The first settlers in Finland came here in pursuit of game and fish, and hunting continues to be an important form of recreation. The busiest hunting season starts in late August.

Metsähallitus controls extensive state-owned hunting grounds that are accessible to everyone with a valid hunting permit. These hunting areas vary in size, terrain and the game species that can be hunted.

Most hunters visiting state-owned areas set their sights on grouse species, such as the capercaillie, black grouse, or willow grouse. Large game hunters go for the moose and brown bear.

A bird, willow grouse standing.
A willow grouse. Photo Juha Kaipainen.

Hunting permits

In order to hunt in Finland, you must pay an annual game management fee. In addition, you must have a hunting permit for the area in which you plan to hunt. These permits are granted by landowners. Permits for state-owned land are issued by Metsähallitus. For some game species, especially such big game as moose (Alces alces), a hunting license granted by the Finnish Wildlife Agency is required.

Game animals may only be hunted in their assigned hunting seasons. Hunting is easiest in the company of a guide who knows the locations and permit requirements.

Hunting is organized with the aim of benefiting both the hunters and wildlife. The numbers of permits available are based on the current population levels of game species, and permit fees paid by hunters are used to manage the habitats of game species. In recent years, the permit revenue has been used for such purposes as restoring thousands of hectares of wetlands for important species, such as the willow grouse and bean goose.

The customer service of Metsähallitus Wildlife Service Finland is happy to help in case you have any further questions: +358 20 69 2424, open on weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM.

See also