To investigate the practice of hunting by local people in the southern Bahia region of Brazil and provide information to support the implementation of the National Action Plan for Conservation of the Central Atlantic Forest Mammals, we conducted 351 interviews with residents of three protected areas and a buffer zone. Thirty-seven percent of respondents stated that they had captured an animal opportunistically, 16% hunted actively and 47% did not hunt. The major motivation for hunting was consumption but people also hunted for medicinal purposes, recreation and retaliation. The most hunted and consumed species were the paca Cuniculus paca, the nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus and the collared peccary Pecari tajacu; threatened species were rarely hunted. Opinions varied on whether wildlife was declining or increasing; declines were generally attributed to hunting. Our findings suggest there is illegal hunting for consumption in and around protected areas of the region. Management efforts should prioritize fairness in the expropriation process for people who must be relocated, and adopt an approach to wildlife management that involves residents living around the protected areas, and considers their needs.