Wild forest reindeer
Rangifer Tarandus Fennicus
Wild forest reindeer bull
Wild forest reindeer are only found in Finland and some parts of Russia near the finnish border. In the early 20th century it was almost extinct from Finland but in the 1940s and 50s some herds migrated from the Soviet Union to strengthen the Finnish population which grew until 2001, when the count in the Kainuu region was estimated at 1700 animals. Since then, mainly due to predation by wolves, the numbers have declined and today there are between 800-900 animals. In 1979 they were successfully introduced from Kainuu to the Suomenselkä area where the population has reached 1100 animals. Only a few licences to hunt wild forest reindeer are issued yearly even more rare are the licences for adult males!
The best hunting period is during the first snow in mid November. At that time herds of wild forest reindeer are moving to their winter pastures accompanied by the dominant bulls. With the frost on the trees and clear blue skies, this really helps to make it an extraordinary hunting experience for the fortunate few!