Children under the age of 15 years may shoot with a firearm under adult supervision. Persons over the age of 15 years may apply for a parallel permit for another person’s firearm. At the age of 18, a person can already apply for a permit for their own weapon. Through hunting, children and young people learn how to handle firearms responsibly. When the basics are in place, hunting is a relatively safe hobby. Young hunters’ attitude to nature develops in a healthy way. They understand that food comes from nature. Finnish hunting culture emphasizes an ethical approach, good hunting practices and respectful handling of the quarry. A successful game shot requires skill and patience. For many children and young people, it’s a great moment! Cooking a meal of self-caught game is a completely different experience from frying ground meat bought in a shop.
The ABC training of game shooting, developed by the Finnish Hunters’ Association, also gives young people the opportunity to practise firearm handling and proper firing techniques. Thousands of young people are engaged in game shooting, many at the competition level. Air gun shooting, in particular, is popular among young people, as air rifle cartridges cost less than, say, shotgun cartridges.