Around 300,000 Finnish people pay the annual hunting licence in a given year. The number has remained substantially unchanged for 25 years. Around 200,000 of these go hunting and almost an equal number participate in game management activities. The number has declined in recent years.

Hunting is a male-dominated recreational activity. Women make up only 7 per cent of hunters, but their proportion is increasing. The average age of hunters is around 50 years.

The wood pigeon, mallard and mountain hare comprise the most frequent hunting bag. Around half of those engaging in hunting participate in moose-hunting. Most bag is consumed by the hunters families, relatives and friends.

Luke compiles statistics on and investigates hunting

In addition to producing annual statistics on hunting, Luke investigates changes in the hunting culture and socio-economical interaction related to it. Changes to the operational environment and the structure of the hunter community pose a challenge to hunters and the administration alike. As part of the adjustment process, hunters have adopted a number of new tools and practices over recent decades. Among other things, together with new location and communication technology, more dogs have been introduced in moose hunting and collaboration has been intensified in the hunting and preparation of big game.

Most hunters live in population centres, spending an increasing amount of money on items such as travel, services and hunting gear. Increased spending by hunters creates opportunities for businesses focused on hunting, which in turn increases the overall economic impact of hunting in Finland.

Lawmakers, the game administration, civil society actors and researchers studying natural resources need the reliable research and statistical data produced by Luke on the use, management and hunting of game.

Photo on top of the page: Pekka Hyvärinen