Benefit: Game bag

The concrete benefit derived from game is meat. Annually ca. 310 000 people pay the hunting licence to get permit to participate in hunting. The amount of game bag is regulated by hunting quotas and hunting seasons to sustain viable game populations. Roughly half of the hunters get small game animals as a catch every year. Most hunted game include deer animals, birds and small game.

Eurasian elk is the most important game animal in Finland. Annually 150 000 people participate in elk hunting. The annual catch has varied between 60 000–80 000 individuals and 5–11 million kg of meat during the 2000s.  In 2012 the catch was relatively low, only 40 000 elks. The largest share of the elk meat stays in domestic use and, by a rough estimation, only 2% end up to markets. Other hunted deer species are white-tailed deer and roe deer. In 2012 the catch of white-tailed deer was around 22 000 and that of roe deer around 4 000  individuals.

The average catch of the waterfowls in inland waters has had a slightly decreasing trend since 1996.  The mallard is the most common catch and even though its catch varies considerably annually the average catch has remained stable at about 260 000 individuals. The other common hunted waterfowls are teal, goldeneye and European wigeon. Catch of the most of the hunted waterfowl has decreased in the past two decades. Especially strongly have decreased the catches of long-tailed duck and eiderduck.  

Blue hare has been the most common catch of small game species since 1996 despite the decreasing trend. The catch of raccoon dog has more than doubled during the past two decades. The Finnish population of raccoon dog originates from the area of former Soviet Union where the species was introduced from the Asian population. The catches of brown hare and red fox have remained quite stable, the catch of brown hare at about 75 000 individuals and that of red fox at about 55 000 individuals. The catch of the American mink has decreased by 40% since 1996.



Game and Fisheries Research Institute.

Kankainen, M., Saarni, K. & Pusenius, J. 2014. Hirvenliha metsästä kulutukseen. Riista- ja
kalatalous – Tutkimuksia ja selvityksiä 7/2014. 25 s.

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