Hunting is an integral part of Finnish history and tradition. Although the large majority of present-day hunters hunt for leisure only, hunting traditions and skills are still highly appreciated.
Game meat is valued and game dishes are the pride of Finnish cuisine. Naturally, game is always served when guests from abroad are entertained at home or at the number-one tables of national representation.
Game meat is varied, delicious and wholesome. Most Nordic nutritional studies speak in favour of game meat. In this era of additives and scandals about food origin, the hunter knows where his/her food comes from.
Hunting as a hobby is an important source of energy and recreation for many Finns. Like the rest of the nation, Finnish hunters are mostly middle-aged or older. Regular exercise out of doors, pursuing an interesting hobby is stimulating and relaxing to the mind, develops the sense of balance and muscle strength, improves mobility and provides a chance to meet friends.
Hunting as a hobby unites different generations. Hunting with dogs, in particular, is a hobby shared by many family members. In addition, more and more women in Finland have developed an interest in hunting and passed the hunting licence test.
Many hunters live in cities and no longer have land of their own where to hunt. It is often difficult to find opportunities for hunting and it is difficult to train hunting dogs when there are no places where dogs can run free.
Therefore, a growing demand has given birth to new sources of livelihood in the countryside where several old trades and occupations have disappeared. Many farms in different parts of Finland are developing services associated with game and hunting and offer families the chance to roam in nature, train their dogs, hunt and stay overnight in a natural environment.
There is also a growing trend to promote Finnish wildness-food cuisine that comprises game as well as wilderness mushroom, herbs and berries. The ambition is to make Finland known around the world as the country of pure and tasty wilderness-food.