Opening of hunting season controlled by Police on 20 and 21 August 2022
The Police will collaborate with other authorities in nationwide controls during the opening weekend of the waterfowl and bear hunting seasons.
According to the statistics of the National Resources Centre Finland and the Finnish Wildlife Agency, the so-called game management fee was paid by over 300 000 hunters in 2021. About 197 000 of them were active hunters. In proportion to the inhabitant figures, the number of hunters is high compared to other European countries.
The cooperation of the Police and other hunting control authorities remains in the core of the development work focusing on hunting and fishing supervision. By promoting this collaboration between various authorities and the coordination of the investigation of crimes involving natural resources, the control operations will be more impactful, even with the current limited workforce resources available.
The hunting and fishing controls are implemented in two different forms, i.e., general and targeted controls. During the autumn season, the main focus is on general controls, in other words the controls of legal hunting.
The Police will collaborate with other authorities in nationwide intensive controls during the opening of the waterfowl and bear hunting seasons on 20 and 21 August 2022. The control will have a local and regional focus and concentrate of certain core themes. To target the controls on large masses and regional focal points will have benefits in terms of general visibility and more effective prevention.
Targeting of controls
Waterfowl hunting: To lure waterfowl with food for hunting purposes continues to be a growing phenomenon in many places. Due to large flocks of birds gathered in feeding places, a lot of shots are fired while the most intensive hunting takes place during sunset. Often, the shots are fired in fairly dark circumstances at dusk, towards the pale light of the sky or water, whereby the fowl is identified based on its silhouette only, and also protected species are sometimes shot. Therefore, concentrating the controls in the regionally most busy hunting spots just before sunset is well founded.
Bear hunting: In the hunting season 2022–2023, the quota of bears that can be shot is 111 smaller than in the preceding season. During the past four years, the aim of the awarded bear shooting license numbers has been to level off the bear population growth, and this target has been attained. In the future, the focus of the regulation is to stabilise the size of the bear population (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 1 July 2022). The Finnish Wildlife Agency will decide where and how the exceptional hunting permits are allocated. The bear hunting will continue to take place mostly in Northern Karelia. In the reindeer husbandry areas, the bear hunting quota is predominantly focused in the eastern husbandry areas. The majority of the exceptional permits awarded have been subject to complaints to Administrative Courts, and exceptional permits with ongoing complaint process may lead to action bans. In bear hunting controls, the focus will be on these areas and on the granted licenses and those not involving eventual action bans.
The Police Board will provide information on the nationwide outcome of the controls on 23 August 2022.