Bear hunters’ haul in Finland down by nearly half

The Ylikylä hunters' club felled this bear in Kemijärvi. Image: Ylikylän metsästysseura  The Finnish Wildlife Agency reports that 106 bears were killed during this year’s hunting season, which ended last week.

That is 90 fewer than last year. The agency says that growth of the bear population has come to a halt, particularly in Eastern Finland.

Thirty of the bruins were shot in reindeer herding areas during the season, which began on August 20. In some areas, hunters came back empty-handed. For instance, permits to shoot two bears had been issued for the North Pirkanmaa district, but hunters were not able to bag a single animal.

Before the hunters headed into the forests, game experts estimated that there were at least 1330 bears over the age of one year in Finland. However predator numbers always fluctuate as animals move back and forth across the 1300-kilometre border with Russia.

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