Moose Hunting in Scandinavia

Is Moose Hunting in Scandinavia any different than in North America? Techniques definitely differ from those used in NA. Let's have a look at some.

By: Krister

The prevailing method in Lappland, where I’m from, is to use spitz-type bay dogs of Scandinavian breeds. This is the way it has always been done as far as anyone can remember, dating back to pre-historic days.

Something that has not pre-historic roots is the extensive logging that has altered the landscapes almost completely. This creating a fine scale mosaic of foraging sites and shelter throughout the landscape (check satellite images for comparison). The mosaic landscape has allowed an increase in population number and has also presented an increased number of possible hotspots for hunters to look up.

The increased possibility of crossing a moose might seem all positive from a hunter’s perspective, but of course, this also robs us a little bit of the challenge. In this mosaic, even a novice hunter might find a moose with the aid of a decent dog. All he has to do is guide the dog forward at random, and he will finally come across a decent spot. Extended knowledge of moose foraging behavior is of course still of great value, but not at all a complete necessity.

On the other hand, moose hunting in Scandinavia with dogs in this way offers another challenge. More often than not, even with a great dog, you end up with the moose trying to escape the dog or just trying to sneak away from the heat. Predicting behavior of disturbed moose is a task often occupying my mind: Where do the moose go under different circumstances, such as different weather, winds, ground conditions, season, cover, gender, age, group sizes, level of disturbance, etc. Not to mention all the possible ways these factors may be combined. The development of gps dog trackers over recent years have made the task easier. But at the same time making it more challenging, trying to get into details with explanations to why the moose got away yet another time.

Moose calling is by far not as common here as overseas. It's practiced to some extent but rarely as the main means of hunting. For instance, I may try it when ground conditions don’t allow me to move silent enough to avoid detection while sneaking up to a moose held at bay by a dog. I may also try calling if I want to bring a running, yet not spooked, moose to a halt or perhaps to make it show a broad side. I may also try it when on a stand just to make the best of the time waiting for any of my comrade’s dogs to find moose. But hardly ever as a stand-alone method.

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by Mark Allardyce

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