Police to supervise the start of waterfowl and bear hunting season from 20 to 21 August 2023

Publication date 16.8.2023 14.44
News item

In cooperation with other authorities, the police will conduct a nationwide special control operation targeted at the start of the waterfowl and bear hunting season.  

Every year, some 300,000 people buy a hunting license in Finland, which is a high number in relation to the population, in comparison with other European countries. Hunting is a popular hobby, which it involves spending free time out in the wild. Hunters’ responsibility for the animals and the environment, including compliance with legislation, rules and regulations common for all, is combined with the activity. 

The police perform hunting and fishing control, in collaboration with other authorities, in two ways: through general supervision and targeted supervision. In the autumn season, the operations focus on general supervision, that is, supervision of legal hunting. Locally, supervision focuses on key themes specific for the region.

Targeting of supervision

A new Decree issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry prohibits hunting of waterfowl after dark, from the end of the hour after sunset to the beginning of the hour before sunrise. Hunters must check the local times of sunrise and sunset before they start hunting. For example, if sunset occurs at 9.01 p.m., hunting is prohibited from 10.01 p.m. onwards. However, it is permitted to locate, kill and take an injured bird into possession even during the ban. The aim of the ban is to reduce the risk of protected or declining species getting shot by accident. The ban on hunting after dark improves species identification and the shooting situation (mmm.fi). Resources permitting, the supervision will be targeted at these times.

In Finland, the bear population is so large that the mere elimination of certain individuals that cause damage or a threat to safety is not enough to manage the social, economic or ecological problems caused by the bear population. This is why so-called hunting for population management purposes has been used to regulate Finland’s bear population. 

The bear hunting quota for the 2023–2024 hunting season is 180 specimens, 166 less than in the previous season. The Finnish Wildlife Agency decides on the specific targeting of derogation permits. Outside the reindeer herding area, the bear quota is 130 specimens and in the reindeer herding area, 50 bears, 20 less than last year. 

Police departments make independent decisions on how to target the supervision of bear hunting.

The National Police Board will communicate the nationwide results of the supervision campaign on 23 August 2023.

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