All we have on the new hunts, as this issue goes to press, are some general newspaper articles that drip with anti-hunting sarcasm and a brief e-mail from one of the companies that will be organizing seal hunts - namely, NorSafari. Here is the gist of the Norsafari e-mail:
"In order to join a seal hunt in Norway one must have a hunting license in his possession from his home country. We plan to take a maximum of six hunters per trip. We will stay in a cabin on a very small, one-acre island that is in a group of some 270 small islands near the Arctic Circle. The cabin has an electrical generator.
"There is no ice here, so hunting will be done from small 17- to 21-foot boats. We will look for seals from the boat, then put the hunters ashore, so they can make their shots, either at seals on land or in the sea. The boat will stay ready to pick up a seal if it's shot in water. There are two seal species common to this area: the harbor seal and the grey seal. The last one is the most common, but also the most difficult to hunt. It is by far the largest of all the seals, weighing upwards of 800 pounds. Hunting cubs is not allowed, and it's also not allowed to hunt during the culling season...."
The Norsafari e-mail did not mention prices, but one of the newspaper articles we obtained says a Norsafari seal hunt costs about $200 a day at current exchange rates. That includes the animal fee for one seal. A four-day hunt with a guaranteed bag of two seals costs about $1,180.