The state-run Iceland Forest Service has decided to launch an experimental and developmental project on the sale of ptarmigan hunting licenses in Iceland’s national forests, one forest in each quarter of the country.
The service hopes that this new arrangement will have a positive influence on hunting culture in Iceland and contribute towards increased safety of hunters, Fréttabladid reports.
“With this project we want to try and improve the hunting culture in this country; that people respect the properties of others, landmarks and other people hunting in the same area,” said director of the Iceland Forest Service Jón Loftsson.
Hunters can buy hunting licenses on the internet for the upcoming ptarmigan season which begins on November 1.
“People simply purchase areas, like they would buy a day in a salmon river, and certain regulations apply. It is almost barbaric as it is today; people walk around without checking whether the area is in public or private ownership,” Loftsson stated.
It is hoped that landowners want to participate in the project with time and register their land as hunting grounds on the internet. Guesthouse owners and farmers who offer accommodation could also benefit from this arrangement, which is based on a foreign model.
Loftsson estimates that hunting licenses will cost ISK 3,000 to 4,000 (USD 27 to 36, EUR 20 to 26) for each weapon.
Davíd Ingason, vice-chairman of the Hunting Association of Iceland, said the project is a good idea; it is natural that hunters have access to state property. “The only danger could be that certain individuals buy up hunting licenses long-term. It has to be well organized.”
Ptarmigan is a typical Christmas dinner for many families in Iceland.