Scandinavia. Desolated and varied landscapes, endless forests and clear lakes make up the nature of the Nordic countries. Scandinavia refers to the cultural, historical and ethnic region of northern Europe, reaching from the Baltic Sea to the Arctic Circle. It includes the three kingdoms of Sweden, Norway and Denmark and additionally the republics of Finland and Iceland. With such an enormous land area and a relatively small number of inhabitants, large parts of Scandinavia are unoccupied by people. They are also home to numerous species of game and offer unique and exciting hunts. Every country has its unique and special charm.
Sweden: The Moose Country
The Kingdom of Sweden is a country of vast, dark forests in combination with huge lakes and lush meadows. It contains one of the last areas of real wildlife in Europe and is the habitat of quaint game species such as brown bear, lynx and moose. The untouched nature is an attraction for passionate hunters from all over the world.
European Moose is the most popular game animal in Sweden. The country has the world’s highest density of moose: Sweden is home to more than one quarter of a million of the animals. The use of dogs when hunting moose is unique to Sweden. Hunting with a so-called elk dog may ease the hunt. These dogs are not only able to locate the moose, but also to hold it at bay while the hunters catch up. A stalked or driven hunt is also popular.
Lapland, a region in the northern part of Sweden, is home to one of the most natural hunts on the European Reindeer. In the vast and unrestricted territory, Reindeer roam freely. The Sami, a folk in Lapland, own the rights to hunt these animals and guide the hunts.
Norway: The Real Wilderness
With its fjords and mountains, the Kingdom of Norway has an even wilder nature than Sweden. The countryside is very rough but is known for its beauty. The important game species in Norway belong to the ungulate species. Red deer, roe deer and reindeer are the most common species, but the most popular game is the grouse. It is deeply anchored in the Norwegian hunting tradition.
Hunting and traveling in northern parts of Norway can be very difficult due to sparse infrastructure. Hunters have to walk for long distances, which makes the hunting physically exhausting.
Finland: The Country of Forests
As well as its vast lakes, Finland has the largest forested area in all of Europe. Almost 90 percent of country’s territory is covered in forest. The country itself is a little bit larger than Germany, but has only a very small population. Indeed, Finland is the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.
The country has the highest percentage of people with a hunting licence in all of Europe. Six percent of the population in Finland possess a licence. In addition to the native game species such as reindeer and moose, Finland has a high number of non-indigenous animals. The Whitetail Deer and the unusual Racoon Dog are two examples of exotic species which can be hunted. Bear hunting is allowed but strictly regulated.
Iceland: Volcanoes and Hot Springs
Iceland is well known as the land of fire and ice. The island is home to hundreds of volcanoes and some of them are still active. Glaciers cover around one-tenth of the country and arable ground is very limited. The only game species of interest on Iceland is reindeer.
There is a long and important tradition of hunting in Sweden and in the other Scandinavian countries. These traditions have persisted since the days of the Vikings and continue to this day. The vast land area, untouched nature and great game species won’t disappoint hunters who are planning to visit on hunting trips.