Wolves fall quickly in first Swedish wolf hunt in a half century-

Hunters kill 20 wolves in first Swedish hunt in 45 years. AFP.

Twenty out of the 27 wolf quota were killed the first day. There were 182 – 217 wolves. The Swedish Parliament limited the population to 210.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

24 Responses to Fur flies over first Swedish wolf hunt

  1. Nathan says:

    Why was it so easy for them? Yet our hunt had a slow start?
    Were these wolves not familiar with human dangers?

    Maybe the lack of a government agency such as W.S. hovering around constantly darting and shooting at them made them not fear humans.

  2. Swedes must just be better hunters. I keep telling you guys how easy it is to find wolves.

  3. Layton says:

    “Swedes must just be better hunters”

    Or maybe could the fact that Sweden is less than twice as large (area) as Idaho — with very little “public” land. And that it has about eight times the population have something to do with it??

  4. The thing which I found interesting about the Swedish wolf hunt was that 10,000 hunters participated in the hunt. Thats an entire army!!!

  5. Bjorn says:

    The hunt is not a hunt. It is a mass-shooting. 12 000 hunters going bananas in the forrests 20+ Volves, and maybe 10+ of their own dogs? How would they know? They are just there to have a blast.

    When I sometimes speak to foreigners I realize Sweden has wrongfully good reputation regarding nature conservation.

    Sweden is EU’s 3rd biggest country. We are 9 milion people.. And we can not co-exist with 210 (!!!) wolves.

    You think of Sweden as great wilderness. Well we have about 5% natural forest left. The rest is pine plantations.

  6. No, it´s not because they are better hunters. The swedish wolves are not distributed throughout the whole country but are in a relatively confined geographic area. With 10 000 eager hunters swarming through this area (and all knowing very well where to look for) it´s no wonder.

  7. nabeki says:

    Bjorn says:
    “The hunt is not a hunt. It is a mass-shooting. 12 000 hunters going bananas in the forrests 20+ Volves, and maybe 10+ of their own dogs? How would they know? They are just there to have a blast.”
    Very well said and sad. As I’ve stated before, wolf persecution is global.


  8. nabeki,

    As you know, American attitudes toward wolves are not just the product of woolly-headed livestock operators.

    The “settlers” were Euro-American, and they brought European fairy tales with them.

  9. Cindy says:

    I saw a few minutes of a new Disney Christmas show this December on TV and the story line was everyone running for the lives from big bad scary wolves! For the life of me I cannot remember the title. I couldn’t fathom that such junk is still being written and marketed to children. I was appalled.

  10. Cindy says:

    It was called the Flight Before Christmas. Don’t let your kids watch it next year, or better yet, watch and explain to them how pathetic the storyline is.

  11. Save bears says:

    Disney has been propagating the myth of the big bad wolf for several decades now and will never stop, it makes them money! And when you have money involved, there is no bounds..

  12. JB says:

    Yep. It plays a significant role in Beauty and the Beast, as well. Disney earns two demerits; one for anthropomorphizing animals and demonizing hunters (e.g. bambi) and two for demonizing predators (e.g. Beauty and the Beast, the Lion King).

    Animals have no concept of good/bad, guild/innocence; they simply do what they do in order to survive.

  13. JB says:

    Sorry, that should have read “guilt/innocence”.

  14. Save bears says:

    Better watch out JB,

    I got reprimanded for saying that a couple of weeks ago.

    But I do agree 100% animals have no concept they are doing wrong or right, they are doing what animals do..

  15. Some fresh statistics for 2009 from the German wolf population?
    The total number of wolves in Germany is estimated around 50. This total consist of 14 adults (6 breeding pairs, 1 non-breeding), 26 pups (of 2009) and about 10 yearlings (from 2008) still around. 5 wolves have been lost to traffic accidents, 4 to car traffic (all on the same road portion, protective measures are now considered) and one to a train. Another one was illegally shot. With a total of 21 dead and 1 injured sheep, the number of sheep losses halved in 2009 compared to 2008. Not the least thanks to improvement of protective measures (fences and guardian dogs – with no reported human/dog conflict).

  16. Layton says:


    What kind of guard dogs do they use there? How do they use them — 1 or 2, or several at a time?


  17. Layton,
    they use Pyrenaean Mountain Dogs, 2 guarding a single herd. If you maybe have some basic knowledge of German language or have a translation tool ready, here is the story of the “Guarding dog task force” with the owner, a sheep owner that a few years ago lost 30 sheep to the wolves but now is a main promoter for the dogs.

  18. JB says:


    What are the herd sizes? I’ve heard managers here suggest that you need several dogs to protect a herd against a pack of wolves. I think this is a function of both wolf pack sizes and herd sizes. With so few wolves, I imagine the shepherds out your way don’t have many problems with large packs, but it would be interesting to know the dog to sheep ratio.

  19. Layton says:

    Here these dogs are called “Great Pyrenees” and are pretty typical guard dogs.

    They do well 1 on 1 with the wolves and maybe even if there are just a couple of wolves. When a pack comes in they get whipped or killed.

    I’ve seen up to 4 used for a singe (large) band of sheep, but that herder had 1 dog get killed even with that many dogs.

    They can cost $2k or $3k apiece for proven dogs. Puppies go for anywhere from $500 to $1200 depending on blood lines.

  20. Layton says:

    By the way, I think this is the same kind of dog that was talked about in a discussion a while back about a person on a bicycle being bitten while mountain biking.

    They are NOT the friendliest critters to come up on when they are with the sheep.

  21. JB and Layton
    Flock size here is mostly an average of a few hundred animals up to let´s say 500 with only a few herds larger, to about 1000. There is some difference throughout Europe how these dogs are deployed. Switzerland also has much success with dogs, mostly “Patou des Pyrenées” und “Maremmano Abruzzese”, heaving obtained a lot of knowledge from the sheep herders of the Italian Abruzzo Mountains where there is a long tradition of employing guardian dogs. There, only groups of 4 dogs per about 250 sheep are deployed.
    Elsewhere a general rule of thumbs seems to be 1 dog for about 250 sheep. Here in Europe we do not have a significant problem with these dogs being aggressive to people. It´s seems more of a problem to discourage people to pat those cute white “gentle giants”. Maybe there is a difference in the training of the dogs. Over here the dogs are actively trained to treat people as “insignificant” threat and there is often a young “trainee” dog deployed together with a grown experienced adult dog. So if the adult considers the hiker insignificant, the trainee will also.

  22. izabelam says:

    Great inside. I have seen sheepdogs in Europe in part of Tatras. They really do not care about hikers. It must be the training. I love the fact the some of wolves migrated from Poland to Germany.

  23. Hi izabelam, I was in the slovakian part of the Tatras this autumn, hiking and bear watching. Heard a lot of wolves howling through the nights. Great country for wildlife holidays.


January 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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