Northern Finland bear hunters legally exceed quota

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This bear, shot near Ähtäri in early September, had paws measuring 14 centimetres across. (Olli Koski/Yle)
This bear, shot near Ähtäri in early September, had paws measuring 14 centimetres across. (Olli Koski/Yle)
The Finnish Wildlife Agency on Friday called a halt to this year’s bear hunt in the western reindeer herding area as the quota of 12 bears had been exceeded.

The district includes most of western Lapland and part of Kainuu.

In fact, 14 bears were shot since hunting season began on 20 August. Early snow cover made it easier for hunters – and the last few animals were downed almost simultaneously.

In the past three days, a dozen bears were killed in the entire reindeer husbandry region of northern Finland, eight of them in the western part.

Wildlife authorities have ruled that the shootings over the limit were legal as the hunters did not know that the quota had just been filled elsewhere. By law, authorities allow three days for word of a decision to end hunting to reach hunters.

As of Monday, there was still one bear left in the eastern section to be shot out of the quota of 30.

The Wildlife Agency urges hunters in the eastern region to regularly check the quota situation via its telephone hotline.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Enough M’Clintock Channel polar bears to increase hunting quota?, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Finland blocks ringed seal hunting, Yle News

Sweden:  Bear hunt quota worries reindeer herders in Sweden’s Arctic, Radio Sweden

United States: Taking down killer bears so musk ox can thrive on Alaska’s North Slope, Alaska Dispatch

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