White-tailed deer in Finland? Since the 1930’s, the popular game also can be found in Suomi. Ingmar Jaatinen explains how this happened and how hunting dogs are used on white-tailed deer hunts.
WHITE-TAILED DEER IN FINLAND
White-tailed deer are the most common deer species in North America. They are, however, not native to Scandinavia. So, how and when did they end up in Finland?
It all started in the 1930s with a group of patriotic Finns who lived in Minnesota. Back home in Finland, larger game was dying out at that time, including the Finnish forest reindeer, roe deer, and moose. In 1934, Rafael Haarla, a member of Finland’s hunting association, offered to resettle five white-tailed deer on his own land in the southern region of Pirkanmaa, also known as Tampere Region.
Today, about 80,000 white-tailed deer populate the southwestern third of Finland, and the Tampere Region is proud to call the white-tailed deer its local emblematic animal. However, due to its high reproduction rate, hunting is required to keep numbers in check.
HUNTING WHITE-TAILED DEER IN FINLAND
A white-tailed deer hunt usually involves between five and thirty hunters. Drevers and Dachshunds drive the game while barking continuously. The highlight of this hunt is that everyone can hear the dogs driving. The Drever and Dachshund are slow drivers, which means they constantly remain in sight of the deer and flush out the game without any hurry. With time, the white-tailed deer will pass by our posts.
Drever: Swedish breed; medium-sized dog with short legs, registered since 1974 by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale; the largest international federation of national kennel clubs)
Dachshund:German breed; small-sized dog with short legs, registered since 1955 by the FCI
Main use: White-tailed deer, fox
Hunting characteristics: Lots of stamina, mainly used on slow driven hunts
These relatively small breeds are used for all sizes of game and for driven hunts. The Finnish law regulates the maximum height for driving dogs at 38 centimeters (15 inches). This makes the Drever and Dachshund the perfect choice for driven hunts of white-tailed deer in Finland.