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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

What influences hunting participation of potential new hunters? Qualitative insights from Sweden

Hansson-Forman, Katarina; Sandstrom, Camilla; Ericsson, Goran;


Hunting, an activity conceptualized as part of wildlife management partnership between the state, landowners and hunting communities, is increasingly challenged by a decreasing hunter base. This has ecological, economic and socio-cultural consequences, and the issue of hunter recruitment deserves more scholarly and political attention. In Sweden, the number of individuals taking a hunting proficiency test is high even though the number of hunters has declined during the last few decades although with a recovery the last 12 months, indicating an under-utilized source of potential new hunters. We explore in an interview study with potential new hunters in Sweden what factors affect and motivate individuals to take the hunter proficiency test and to hunt. Our thematic analysis identifies structural, institutional and individual factors influencing hunting participation, such as social networks and access to land, rendering two ideal types of new hunters. We offer suggestions to help curb the negative trend of declining hunter numbers and we identify research gaps for future studies to address.


hunting; management; proficiency test; recruitment; wildlife

Published in

Wildlife Biology

2020, volume: 2020, number: 4, article number: wlb.00721

Authors' information

Hansson-Forman, Katarina
Umea University
Sandstrom, Camilla
Umea University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Wildlife Management

Publication Identifiers


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