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PH Spotlight – Stefan Bengtsson, Scandinavian Prohunters   

SCI: What is your most memorable experience with a client?

SB: It was with a client who was 93 years old. He came to our booth at one of the SCI Conventions in Reno and asked, “Are you guiding?” He said he wanted to hunt in Sweden. He said he had hunted around the world with his wife who died several years ago, and he missed the company of a female hunter. He had tremors, vision problems and difficulty walking, but he flew to Sweden to take a roe buck. We tried every shooting stick, but none worked. The last night, I found the optimal shooting stick for him — the dinner chair with which he could be totally steady. Then, with the chair on my head, binocular around my neck and the 93-year-old man behind me, we went out for a Swedish roe buck.

SCI: Where were you born and raised?

SB: I was educated as a wildlife manager in Sweden. For 32 years I have worked as a professional hunter in Sweden, Denmark and South Africa. I have also hunted 26 countries across six continents. My partner, Sofia, has 26 years’ experience as a professional hunter. Prior to that she worked as a wildlife manager for a government-owned company. Thirteen years ago, she began working internationally but continues to guide in Sweden, Norway and Greenland.

SCI: What led you to become a professional hunter?

SB: At any early age, I knew I wanted to work with hunting. Sofia chose the academic path first before realizing she wanted to be in the outdoor world.

SCI: What species do you hunt?

SB: In Sweden, roe deer, fallow deer, red deer, moose, wild boar and bird hunting. In Norway, reindeer and Norwegian red stag. In Greenland, muskox and caribou. In England, muntjac and Chinese water deer. In Scotland, red stag and other hunts in Northern Europe.

SCI: What firearms do you carry on hunts and why?

SB: I prefer light rifles, such as the Blaser R93 in .375 H&H and .270 WSM. We use the version with the new carbon-fiber stock that absorbs the recoil better. The .270 WSM is a perfect all-round caliber for hunting in Europe: flat trajectory, good accuracy and low recoil, so nice to shoot with. When we hunt big game ourselves, we almost always use the .375 H&H. It is nice to shoot, with good accuracy. It is not sensitive to wind and on long range, it still has lots of energy. But most important, if you are unlucky and the shot isn’t perfect, it will still destroy bones and deliver a lethal hit.

SCI: What other activities do you offer?

SB: Fly-fishing trips in Sweden, Scotland and Greenland.

SCI: How many years have you been in business?

SB: 20 years.

SCI: Are you involved in local programs, such as conservation, education and anti-poaching?

SB: We are involved in wildlife management for the bird population.

SCI: In what ways are you affiliated with SCI?

SB: I am a Life member, and we have exhibited at annual conventions.

SCI: What is the best piece of hunting advice you ever received and who told it to you?

SB: Nils Christian, an old gamekeeper in Denmark. He said: “Even if you are hunting a new species, you will feel it in the stomach if it is a big trophy. If you think it is big and hesitate, don’t shoot.”

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