Baiting for brown bears(Ursus arctos) in Sweden
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- Master's theses (INA) 
Summary Hunting for brown bear (Ursus arctos) has a long tradition in Scandinavia, from the times when the populations of bears were far above the level that we have today, and for a century when the policy was to eradicate all predators in Scandinavia. However with successful management, the brown bear population grew from about 130 individuals to about 3,300 today. Quota hunting in Sweden began in 1943. Hunting with bait was an important hunting method before it was banned in 2001. Now interest groups want this method to be allowed again Sweden. Authorities want a better scientific basis for deciding the question of initiation of hunting with bait. The need for a scientific study that deals with hunting with bait and how bears use of bait site is great since there is little scientific knowledge on this topic. To find out how bears use bait sites, I have used a remote camera to record the use of various bait sites types and in two areas of Sweden. Two of the main questions were whether the bears actually use the bait and time of day they visit bait site. Sweden has set a limit on when hunting starts and ends each day; one hour after sunrise and two hours before sunset respectively. The results of this study show that bears visiting bait sites, mostly in the morning before sunrise and after sunset in the evening. I have also examined whether there is any difference between the numbers of visits on bait sites that are permanent, i.e. actively baiting from the bears emerge from the den in the spring until denning in October or November, and temporary bait sites started a few weeks before the bear hunting period. The results show that permanent bait sites had the most visits throughout the season, whereas temporary bait sites had more visits in the hunting season, compared with permanent bait sites in the same period. Generally, hunting with bait could help to decrease the number of wounded bears and the necessity to search for wounded bears. Hunting with bait may also contribute to determining the age-and sex of harvested bears in those cases where the hunter has a better ability to determine age and sex, compared with a dog hunting. The conclusion of this study is that hunting with bait will not result in more harvested bears, because few bears visit the bait in the time window for legal hunting during the day, especially with the short daylight during the legal hunting season for bears.