Welcome to hunt
Finland is an ideal destination for the hunting tourist, offering experiences to satisfy even the most special demands. When Lapland is clad in its magnificent autumn colours, you can try your hand at trapping ptarmigan there, or in southern Finland you can brave the wind and rain on the rocky outer islets of the archipelago and hunt some of the countless thousands of birds migrating from the Arctic hills to warmer climes. This extensive country offers plenty of opportunities for all who know what they expect from a hunting trip.
A coveted prize is the European elk (or moose), along with the brown bear the joint king of the Finnish forests. This prey is especially popular with Central Europeans. What makes elk hunting in Finland interesting for visitors is the good prospect of success and the relatively low cost. Hunts are well organised and safe, and everyone taking part has an equal opportunity to go home with a set of antlers as a magnificent trophy.
Another animal that interests hunters is the white-tailed deer, an exotic species originally introduced from North America. Finland is the only European country that can offer decent opportunities to hunt this animal. There is a strong population, and the foreign visitors who have succeeded in a hunt for this animal are also counted in big numbers. The most popular method of hunting, also used by deer hunters in Central Europe, is to lie in wait and try to shoot it from a tower.
Among Finnish game birds, perhaps the biggest favourite with visiting hunters is the capercaillie, an enormous grouse the likes of which Central European hunters can only dream of in their own countries. They are abundant in Finland, along with several other species of grouse. The chance of bagging a fine bird is good, there is plenty of excitement, and anyway just being in the vast forests is a memorable experience in its own right.
Finnish hunting culture differs considerably from the Central European. Indeed, the customs and traditions that the Finns cherish can initially astonish foreigners, but a day in the hunting grounds is usually enough to put the picture right. Hosts and visitors get to know each other very well around a campfire.
The Finns have been hunters for thousands of years and hunting is still a highly respected pastime, as it is in Central Europe. The only difference is that in Finland it is a pastime that anyone can enjoy. There are about 300,000 hunters in Finland, relative to population a larger number than anywhere else in Europe. And there is enough prey for everyone, including the visiting hunter.