Approximately 300,000 persons obtain a hunting card in Finland annually. The number is high in relation to overall population, when compared to other European countries. Hunting has been easily available as a hobby for ordinary citizens in Finland.
Hunting has maintained its position as a common and well-respected hobby with high social acceptability. In Finland, hunters do a lot of voluntary work that benefits the whole society. They participate in activities such as conducting wildlife counts and offering authorities executive assistance in situations concerning big game. These situations may, for instance, involve tracking, chasing away or capturing dangerous cervids and large carnivores or animals injured in traffic.
Finnish wilderness tradition
For a long time, hunting was almost a vital necessity for Finnish families. Wilderness was used as a source of food and fur. Fur was used as a payment method, and furs were a considerable source of additional income even later.
Even though Finnish hunting has become more like a hobby over the years, hunting still carries a special meaning for hunters, their families, and society.
Game animals are a source of pure wild food that is an important addition to store-bought food for many families. Hunters get annually more than 10 million kilos of pure game meat from their hunt.
Being a member in a hunting club or hunting party promotes social contacts and sense of community. Hunting as a hobby allows people to get physical exercise and participate in other activities that keep their mind and body healthy and fit.
Responsibility means hunter’s responsibility for animals and environment. Responsible hunters obey laws, regulations, and generally accepted practices.
Respecting and utilizing game are an important part of responsible hunting. A responsible hunter determines the number of kill in relation to current game populations and follows the set hunting quotas or recommendations.
Hunting involves the use of efficient firearms. It is important that firearms are used safely in a manner that does not endanger or damage the person using the firearm, other persons, or property.
Dogs are often used for hunting. Responsible hunters take care of their dogs’ well-being. Sufficient nourishment, rest, and practice guarantee the dogs’ well-being and allow them to do their game work well.
The social acceptability of hunting depends on how the approximately 300,000 hunters in Finland practice their hobby. With the right choices, hunting will remain an accepted part of Finnish society.