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Thread: Heading to Finland, anyone been?

  1. #1

    Heading to Finland, anyone been?

    Got chatting to a Finnish couple by the pool in the Costa Del Sol this summer. The husband was a farmer and we ended up talking about shooting, he hunts elk each year during the season. We exchanged emails and he said he would get in touch re shooting. I didn't think more about it but I got a mail from his the other week inviting me to hunt with him and his friend in Finland. An internal flight from Helsinki to Vaasa, where he drive us an hour in land to Lapua ( I guess I don't need to ask him what ammo he uses). He's going to lend me one of rifles and has sorted out my hunting license for me. Absolute result.
    Anyway, after withering on. My question. has anyone hunted in Finland?

  2. #2
    Nope but I do in Sweden a lot.

    Most probably hunting with a team for moose (alg). Apart from the fact that the Finns drink even more and stronger coffee than the Swedes, the drill is likely the same.

    They meet at the larder -early.The team captain briefs the team on which area they will be hunting, what can be shot, who is dog handling and safety. They then draw lots or choose stands and head off into the woods to their stands.

    On stand they load and settle in for the wait. It's probably cold so they build a small fire which they sit in front of with their folding pack stool. Occasionaly the radio bursts into life with news of sightings etc.

    After a while contact is made with moose by the dog. Early in the season the moose most likely moves off hopefully to a stand (later it's more likely to stand for the dog handler to hunt) This is signalled by hearing the barking dog coming your way. If you are told a moose i heading your way do not reply other than to press the send key. I've shot 2 moose originaly headed to another stand that heard the stand hunter talking on the radio.

    If something is shot or if the drive is finished everyone heads back to the larder for fire, coffee, sausage and chat - which moose dog is better the Jamthund or the Gronehund, 9.3 is better than 30-06, Anders can't shoot a bull at 10meters etc etc. Recovery of the moose may take a small team and a machine or the whole team and a drag rope.

    You may do another drive but understandably people are allergic to late afternoon moose recovery.

    Things to note:-

    Listen very carefuly to what is allowed to be shot and your hosts advice on how to tell a single cow from one with a calf

    Do not shoot the dog - agree with your host what constitutes a safe shot with a dog barking at the heels or head of a moose

    Backstops are different - check with your host local custom and decide yourself what you will do

    It can be moving shooting - every year there are accidents - play through some scenarios that could lead you into trouble eg you hear the dog coming your way, you line up on a narrow gap - how will you identify it's a moose that steps out and not a dog handler taken a wrong turn. You may jest - happens every year.

    Practice off hand shooting standing and from a stool - also practice moving shooting (BSRC if you can)

    It can be quite a hike to stand and then absolutely freezing - if it's depths of winter don't be proud take warm, dry and comfortable - ski suits are popular and not in green.

    Enjoy it as an experience - moose densities are lower than other animals and it can take an average Swedish stand hunter 3 years to shoot one. The experience is however absolutely brilliant!
    Last edited by 1894; 06-10-2015 at 22:15.

  3. #3
    I have.

    I went a few years ago with John Robson of YDS, and was lucky enough to shoot an absolute cracker of a whitetail deer. I have a shoulder mount in my office at home whilst I type this.....no moose, although on the day we hunted them, there was one in the vicinity as indicated by the dogs, and by jiminy, that jolts all of your senses into overdrive.....!

    A great experience, helped by the bunch of chaps I was with. But Hellfire, it was a new level of cold......we were there at the end of Nov/start of Dec, and it was around -12'C to -14'C during the day.....although it did drop to -35'C overnight on the very last day. Brrrr.....you will find out (a) how to layer properly, (b) how warm the clothes that you thought were warm really are, and (c) how cold-tolerant you really are.

    Be VERY clear on what you can, and perhaps even more importantly, can't shoot.
    Sit/stand still and don't fidget.
    Understand the directions that beaters and their dogs are likely to appear from.
    Make sure that you feel comfortable with the possibility of shooting at a moving target with a rifle (this was my first time, and some lead-hurling at the running moose range before heading out to try it for real was hugely beneficial and a nerve-settler...)
    Have a good breakfast. You'll need all your strength to extract a Moose if you get one, so man up and have 3 shredded wheat.
    Nothing is worse than having an itch you can never scratch

    "...Nicely just doesn't cut the cheese....." A new twist on management-speak courtesy of a colleague.

  4. #4
    Just got back from a 2 day Capercallie hunt with my Finnish friends, wonderful wilderness great food . The hunting was hard work but so worth it.
    You will love it . They have real respect for the game they hunt. We flew Finnair 1st class airline.
    Tusker

  5. #5
    Yes, absolutely love it. These guys are serious about hunting and the landscapes are fantastic ( I'm a bit of a Scandiophyle)
    listen to your guides, if it's Moose, get your head around moving shots and get your head around shot placement.

    have a great trip ��

  6. #6
    I have had the great privilege of hunting Cappa, Willow Grouse, Black Game and Mouse in Finland. It is very different up there! Beware the traditional "Sauna" at the end of the day - lots of nakedness, beer drinking and jumping in a frozen lake.

