Game species...

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by hq, Jan 12, 2020.

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  1. hq

    hq Member

    May 24, 2011
    This might be fun, just as a small insight in what's going on around the world. Maybe even a thread for similar lists from other countries and geographical locations outside the realm of the US?

    A "tag" system is in effect, without actual tags rather than license documents that must be presented to game warden if requested anytime during the hunt, even if you haven't shot anything yet. The game animals that don't require a tag don't have a set bag limit either, except when noted otherwise.

    This is probably not a comprehensive list. I may have missed something, but these are mainly the game animals I've hunted or tried to hunt myself, with varying success.

    Big/medium game:

    Moose (common, #1 in terms of importance and hunting as a social event, "tag" required)
    Roe deer (common, no tags or limits but all kills have to be reported to game officials for statistics)
    Whitetail deer (introduced species from northeastern US, very common in southern and central Finland, "tag" required)
    Fallow deer (fairly rare, huntable population exists, "tag" required)
    Muflon (introduced species from Denmark, rare)
    Brown bear, "grizzly" (common throughout Finland, "tag" required)
    Finnish forest reindeer (very rare, not to be confused with domesticated reindeer, "tag" required)
    Wild boar (somewhat rare, season 12 months a year, sometimes considered as a pest)
    Grey seal (fairly common, regional "tag" required)
    Ringed seal (common, "tag" required)
    European beaver (somewhat common, "tag" required)
    North American beaver (introduced species, fairly common)
    Wolf (special permit required)
    Lynx (special permit required)
    European otter (special permit required)

    Small game:

    Brown hare (very common)
    Mountain hare (very common)
    Rabbit (introduced, very common in urban areas)
    Red squirrel (very, very, very common, "squirrel skins" is an old slang term for money)


    Fox (common)
    Raccoon dog (very common, invasive introduced species, trapped, shot, to be eliminated in every which way possible)
    Arctic fox (both native and introduced, fairly common)
    Polecat (common, usually trapped)
    Ermine/weasel (common)
    Pine marten (common, usually trapped)
    Badger (common)
    Mink (introduced, shoot to kill, trap them, do anything to get rid of every last one of them)
    Muskrat (common)

    Upland fowl:

    Capercaillie (common in rural northern regions, the "king" of upland fowl)
    Black grouse (common, another great trophy bird)
    Willow grouse / willow ptarmigan (common in northern Finland)
    Rock ptarmigan (rare, legal to hunt only in a few northern counties)
    Hazel grouse (common)
    Grey partridge (common)
    Pheasant (common in southern Finland)
    Woodcock / common snipe (common)
    Jack snipe (rare, can't be hunted anymore)
    Wood pigeon (very common)


    Mallard (very common, the usual catch when you go fowling)
    Northern pintail (common)
    Teal (common)
    Oldsquaw (very common, 5 birds/day bag limit)
    Wigeon (very common)
    Garganey (very common)
    Goosander (fairly common)
    Northern shoveler (fairly rare)
    Bean goose (common but difficult to hunt, the "king" of waterfowl)
    Canada goose (very common, not to be confused with barnacle goose which isn't legal to hunt)
    Eurasian coot (fairly common)
    Goldeneye / whistler (fairly common)
    Tufted duck (fairly common)

    Phew! It took a while to compile this list, I had to take a few peeks in my diaries as well as the public hunting season documents to remember it all. Hunting is already very popular around here and on the rise (!!), especially among women in their late teens to 40's.

    Finland has an incredibly long history of hunting as a common man's sport - and means to survive - dating continuously, uninterrupted over 7500 years. While in central Europe hunting has been mostly restricted to noblemen, a right to hunt has been an anomaly, an exception, as an incentive to keep the arid, northern territory populated. All the way to when Finland was a part of Sweden from 1300's to 1808, and surprisingly enough, between 1808 and 1917 when Finland was a Grand Duchy of imperial Russia.

    Ever since the declaration of independence in 1917 hunting has been a civil right, albeit tied to land ownership and restricted with some requirements like passing a hunters' exam.

