Suomen Metsästäjäliitto

The Commission's policy to adapt the protection status of wolves is important - national action is still needed

21.12.2023 08:00
The proposal published by the European Commission on 20 December 2023 aimed at reducing the protection status of wolves is welcome news for the Finnish Hunters' Association.

“The change in EU policy shows that the management-based hunting of large carnivores is important for maintaining large carnivore populations in a socially and economically sustainable manner, while ensuring the protection of large carnivores. The Finnish Hunters' Association and the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) have long called for a change to the protection status of the wolf. The Commission has finally gotten the message after years of work,” says Tuomas Hallenberg, Chairman of the Finnish Hunters' Association.

Finland must define a favourable conservation status for wolves at national level so that hunting of wolves can be ensured under the current and potentially changing protection classification conditions.

“The Commission's proposal to the Bern Convention’s Standing Committee and the subsequent amendment to the EU Habitats Directive will take at least two years. The next meeting of the Bern Convention's Standing Committee will only be held a year from December 2024 and only then will be it be able to discuss the downward adjustment in the protection status of wolves. After this, an annex must still be added to the Habitats Directive. The fastest action the Commission  could now take would be to amend the Habitats Directive's application guideline in line with today's statement,” states Hallenberg.

National action needed

The Finnish Hunters' Association notes that the Commission's policy change only concerns wolves. No change has been proposed to the protection status of the bear and lynx.

“The Finnish Hunters' Association’s view is that Finland should amend legislation on large carnivores and administration should be developed so that local social and economic perspectives are taken into account in issuing of hunting permits for large carnivores and in legal proceedings. The President of the Supreme Administrative Court, Kuusiniemi, also spoke about taking locality into account earlier in December.

Today's press release from the Commission on the wolf reminded us that Member States should make use of the derogations in the Habitats Directive. The proposal to change the protection status of wolves is an important change in EU policy and its significance is underlined by the fact that President of the European Commission von der Leyen, Environment Commissioner Sinkevičiusja and Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski all signed the press release.

Duck nest tubes have proven their effectiveness again this spring

05.06.2023 13:14
The Finnish Hunters' Association installed camera tracking on the nest tube of a well-known duckling production wetland.

Since the beginning of April, two live cameras have been broadcasting online footage from the outside of the nest tube and from the inside of the tube.  The broadcast is still ongoing and can be followed until end of July.

This video compilation shows the key tube nesting events. In mid-April, when the wetland was still frozen, the hen visited the tube for the first time. Laying began soon after. Hatching began in early May and 11 chicks hatched on May 26. The dammed wetland shown in the video was established by a private landowner. Plenty of nest boxes and tube nests have been installed on the site. The final number of wildfowl nests will be known later this summer, but in the 2022 season there were 7 successful nests in the tubes. The wetland is part of the target network of the SOTKA resting area project and serves as both a high-quality duckling production area and an undisturbed resting area in the autumn.

Nest tube live

21.04.2023 15:18
mallard Nest tube live
The Finnish Hunters' Association has opened the mallard's tube nest live service. Two live cams have been installed on the wetland.

One of the cameras is outside the nest tube and the other is filming inside the tube. The nest tube is currently (21.4.2023) undergoing a laying phase, which lasts about two weeks.

According to observations, the hen visits the nest in the early hours of the morning.The live service monitors the life of birds in the wetland for three months.

Welcome to follow the nesting >>

Public image of hunting in Finland is positive, study finds

20.03.2023 14:08
The Finnish Hunters’ Association commissioned a media analysis of the public image of both hunting and the Finnish Hunters’ Association. In particular, articles on hunting as a lifestyle and hobby, club activities and youth work, as well as political support for hunting and hunting permits were highlighted as positive topics.

