International guests participating in a hunt

In addition to a valid hunting card, a hunter arriving in Finland will need a hunting licence and possibly a shooting test certificate and a licence to bring a firearm or dog into the country. It is best if the Finnish organiser of the hunt can help their guest to acquire the necessary licences. To ensure a smooth process, it is best to contact the local game management association’s instructor ahead of time.

Every year some two thousand foreign hunters visit Finland. White-tailed deer and elk hunting and fowling in particular bring hunting tourists to the country.

Hunting card and hunting licence are essential

A Finnish hunting card can be granted to a foreign hunter for one year at a time. To get a Finnish hunting card, a foreign hunter is required to present a hunting card that is valid in their home country, or some other reliable documentation that proves that they have the right to hunt in their homeland. Without such proof, a foreign hunter will be required to acquire a Finnish hunting qualification.

A game management association’s instructor will order a hunting card for the hunting guest from the Register of Hunters. The instructor will require a paper copy or a scanned email attachment of the foreign hunter’s hunting card, or some other reliable documentation of their right to hunt in their home country. The card will be posted from the Register to the address provided by the applicant only when ordered by an instructor.

Foreign hunters are also required to have a hunting licence for the specific area where they intend to hunt. Hunting licences are sold or given by hunting rights holders, such as landowners, hunting clubs and, for state-owned land, the state forest enterprise Metsähallitus.

A shooting test certificate is always recommended

A foreign hunter with a shooting test certificate or the right to hunt game of a similar size may shoot deer species or bears with a rifled firearm in Finland. It is always best to acquire a Finnish shooting test certificate for a foreign hunter, although the legislation does not require it. The certificate will make it easier to deal with situations involving official hunt inspectors.

A shooting test certificate can be acquired at the same time as ordering a Finnish hunting card for the guest. For this purpose, a valid certificate of a successful shooting test taken in another country, and a translation of it when necessary, are to be submitted to the local game management association’s instructor, or failing that, documentation of the foreign hunter’s right to hunt game of a similar size in their home country.

If the hunter has no shooting test certificate or cannot provide acceptable documentation, they will need to take a Finnish shooting test in accordance with current regulations. Shooting tests are organised by game management associations, especially in the summer and early autumn. Successful performances earn a certificate which will be valid for three years from the date of the test.

In any case, for someone intending to participate in elk-hunting in Finland, a visit to a shooting range and practising aiming and hitting a Finnish elk silhouette target is good preparation for the hunt itself.

Bringing dogs and firearms to Finland is subject to licence

A foreign hunter may bring a hunting dog or firearms and cartridges to Finland. The requirements for this vary according to the country where the dog and firearms are brought from. A holder of a Nordic firearms licence or a European Firearms Pass may bring firearms with them, but they must also have a written invitation from the hunt organiser.

For more information contact:

Finnish Wildlife Agency’s customer services, +358 29 431 2001, asiakaspalvelu@riista.fi

 

Contact information for instructors of local game management associations

Up-to-date requirements for bringing dogs into Finland

Firearm licences and bringing firearms into Finland

Hunting examinations and shooting tests in the near future

The ‘Hunting in Finland’ brochure in five languages