There are only 30 wolves in Norway—and 11,000 people applied to kill half of them

Norway loves its hunting season.
Norway loves its hunting season.
Image: Reuters/Eric Gaillard
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

It’s hunting season in Norway, and the number of hunters vastly outnumbers the prey. This year, a whopping 11,571 people signed up for licenses to kill 16 wolves, a ratio of 763 hunters per animal.

Norway, which has as many as 200,000 registered hunters, has one of Europe’s smallest wolf populations, counting as few as 30, The Guardian reports. The second most coveted trophy is the Norwegian brown bear, with 10,930 hunters per 18 animals.

Although Norway’s wolf population is low, probably due to illegal hunting, the government issues licenses to protect livestock. The animals, most of which are in a designated habitat in the country’s southeast, were nearly wiped out in the last century, and restored in the 1970s after they gained protected status. Their breeding is still strictly controlled.

Earlier this year, five men were handed prison sentences for setting illegal wolf traps, the country’s first prosecution in such a case.