Finnish game resources

Section 5 of the Hunting Act lists 34 mammal game species and 26 bird game species.

Game animals include:

  1. rabbit, mountain hare, brown hare, red squirrel, European beaver, Canadian beaver, muskrat, nutria, wolf, farmed arctic fox, red fox, raccoon dog, bear, raccoon, badger, ermine, polecat, otter, pine marten, American mink, wolverine, lynx, Baltic ringed seal, harbour seal, grey seal, wild boar, fallow deer, red deer, sika deer, roe deer, moose, white-tailed deer, forest reindeer, and mouflon; and
  2. Canadian goose, greylag goose, bean goose, mallard, teal, wigeon, pintail, garganey, shoveler, pochard, tufted duck, common eider, long-tailed duck, goldeneye, red-breasted merganser, goosander, willow grouse, ptarmigan, hazel grouse, black grouse, capercaillie, partridge, pheasant, coot, woodcock, and wood pigeon.


Monitoring game abundance involves collaboration between game research and hunters.

The objective of game animal assessments is to annually determine the abundance, age and sex structure and habitats of a specific game population. For some species, gathering such comprehensive data is nearly impossible. The most important thing is to identify development trends in the populations and to determine the level of change compared to previous years.

Population estimates lay the foundation for research, the sustainable use of game populations and hunting.

Population estimates concerning large carnivore are mainly based on the carnivore observation system’s litter observations and other carnivore observations recorded by large carnivore monitoring volunteers.

Forest game populations are monitored through wildlife triangle censuses, which form the foundation of the system for estimating Finnish game populations. Wildlife triangles are permanent census routes shaped like an equilateral triangle. The areas remain the same from year to year even if the nature in the area changes. Wildlife triangle censuses are performed in the summer and in the winter by thousands of volunteer hunters. In summer, a census is performed on grouse, and in the winter, the snow tracks of mammals are counted. Line and point counts can be used, for example, in estimating the willow grouse population.

The moose observation cards filled in by hunters provide valuable information on the status of the population. Observations on male and female moose and moose calves are recorded separately. Aerial surveys are also used in cervid censuses.

Seal population estimates are based on aerial surveys. Seals are counted in the spring when they are lounging on the islets in the outer archipelago during their moulting period.