This page provides answers to the questions that our customer service department is frequently asked. If you don’t find an answer to your question on this page or the riista.fi website, please send us feedback about it or contact our customer service.
My foreign guest is coming to Finland to hunt. How do we go about arranging it?
Everyone who hunts in Finland is required to pay the state a game management fee that is collected every hunting year. The amount of this fee is decreed by the parliament. To get a Finnish hunting licence, foreign hunters are required to present a hunting licence that is valid in their home country, or some other reliable account that proves that they have the right to hunt in their homeland.
These documents are to be presented to the instructor of the relevant game management association who, after checking them, will order a paying-in slip for the game management fee for the person in question from the Register of Hunters. The payment of this fee equals a hunting licence. In practice, it is best for the Finnish host for the hunting party to deal with the procedures of acquiring a hunting licence for the foreign guest in advance.
Unless the foreign guest can give a reliable account of their right to hunt in their own country, they are required to acquire a Finnish hunting qualification. Game management associations organise hunting examinations, which are subject to a charge.
If your foreign guest intends to participate in hunting for moose, bear, deer species or wild boar with a rifled firearm, they are required to take a Finnish shooting test. Bow hunters of deer, mouflon and wild boar are required to take a bow shooting test. Shooting tests are organised by game management associations, especially in the summer and early autumn. Shooting tests are public events. Successful performances earn a certificate which will be valid for three years from the date of the test.
If a foreign hunter has a valid certificate of a corresponding shooting test taken in another country, or if they can provide the relevant game management association with proof that they have the right to hunt game of a similar size in their home country, they don’t need to take the shooting test in Finland.
Through the instructor of their game management association, a Finnish host acquires a Finnish shooting test certificate for their guest at the same time as they order a Finnish hunting licence.
In addition to a hunting licence and a possible shooting test certificate, a foreign hunter must have a hunting permit for a specific area. Hunting permits are sold or given by hunting rights holders, such as landowners, hunting clubs and, for state-owned land, the state forest enterprise Metsähallitus.
Dogs and guns
You can find more detailed information about importing dogs and guns and about borrowing weapons from a host in the brochure Hunting in Finland, the police authorities (importing weapons), or the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira (importing dogs).
I have lost the hunting licence which came with the Metsästäjä magazine. Where do I get a new one?
Contact the Register of Hunters by phone at 029 431 2002, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Where do I find the dates for hunting courses, hunting qualifications and shooting tests?
Hunting courses and qualifications and shooting tests are organised by game management associations. Information about them is published in local newspapers and on the event search online service.
Go to event search (in Finnish)
What does hunting insurance cover? What do I do if there is an accident?
If there is an accident that is covered by hunting insurance, please contact the LähiTapiola insurance compensation service by calling 09 453 3666. When making a claim, you need to give your full personal identification number.
Hunter’s third party liability insurance covers bodily injuries caused to another person when hunting with the weapon specified in the terms of insurance.
Hunter’s personal accident insurance covers accidental damage caused by the policyholder to themselves while hunting. The losses covered include those that are caused by the discharge or explosion of a firearm and, when a bow weapon is used, by its breakage.
The official’s personal accident insurance covers accidental damage incurred by the official themselves while working as an official in a competition or shooting practice event and preparing for or performing maintenance work for such events.
Accident insurance for a dog covers accidents occurring to a dog owned by the policyholder, or a family member living in the same household as the policyholder, when in big-game assistance assignments commissioned by the police or Emergency Response Centre.
Your hunting insurance is valid when you have paid for your hunting licence. The way the processing of the insurance claim proceeds and what the final compensation will be depends on the individual circumstances of each case. The number of the hunting insurance is C48.394 0612.
Read more about hunting insurance (in Finnish)
Where and when can I buy a permit for hunting grouse on state-owned land?
Metsähallitus, the state forest enterprise, sells hunting permits for state-owned land. You can buy hunting permits from Metsähallitus by calling 020 692 424 or by visiting their web store Eräluvat. The time when permits for grouse hunting are sold varies by region and year, so it is best to check the up-to-date information at the Eräluvat website.
Where and when are the hunting seasons for grouse determined?
The hunting seasons for grouse are regulated in the Hunting Decree, but the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry can restrict hunting by issuing a decree. Decrees on the shortening of hunting seasons are not given until September, because recent bird count data is used to support the decision making process, in addition to which the preparation of decrees takes some time.
The aim is to complete game triangle counts no later than in the first part of August. The Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute analyses the triangle count results, on the basis of which the Finnish Wildlife Agency presents possible restrictions to the duration of the hunting season by region and species, if necessary. The game management associations, which are affected by the possible restrictions, may make a statement on the draft of the decree.
On a good year for fowling, the hunting seasons that are in accordance with the Hunting Decree are followed, whereas on bad fowling years, the hunting season is cut shorter at the end. This way, grouse hunting always begins on the starting date given in the Hunting Decree unless the species has become an entirely protected one. In the last few years, the decrees of the Ministry on the protection of grouse have been given as early as July.
How close to a residential building or holiday cottage am I allowed to shoot?
It is prohibited to shoot an animal closer than 150 metres to an occupied building without the express permission of the building’s owner or occupant. A holiday cottage is considered to be occupied if there are people in it. As it is very rare that you can be sure whether a holiday cottage is occupied or not, it is best to follow the prudence principle and refrain from shooting closer than 150 metres to the cottage, unless you have obtained the express permission of the cottage owner or occupant.
Where can I get a Metsästäjän Opas guidebook?
Metsästäjän Opas is a guidebook on Finnish hunting and weapons legislation, which you can buy in the Finnish Wildlife Agency’s online shop, or order by phone at 020 331 515. The guidebook can also be bought on courses leading to a qualification, organised by game management associations, and in well-stocked book shops.
Go to our online shop (in Finnish and Swedish)
My relative has passed away. What should I do about their hunting licence and the Metsästäjä magazine subscription?
You don’t need to make a separate notification to the Finnish Wildlife Agency because information about deaths is transferred automatically from the Population Register Centre to the Register of Hunters, after which the hunting licence and the subscription for the Metsästäjä magazine will automatically be cancelled. If the payment for the hunting licence has been organised through direct debit or by e-invoice, as a relative it is your responsibility to cancel the agreement at the relevant bank.
How is “the right to hunt on state-owned land” defined when a person moves house?
If you move permanently so that your place of residence changes and is no longer in one of the areas decreed by section 8 of the Hunting Act, what is called the right to hunt on state-owned land will cease to exist. If you move temporarily and your place of residence, which is registered in the population register, does not change, you retain the right to hunt on state-owned land in your municipality in the areas decreed by section 8 of the Hunting Act.
The change in the right to hunt is determined by the date of moving. If you move to an area decreed in section 8 of the Hunting Act in the middle of the open season when your hunting licence still shows your old place of domicile, you are required to carry a certificate that reveals your new place of domicile when hunting on state-owned land. For example, an excerpt from the Population Information System obtained from your Local Register Office will serve as such a certificate.