Finland for a whitetail.


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I'm just back from Finland after a hunt for whitetail deer, 2 days driven and 2 nights high seat, there were 5 of us and everyone got at least 1 deer, good hunting good company, what more can you expect?
I travelled to Stockholm to meet the rest of the team then the ferry to Abo. With 2 countries involved it was just too much trouble to bring my own rifle so I'll borrow one for the hunt.
Met up with the team in Arlanda and off to the ferry, usual tall tales and banter passed the evening, a fairly early night and up bright and early the following morning for disembarkation.
The accomodation on the hunting area is comfortable but self catering so a trip to the supermarket was required, we arrived at the camp by midday, time for coffee and introductions before the evening sit out.
My rifle is a Tikka T3 in 9.3x62 with 286 grain Hammerhead ammo, Bushnell 1-6 scope, nice rig.
It was fairly parky, -5, beautiful clear frosty night and a full moon and soon the messages are flying, deer, foxes and raccoon dogs seen and 2 bucks are taken, we finish up around 2300. I haven't seen a thing, not even the eclipse right over my head but I did wonder why it got a bit dark. Time for beer and sauna.
The start time is not particularly early, it's not bright til 0900 and the briefing takes a few minutes, there are about 30 of us with a dozen dogs, my yellow high vis jacket is rejected, as is my hat, blaze orange only....there's a wee pause while I'm properly attired then it's off to the first stand.image.jpeg
Nothing doing in my area but Danni gets a really nice 8 pointer and Mat has 2, doe and fawn. One of the guys has 2 Lynx run past, he swears that they only look small on telly but up close they're actually as big as polar bears, he could be right, they were really close and there are a few wolves around too, I'm mightily comforted by the big rifle I'm carrying.image.jpeg
Stand for the second drive looks good, a nice frosty clear fell backed by thick birch wood but nothing shows except an ermine bobbing about in the grass. I tried to squeak it in for a photo but no joy, it wouldn't come any closer and eventually vanished. I'd just put down the camera and a running deer appeared, initially I thought it was a roe but then I spotted the tail, I aimed and swung ahead, first shot hit but too far back, second shot and it went down, finally a whitetail deer! I've fantasised about shooting one for decades. They're smaller than a red but heavier than a fallow, I'm thrilled skinny and drag " my " deer out and accompany it back to the larder.
The bag for the day is 14 deer with the evening sit out to come but the weather forecast is poor, wind rain and snow by 1900 so we get straight out, I'm very happy with the doe but a buck would be nice. Not tonight though, the promised bad weather has us all back by 1930. Nothing for it but dinner a couple of beers and the sauna again.
The Finns are absolutely lethal in the sauna, you could cook a haunch of venison or boil yourself alive, even the Swedes are impressed. I bring in a couple of beers just in case and sit down. I'm quietly sipping away when a big hairy arm extends over my shoulder and gently but firmly takes one, " it will get too warm" he says, ( not now it bloody won't).
The following morning briefing is very brief, safety stuff is the same as yesterday after all and I'm really happy with my stand, lots of trails and sign, shortly after the dogs( mostly teckels) are on the ground rifles begin to boom and deer begin to run. Two bucks trot down the trail towards me , the first one is a beauty. They spot the movement as I raise the rifle and turn 90 degrees still moving at a gentle trot but the shot breaks smoothly and I'm confident of a good hit, both deer disappear into the trees. I check out the shot site, blood hair and a sliver of bone, so I call up my guide and start to follow, the deer is bleeding from both sides but the trail is spotty. He calls up a couple of teckels but just as they settle on the track 4 does cross it and away they go, so it's me back down on my hands and knees, glasses falling off the end of my nose trying to follow the trail. We give up after 200meters or so, it looks like a good hit but there's not a lot of blood so we ll get one of the specialist blood tracking dogs. I'm not quite in the depths of depression but I'm not too far away.
Back at the cabin no one except me seems particularly bothered. I arrange to go back with the dog after lunch while the rest of the party complete the second drive. When we get back to the shot site the dog, a Finnspitz, is put down, she has a little sniff around and then rockets off yapping, the handler just stands there watching the gps. Less than a minute later he grins, gives me a thumbs up and points, she has it!
A really nice symmetrical 8 pointer, shot placement was good but the bullet hadn't hit any major bone and hadn't expanded much, it had only gone about 70 meters from where we gave up so less than 300 from the shot.
I was very happy with the doe but this Buck is drop dead gorgeous, chunky and further from the car than I'd like but so what? I'm ecstatic, this is exactly what I dreamed of and a great hunt besides. Congratulations flood in and in the last few minutes of the drive Erik drops a doe, so everyone has at least one deer down and a story to tell. I even get to use my knife, not often that happens abroad.
Back at the cabin there's just time to shower and pack then drive to the ferry.
I'll collect the antlers in Sweden later, if I need an excuse to go back that'll do nicely.



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The coffee and doughnuts there in Finland were to die for, don"t ask me why but I was in Stockholm working for 3 months and did an overnight ferry to Turku just to be able to eat them again.
Sad, I know.


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Great story and a brilliant result (white tail , dream deer). I remember the Finnish sauna experience when I was invited for a moose hunt there The Fins are far too comfortable being completed naked in each other’s company (reminds me of the Germans on the nudist beach ) but I guess it’s all part of the overseas hunting experience !