare for it. That snare you will have to buy here. I tested that thing in our education here. Its very cool design and makes that the fox is not suffering rather sitting like a dog and waiting to be picked up. The trouble is that without a hunting licence you don't get a gun. How can you kill him nicely and without much suffer. In the swedish law the hunt is over after you trapped the animal and there is nothing written how to kill it.
I ask my neighbor what to do and he said that the way to do it is to hit with a stick on top of his nose that kills him but he as a hunter with a gun shots him in the head. Well, thats all or at least as long as I got in my education. I don't have blood on my hands yet. Hope the info helps you a bit.

cheers
Abbe
 

Moonraker

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Abbe Osram said:
No, that was the point of it all. You only need the short course and you can trap without a gun or hunting education.

1. You need to do the short course which gives you permission
2. You will have to buy a jaktcard which is like a fishing licence for a certain area.

Thats it.

cheers
Abbe
Sounds a good system Abbe. Now I just have to work out how to get up for a short course fro the ripa trapping :) What is the season for ripa?

Thanks again for the info.
 

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