According to the study, the tone of the publicity concerning the Finnish Hunters’ Association was primarily neutral (89%). One in ten stories or news articles was positive, with very little negative visibility (1%). The topics that were particularly positive for the Association’s public image were the advancement of the invasive alien predators project, the Association's youth work, events and training activities, its promotion of responsible hunting, and the Ministry's recognition of the good work done by the Association. The negative coverage focused on the Association’s lobbying activities, for example in the debate concerning the Finnish wolf population, and its role in large carnivore permits. The public image of the Finnish Hunters’ Association was analysed on the basis of 872 news articles published by Finnish editorial media.

The public image of hunting was considerably more polarising than that of the Association itself – however, even in this case, the positive coverage (17%) outnumbered the negative (8%). When it comes to the public image of hunting, the authorities represented its most-discussed actors, dominating more than a third of all relevant news items, with particular focus being placed on the Finnish Wildlife Agency, Metsähallitus, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the police.

The analysis focused on Finnish editorial media, i.e. online articles, print media, and key TV and radio programming. Its dataset included all media news items that referenced the Finnish Hunters’ Association or hunting, with an emphasis on key themes such as hunting accidents, population control-related hunting, the ban on lead, and wolves.

The most reporting on hunting was done by Finland’s national public broadcasting company Yle (279 stories in 2022) as well as by the newspapers Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (228), Lapin Kansa (226) and Helsingin Sanomat (221). The analysis also included hundreds of articles from other regional newspapers. The analysis of the public image of hunting was carried out by Retriever for the Finnish Hunters' Association.

Be aware of swine fever

19.12.2022 09:37
African swine fever (ASF) is a fatal disease of pigs. Despite preventive measures it continues to spread to new areas and new countries, including within the EU.

It is feared that the disease will spread to Finland, for example with pork products that people bring in, animal transportation equipment or wild boars.

Should the disease spread to Finland, it would cause large economic losses for pig farms and the meat industry due to the destruction of animals, cleaning and disinfection of premises and interruption of international trade. African swine fever does not infect humans and it has never been found in Finland.

The virus responsible for the disease survives well in the environment and is highly contagious. The disease has been spread, for example by pig transport, using feed containing the virus to pigs, and by wild boars.Spreading is also possible through the animal or with equipments contaminated by the virus.

Are you planning hunting trip to Finland?

13.11.2022 19:31
Hunters in the middle of snow
Hunting in Finland requires that four things are taken care of in good time before the planned hunting trip. For this reason, planning should start well ahead of the trip.

A couple of thousand hunters from abroad visit Finland every year. In particular, hunting for white-tailed deer, moose and grouse attracts hunters to Finland.

Getting a hunting card

“Foreign citizens can get a Finnish hunting card for one season at a time, if they have the right to hunt in their own country. Similarly, a certificate of equivalence for a shooting test can be obtained if the person has the right to hunt ‘similar-sized game’ in their own country”, says Paula Laukkanen, Executive Director of the Helsinki Game Management Association.

“Both the hunting card and the certificate of equivalence for a shooting test cost the same for a foreigner as for a Finn.”

The application for a hunting card is addressed to the executive director of the relevant game management association, whose contact details can be found on the website

“The application must be accompanied by a copy of the hunting card, or equivalent proof of the person’s right to hunt in their own country, as well as an account of citizenship.

If a certificate of equivalence for a shooting test is required, a certificate of a shooting test and/or proof of the right to hunt ‘similar-sized game’ in the person’s own country is also attached.”

Other permits and certificates

A foreign hunter must also have a hunting permit for a particular area. Hunting permits are sold or issued by hunting rights holders, such as landowners, hunting associations and, on state-owned land, Metsähallitus.

The shooting test certificate can be obtained at the same time as the order is placed for a Finnish hunting card.

The executive director of a game management association is given a valid certificate of a shooting test approved in another country, including the necessary translations, or proof of the guest’s right to hunt game animals of similar size in their own country.

A hunter who does not have a shooting test certificate, or is unable to provide acceptable documentation, must take a Finnish shooting test in accordance with the regulations in force.

Shooting tests are organized by game management associations, especially in summer and early autumn.



