Hunting is part of the traditional way of life and living in our northern nature. Finland was originally inhabited in pursuit of game and fish. It continues to be an important form of recreation and a means of getting food. The busiest hunting season starts on August 20, the opening of the water fowl hunting season.
The Finnish Wildlife Agency has drafted a guide (www.riista.fi, pdf 676 kt) for foreigners for getting the required permits.
In Finland, a hunter must pay the annual Game Management Fee (hunting licence). In addition, hunters must have a hunting permit for the area where they plan to hunt. For some game animals, such as elk, a hunting permit granted by the Finnish Wildlife Agency is required. Game animals may only be hunted in their assigned hunting seasons. Further information is available at The Finnish Wildlife Agency (riista.fi).
Permits for hunting are granted by the owner of the land. On state-owned land, permits issued by Metsähallitus. Permits are available by calling the sales number +358 20 69 2424, which is open on weekdays from 9:00 –16:00.
There are often restrictions on hunting in nature reserves.
Further information on the types of permits, prices, and hunting areas is available at the Metsähallitus wildlife services website (www.eraluvat.fi).
The fees paid by hunters for permits are used for the improvement of the habitats of game animals. In recent years the revenue has been used for purposes including the improvement of thousands of hectares of wetlands for willow grouse, black grouse, and bean goose. It is hoped that expert game management would help the species benefit from the fact that they are hunted.
Other important sources of information for hunters include The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (www.mmm.fi) and The Finnish Hunters’ Association (www.metsastajaliitto.fi, in Finnish).