Hunting and trapping
Hunting is the more of a dark chapter when it comes to primitive living here in Norway. Hunting with anything except a gunpowder driven gun is illegal.
Trapping is slightly better, but the restrictions are numerous. Any trap is illegal unless else is stated. Using a snare is only legal on ptarmigan and only in some municipals. Deadfalls are legal on pine marten, mink and weasel. For anything else you need modern traps. And all traps have to be marked with ownership (probably so you can be prosecuted when you catch someone’s dog…).
And of course, you need the landowner’s permission to trap. And that can easily be expensive, except if he has virmin he wants to rid himself of. Any hunter/trapper also has to take a test first to be allowed to hunt. The permit lasts for life, but you need to pay a fee to the government each year and you are obliged to report once a year on whatever you have caught.
To sum it up. You are in Norway allowed to catch four species of game with primitive equipment: Ptarmigan, pine marten, mink and weasel.
Next Monday: Fishing
The legalities around gathering wild plants and fungi aren’t very complicated in Norway. The general rule is that you can pick whatever berries and nuts you want as long as they are wild. The same goes with fungi and herbs. Herbs can be uprooted, but protected species are of course not to be touched. There are two moderators of this freedom:
Nuts can only be gathered in quantities to be eaten on the spot without permission from the landowner.
In Troms and Finnmark counties cloudberries are only to be gathered in quantities to be eaten on the spot without permission from the landowner.
Unripe cloudberries are illegal to pick.
In practise, very few gather nuts today. I strongly doubt that anyone will object against you harvesting as much as you like of that resource.
Cockles, mussels and sea weeds are to my knowledge legal to gather, but I was unable to verify this.
Rocks, antlers, bone are illegal to gather. It is however commonly accepted that gathering small amounts of such worthless materials, without the permission of the landowner, is legal.
Next Monday: Hunting
This is a series in my new blog. It will be published every Monday until I don’t have more to write about. The series is meant to show Norwegians themselves (if someone is reading) that there is an excellent opportunity for this type of living in their own land. Also it is meant to be a guide for primtivists that want to go to Norway to practise their craft.
The first part will deal with the right to move about.
The Norwegian concept of “Allemannsretten” is also to be found in Sweden and Finland. To some degree also in Scotland. (Wikipedia).
The law gives you right to:
– Move about in private and public land at your will. Without requiring permission from the owner. Exceptions as mentioned below.
– The same accounts for using horses, although there may be restrictions some places.
– Use a watercraft wherever you like.
– Walk on lakes or rivers covered with ice.
– Bathe whereever you like, in a reasonable distance from occupied houses.
– Camp everywhere, exceptions as mentioned below.
The law doesn not give you right to:
– Walk through fields and other production areas. With fields there is an exception. When there is snow and the ground is frozen. But eitherway, not between 30. April until 14. October.
– Take a nude bath where there are other people close by that seem offended.
– Camp or rest in a field. Regardless if the ground is covered in snow or frozen.
– Camp closer than 150m from occupied houses. But if you are going to make noise, go longer.
– Camp for longer than 2 days in a spot. That only applies to areas close to settlements.
– Leave garbage and cause unneccesary damage.
Fences are normally not legal to put up for the landowner. You supposed to be able to move around freely.
Most of these rules can be bypassed if you have permission from the owner. It is commonly accepted that it you can gather dry firewood and break fresh branches for sitting on. Small birches are also generally accepted that are cut. They are often considered a weed and the land owner will be happy for you to clear them out a little.
Campfires are not to be lit between 15. May and 15. September. Personally I refuse to follow this rule as it complicates primitive living too much, but if the ground is dry I am particulary carful of where I build my fire.
Next Monday: Gathering plants, materials (stone, antler etc…) and fungi.