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Tonight I Feel Lucky: Lottery Determines Who Gets to Hunt Elk in Norway

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With demand for hunting permits already hitting the ceiling five months before the start of the season, Norway's land and forest authority Statskog is planning to use a lottery machine to pick the lucky winner who gets to shoot elk.

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With hunting season slowly approaching, Norwegian hunters will be able to apply for a hunting permit between April 1 and May 1. Last year, around 1,000 guns were granted permits by the country's largest landowner's to avail themselves of Statskog's hunting grounds.

"Interest in hunting is still great in Norway, so we expect an even greater demand this year," Jo Inge Breisjøberget of Statskog, told Norway's broadcasting company NRK.

With the demand obviously exceeding the supply, permits must be distributed in a fair way in order to avoid public displeasure and criticism.

"We do not take bribes, no. Instead, odds are going to be drawn by a lottery machine, untouched by human hands," assured Breisjøberget.

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The most popular areas are those, in which hunters are allowed to use hounds, such as mountainous terrain in both northern and southern Norway, where populous wolf packs may scare off would-be hunters.

Overall, Hunting is imperative in order to keep the elk population under control. In February this year, a reduction of the elk population by as much as 25 percent was recommended by competent bodies of the Midt-Troms province.

Besides providing enthusiasts with a unique experience and impressive trophies to boast, hunting is also a welcome complement to the local budget. Last year, Statskog gathered around 14 million kroner (roughly 1.7 million dollars) from its trigger-happy license holders. Norway's elk population is estimated at 150,000 animals.

For now, elk hunters must arm themselves with nothing but patience, as the hunting season will not start until the end of September.

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