Foreign citizens are allowed to hunt if they have the following permits and documents:

• a Finnish hunting card
• a hunting right or a hunting permit granted by the landowner or a holder of hunting right
• the right to possess a firearm
Attention must be paid to hunting periods and, in the case of certain game animals, also to the hunting licence or exemption.

The brochure Hunting in Finland is available in various languages under the link


Notify wolf damage without delay

03.10.2022 14:18

Statistics show that in the first half of the 2000s, 20–40 dogs were lost to large carnivores each year. Roughly half of the incidents where wolves hurt or killed dogs happened in hunting situations and the other were incidents where a wolf snatched a dog from its home yard.

Damages caused to agriculture and forestry are compensated for from State funds within the limits of the State budget, in accordance with the Game Animal Damages Act.

If the dog killed by a large carnivore, the owner may seek compensation from the state. The dog's insured value is determined by its acquisition price as a puppy and factors that might add to the value, such as training, different character and health tests and dog show results.

The damage must be notified without delay to enable the assessment of the damage and other measures required by the matter.

Do you want a future for hunting?

02.09.2022 17:26

Do you want a future for hunting?

The future of hunting and conservation is under threat.

Bird hunting, habitat for game, large carnivore management, Europe’s hunting cultures, and our incentives to conserve nature are at risk from problematic policy-making.

Sign now to urge Brussels’ policymakers to work with hunters not against!

Public consultation on ammunition re-opened

07.07.2022 13:49
The new ECHA consultation is open until 6 October 2022. It should be noted that last week, ECHA opened its socio-economic consultation (for 2 months), with new proposals including to reduce the transition period for lead shot to 18 months.

Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has opened today a three-month targeted consultation on data used to establish the risks posed by lead in game meat (link).

This follows the failure of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to provide information in a timely manner that informed a substantial pillar of ECHA’s current opinion on risks from consuming game meat. Back in February 2021, FACE requested the EFSA data, which should have taken 15 days. However, since the start of FACE’s access request, there were numerous delays as well as attempts of justification and extended deadlines. After ECHA’s public consultation closed in September 2021, ECHA sent the requested documents to FACE, almost eight months later.

This unacceptable delay was reported to the Ombudsman (link), who highlighted a case of “maladministration” by EFSA regarding its inability to provide key documents in a timely manner. The delay meant that stakeholders were prevented from substantiating comments made during last year’s public consultation regarding the ongoing restriction procedure on lead in ammunition under REACH.

As the procedural defect is critical, FACE requested the reopening of the public consultation at which all interested parties could present evidence related to the ECHA’s human health risk assessment. ECHA refused FACE’s request, but the European Commission stepped in, agreeing that fairness is required.

FACE recently launched the European Hunters’ Campaign to call for fair play from the EU institutions. For more information on the campaign’s requests, see

Hunter, please help Ukraine by donating funds to well-known organisations operating in the crisis areas

05.05.2022 14:10
Russia's attack on Ukraine has made many Finns want to help Ukraine, and the Finnish Hunters Association has received queries regarding the possibility to organise money collections in order to help Ukraine.

The Finnish Hunters' Association, along with persons elected to a position of trust, has considered the matter and come to the conclusion that the Association does not have the necessary expertise to operate in crisis areas.

-The members of the Hunters' Association are certainly shocked by the situation in Ukraine, but, unfortunately, the Association does not have the expertise, know-how, resources or channels required to provide crisis assistance. However, we hope that hunters will also help the Ukrainians by providing aid to them through well-known operators. 

Vastuullinen lahjoittaminen ry (VaLa) is a cooperation network of non-profit organisations engaged in fundraising. The Finnish Hunters' Association is one of the member organisations of VaLa- The member communities of VaLa represent approximately one million donors and supporters.

Finland has several organisations that provide assistance should a crisis or disaster occur somewhere in the world. Donations are used to provide humanitarian aid in crisis areas in many ways, for example by distributing emergency supplies and assisting people in basic everyday matters through the efforts of aid workers. Check out the collections that communities are organising to help the situation in Ukraine here:

CIC (International council for game and wildlife conservation) also collects funds: