Reader ‘s opinion The hunting rules for white-tailed deer need to be changed

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry follows the wishes of the Finnish Hunters’ Association and does not listen or try other fairer solutions for everyone.

Usean Much has been written about the damage caused by the white-tailed deer population, which has greatly increased over the years, as well as the inability or desire of hunting clubs to reverse the growth of the population. Thus, at the request of the Hunters’ Association and with the blessing of the Ministry, the white-tailed deer will be shot during the beginning of the hunting season, assisted by a light and night vision device.

Unfortunately, this is not hunting, and certainly not an honor for Finnish hunting culture. And if the club already has over a hundred permits and manages to use 70 of them each year, how does the light increase endurance? That time-consuming work only begins after a game shot in catching the prey.

At the same time, there are a large number of real rifle and bow hunters in the country to whom white-tailed deer permits are still not sold, even if deer are very abundant on their own lands and there is a desire to hunt them. This is because section 27 of the Hunting Act stipulates that in order to redeem white-tailed deer permits, 500 hectares of uniform area must be in use.

The Hunters’ Union opposes changing that article in spirit and blood. Instead, it puts into practice hunting methods such as those now presented, which are questionable from an animal’s point of view.

Roe deer, which are five times fewer than white-tailed deer, do not have a similar area requirement, so the hunting pressure of “landless” is misplaced when it could instead help solve that problem.

It seems that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry follows the wishes of the Finnish Hunters’ Association and does not listen, let alone try other fairer solutions for everyone. For example, in an area with a large stock, 25% of permits could be offered to non-club hunting right holders without an area requirement. Game counting can be done with cameras, reporting and permits are handled online at Omariista. This would also open up the possibility of hunting tourism for farms, there is demand all the way abroad.

Juhana Heikkilä

Helsinki

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by the HS editorial board. You can leave a comment or read the principles of the writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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