    We decoyed Black Game to hides on a marsh next to a lake from the forrest at dawn. Cappa and Grouse were walked up. The Moose was a whole day from early to late afternoon from high stands.

    There were 12 of us shooting moose. Stands were around a forestry block about a mile square, spaced at about 250 to 300 yds and about 3 meters high. Guns had the two windward sides of the forestry block and the dog man went in the downwind corner. Dogs are interesting, Norwegian Elk Hounds. Dog unleashed, charges off into the forrest, finds moose and brings it to bay, barking when he has it trapped. Usually a Male, Cow and Calf, Male legs it, hopefully through the line of guns for one of them to get a running shot. Cow is left with the dog. Dog man calls down one of the guns to stalk into the Cow.

    Etiquette here is very important. When you are in range of the Cow (often inside 50 yds due to the density of the forestry), a long time is spent looking for the calf. If a calf is present it has to be shot in preference to the cow. The Cow then often takes to it's toes, hotly pursued by the dog which is not trained to the stop whistle. If the gun's don't shoot the cow as it runs through the line (and shooting the dog in hot pursuit is a real no no) the pair often cover several km before the dog gives up. On one drive the dog finally stopped an hour and 7km later, was tracked by GPS and picked up by the dog mans mate while a second dog was used for the next drive.

    If you are a gun in the line there is often a lot of standing about and not a great deal of action. And it's bloody cold. For the guy who is chosen to stalk in is a bit more interesting. But when 500kg of live bull moose comes charging through the line pursued by the dog the adrenaline does start to pump.

    Extraction by big quads and sledges can take a long time. Fires are lit, sausages and coffee are cooked, it's all very social.

    The really dedicated hunters disappear into the woods with their dog on their own for a whole weekend. Finding and shooting a moose and then calving it up into portable quarters and carrying it our on their own piece by piece over several hours. One of the Males we shot lardered with all red and green offal removed, head and legs off and skinned at 255kg, so they are big. I had to almost climb inside the chest cavity of the big one to remove the diaphragm!

    They are really great people, the whole experience was wonderful. The drinking can get quite serious after the shoot and I have already mentioned the Sauna.

    Go and enjoy it. A great insight into a very different culture of shooting.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NigelM View Post
    I have had the great privilege of hunting Cappa, Willow Grouse, Black Game and Mouse in Finland. It is very different up there! Beware the traditional "Sauna" at the end of the day - lots of nakedness, beer drinking and jumping in a frozen lake.

    We decoyed Black Game to hides on a marsh next to a lake from the forrest at dawn. Cappa and Grouse were walked up. The Moose was a whole day from early to late afternoon from high stands.

    There were 12 of us shooting moose. Stands were around a forestry block about a mile square, spaced at about 250 to 300 yds and about 3 meters high. Guns had the two windward sides of the forestry block and the dog man went in the downwind corner. Dogs are interesting, Norwegian Elk Hounds. Dog unleashed, charges off into the forrest, finds moose and brings it to bay, barking when he has it trapped. Usually a Male, Cow and Calf, Male legs it, hopefully through the line of guns for one of them to get a running shot. Cow is left with the dog. Dog man calls down one of the guns to stalk into the Cow.

    Etiquette here is very important. When you are in range of the Cow (often inside 50 yds due to the density of the forestry), a long time is spent looking for the calf. If a calf is present it has to be shot in preference to the cow. The Cow then often takes to it's toes, hotly pursued by the dog which is not trained to the stop whistle. If the gun's don't shoot the cow as it runs through the line (and shooting the dog in hot pursuit is a real no no) the pair often cover several km before the dog gives up. On one drive the dog finally stopped an hour and 7km later, was tracked by GPS and picked up by the dog mans mate while a second dog was used for the next drive.

    If you are a gun in the line there is often a lot of standing about and not a great deal of action. And it's bloody cold. For the guy who is chosen to stalk in is a bit more interesting. But when 500kg of live bull moose comes charging through the line pursued by the dog the adrenaline does start to pump.

    Extraction by big quads and sledges can take a long time. Fires are lit, sausages and coffee are cooked, it's all very social.

    The really dedicated hunters disappear into the woods with their dog on their own for a whole weekend. Finding and shooting a moose and then calving it up into portable quarters and carrying it our on their own piece by piece over several hours. One of the Males we shot lardered with all red and green offal removed, head and legs off and skinned at 255kg, so they are big. I had to almost climb inside the chest cavity of the big one to remove the diaphragm!

    They are really great people, the whole experience was wonderful. The drinking can get quite serious after the shoot and I have already mentioned the Sauna.

    Go and enjoy it. A great insight into a very different culture of shooting.
    Pardon my ignorance. What is a "Cappa"?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ofbiro View Post
    Pardon my ignorance. What is a "Cappa"?
    Cappercaille, I presume.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by andyf View Post
    Cappercaille, I presume.
    Sorry, yes.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  10. #10
    All these tails are making me quite jealous sounds alot more exciting than a days pheasant beating or munty from a high seat both fun but clearly different league good luck

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