We analyzed harvest data to describe hunting patterns and harvest demography of brown bears (Ursus arctos) killed in 3 geographic regions in Sweden during 1981–2004. In addition, we investigated the effects of a ban on baiting, instituted in 2001, and 2 major changes in the quota system: a switch to sex-specific quotas in 1992 and a return to total quotas in 1999. Brown bears (n = 887) were harvested specifically by bear hunters and incidentally by moose (Alces alces) hunters. Both hunter categories harvested bears 1) using dogs (37%), 2) by still hunting (30%), 3) with the use of bait (18%), and 4) by stalking (16%). The proportion of bears killed with different harvest methods varied among regions and between bear- and moose-oriented hunters. We found differences between male (52%) and female bears (48%) with respect to the variables that explained age. Moose-oriented hunters using still hunting harvested the youngest male bears. Bears harvested during the first management period (1981–1991) were older and had greater odds of being male than during the subsequent period. It appears that hunters harvesting bears in Sweden are less selective than their North American counterparts, possibly due to differences in the hunting system. When comparing the 4 years immediately prior to the ban on baiting with the 4 years following the ban, we found no differences in average age of harvested bears, sex ratio, or proportion of bears killed with stalking, still hunting, and hunting with dogs, suggesting that the ban on baiting in Sweden had no immediate effect on patterns of brown bear harvest demography and remaining hunting methods. As the demographic and evolutionary side effects of selective harvesting receive growing attention, wildlife managers should be aware that differences in harvest systems between jurisdictions may cause qualitative and quantitative differences in harvest biases.
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Vol. 72 • No. 1