An approved hunters' exam is required in order to obtain a license for the possession of a weapon, for the purposes of hunting. The application form for said license, when actual, is acquired from and approved by the police. You can then hunt with the model of hunting weapon that the license has been issued for.
The hunters' exam in its entirety consists of a theoretical as well as a practical exam. The latter is in three parts which includes handling and technical ability with a shotgun; with a rifle; as well as a big game test using a rifle. A completed theoretical exam always precedes the practical section. An exam that has been completed in its entirety will give the holder the right to hold and use those categories of weapon that are approved for hunting in Sweden. However one can decide, for example, to only take the theoretical exam and the shotgun portion of the practical exam. If both exams have been completed successfully, this will give the holder the right to apply for a license to hold and use a shotgun.
There is no existing age limit for taking the hunters exam. Limits instead are set by personal ability. These are the ability to read and comprehend the information that is required to take the theoretical exam and the physical ability to handle a weapon safely in order to complete the practical tests. The theoretical exam costs 250:- SEK. (01.01.2016)
There are several ways to go about preparing for the hunters' exam. Each has it respective advantages and disadvantages. Without some basic, beforehand information, it is not easy to decide which method to use. Below is a compilation of information regarding the various methods which, hopefully, will make this decision a bit easier to make.
One can study for the theoretical portion of the exam on one's own, if so desired. There are no major obstacles besides one's own motivation and ability as opposed to the practical portion where help will be required. You will need a shooting ground on which to practice and an experienced instructor. Independent study provides for much flexibility, since one can adjust studies to other aspects of life. You can prepare with help of:
The study material "Jägarskoleboxen"
There is material available, which has been specifically produced to help in preparation for the hunters' exam. Said material (i.e. "Jägarskoleboxen") can be purchased in the web shop of the Swedish Hunters' Association http://33011.shop.textalk.se/se/article.php?id=33011&art=14278186. If you decide to acquire the material in some other way, such as borrowing, make sure that it is up-to-date. One advantage of this method is that one can study in the tact which feels most comfortable. When one feels confident enough to take the exam, the next step would be to contact a certified examiner, at a nearby testing area (most often located at a shooting ground). A list of approved examination sites and relevant contact information can be found on the Hunters' Association website. These examination sites can usually assist in providing a shooting instructor as well as a beginner's course in weapons management and shooting technique, for those who wish to continue on to the practical part of the exam.
Unfortunately there is no study material (books for the theoretical test) available in any other language than Swedish.
For those who don't read or speak Swedish, one way might be to try to find a person/friend that might take some time to sit down and translate/explain the text and facts in the books. This person don't have to translate every word, rather translate some parts and explain the content briefly. It might be a bit easier to do this if this person is a hunter him/herself.
E-Jakt (web-based training for the theoretical part of the exam)
A relatively new way to study for the theoretical exam is by using E-Jakt. E-Jakt is a web based course where all material (including text, pictures, videos and sample exams) are gathered in one place. With this method you have the advantage of reading, listening and watching material that is relevant to passing the theoretical exam. Study is conducted in the tact that feels most comfortable. The course (https://app.coursio.com/store/jagareforbundet/jagarskolan) costs 1995:- SEK and provides you with log-in information that is valid for a period of six months.
If independent study is not for you, there are a variety of classes available, through various actors, across the country. The various organizations for adult education generally offer high quality classes with experienced teachers. One example is Studiefrämjandet, www.studieframjandet.se . These classes usually require participation in several sessions which are led by an experienced teacher, and where participants have an opportunity to ask questions. Many find that being able to discuss the various topics in a group is quite beneficial to the individual learning process.
Some organizations also offer short, intensive classes which often run between 3-5 days. Prices and program for these classes can vary significantly across the board. Participants are usually required to have study the material prior to starting. Some even require that participants have taken weapon handling and shooting classes as well as.
Some advice, which is highly recommended, is to contact the arranger of the class before applying and asking him or her for the following information:
- A detailed program for the class with description of content. Get details of what is included in the price.
- A list of references, consisting of recent class participants, including name and contact information. Take the time to contact some of these references and get their perspective of the course
- Ask whether or not they send out the study material (books) after application or if one has to purchase the material.
- Ask whether they provide a study guide that help with preparing for the class.
Look out for the following warning signs:
- If you are told that you don't need to acquire the books since they are not necessary for the class.
- If they guarantee that all participants in that class will pass the exam.
- If they say that the leader is authorized or approved by the Swedish Hunter's Association. The Association does not have such an authorization system in place for the theoretical part of the exam.
- If they claim that "Our course is carried out in cooperation with the Swedish Hunters Association". If this claim is made contact the Association directly and inquire as to the nature of this cooperation.
- You are refused a contact list with references from previous courses.
- If a part of the intensive/ short course is carried out as study on one's own.
After the hunters exam! What next?
You have succeeded in completing the hunters' exam so, what is the next step? If you plan to start hunting and wish to acquire a weapon/ weapons, you will need to apply for a license for the type of weapon you wish to purchase. The application available from and made to the police, who in turn having examined your case and not finding any reason for objection most likely will approve the application and grant the license. If you do not wish to acquire a weapon of your own, there is the option of borrowing from a friend or relative. In this case, an application for permission to lend a weapon, for hunting purposes, must be made to the police, by the prospective lender.
Besides a weapon license, one must also pay a yearly wildlife management fee to the state. This is referred to as the National Hunters Card and presently cost 300:- SEK.