    It's safe to say that hunting is still BIG in Finland, and there's no shortage of game animals to hunt. My personal favorite is the whitetail season, whole 5.5 months every year, from September 1st to February 15th. Upland fowling is great too, but the season is relatively short, just seven weeks from September 10th to October 31st, with the exception of an extended season in some northern counties to January 31st.
    bob97, Speedo66, wankerjake and 6 others like this.
  2. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    Central Florida
    Thank you very much for your post. I'm sure most of us are surprised by the number and variety of animals/birds to hunt. Some of your waterfowl plus the grouse are unobtainable here. I know I would love to hunt European Widgeon and Cappercaillie.
    Random 8, hq and LoonWulf like this.
  3. hq

    hq Member

    May 24, 2011
    If you happen to be "in the neighborhood" or planning a trip, let me know a few weeks in advance. I have a pretty good routine in arranging all the fowling permits and paperwork for US hunting guests, as well as a cabin up north, smack in the middle of some one million acres of prime public land for grouse hunting... :)
  4. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Jun 19, 2018
    Central MN
    Surprising to hear the variety of things to hunt in Finland. New addition to my bucket list, will have to research and get my Sauna hardiness up to standard.
    I know you said outside the US, but I think it would be fun to add some specific regions in the US given widely varying regulations by state.
    Here is my less impressive list from the Great Lakes region of America and Canada.
    Big Game
    Whitetailed deer: MN, WI, MI. Varying seasons depending on weapon and some special hunts. General firearms season generally 2-3 weeks in November. License over the counter except some special hunts.
    North American Moose: Currently closed indefinately in MN and MI, limited hunts in Ontario, less restricted farther North in Fly-in country. I have participated in Native hunts as a designated hunter for elders.
    Minnesota Elk: Special hunt by lottery and landowner permission generally required.
    Black Bear: Mix of lottery and over the counter tags with a fairly generous early fall season in MN, open to non-resident. WI and MI are harder to get license. Fairly easy to get license with an outfitter guided hunt in Ontario.
    Wolf: Season currently closed indefinately due to politics. Was open as a lottery for tag, MN residents only

    Upland fowl and small game
    Ring Necked Pheasant: Generous season length, general small game license required over the counter and special stamp in MN
    Ruffed grouse: Also long season, general small game license.
    Spruce grouse: Same as ruffed grouse, not so good to eat.
    Sharptailed grouse: Limited season in special areas. Over the counter license.
    Woodcock: General small game license. Season becoming more limited as population may be in decline
    Prairie Chicken (type of grouse): Limited season in special areas by lottery.
    Fox and Grey Squirrel: Long season, general small game license
    Rabbit, including Cottontail, Snowshoe hare and Jackrabbit: Long season, general small game license.
    Snipe/rail: Several species with generous bag limit and season. Nobody really hunts these, but they are good eating comparable to teal and very challenging shoot
    Mourning Dove: Early season, early migrant. Not very popular game in MN, but fun to hunt and delicious to eat.
    Wild Turkey: Generous seasons throughout MN, WI and Lower MI. Season in MN will be liberalized this spring with over the counter tags instead of lottery.

    Waterfowl...All hunts in CONUS require Federal Waterfowl stamp, MN requires state stamp in addition to regular small game license. 60-90 day season beginning late September. Special spring hunts for Snow geese
    Canada, Snow/Blue geese
    Wood Duck (common locally but reduced bag limit)
    BW, GW teal
    Pintail (reduced bag limit)
    Canvasback (Rare, reduced harvest allowed)
    Greater and Lesser Scaup (declining population, reduced bag limit)
    Common Merganser
    Hooded merganser (somewhat rare in the region, but common locally reduced bag limit)
    Black Duck (rare, but more common in some specific areas, reduced bag limit)
    Incidental species included in "duck" but rare in the area or very late migrants if you like breaking ice to hunt (various, same regulations) I've taken a couple varietes of scoter and eider near Lake Superior, as well as cinnamon teal and some weird hybrids.

    Edited to add a few
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    stillquietvoice and hq like this.
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    That’s quite the variety. Do you have season on some and not on others? Here things even vary by State.

    Where I live, alligator are game animals but feral hogs are not, you don’t even need a hunting license (or your hunters education card if you were not born before Sept 1971) to kill hogs on private property, you have permission to be on.

    aoudad sheep, axis deer, elk, sika deer, fallow deer, red deer, blackbuck, nilgai antelope, exotic fowl like emu, ostrich, rhea, cassowary and even Elk are considered “exotics” here and have no “season”.

    other non game animals here, Armadillo, Bobcat, Coyote, flying or ground squirrels, frogs, mountain lions, porcupine, prairie dogs, skunk and Turtles.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    stillquietvoice likes this.
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