Goose hunting in Estonia

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The Eurasian Woodcock, Scolopax rusticola

About the size of a Jackdaw. Both nests in Estonia and migrates through. In warmer winters some Eurasian Woodcocks stay in Estonia in regions rich in springs. Favourite habitats include damp mixed and broadleaved deciduous forests with clearings.

Estonia is one of the main Woodcock emigration destinations with woodcock staying in Estonian territory for the spring and summer. Estonia is also a main Woodcock transit area, from here Woodcock heads to Finland and northern Russia.

Woodcock hunting season lasts from early August until mid November. However, the best time for hunting woodcock is October and the first two weeks of November, when woodcocks stop largely here before moving on. Woodcocks are hunted using the dogs

Weighs up to 420 g. 1,192 specimens were hunted in 2007, 979 in 2008, 976 in 2009, and 1,475 in 2010.

The Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

This big and dark bird can be met both by the sea as well as by freshwater. It nests on coastal cliffs or in trees. In recent ten years this bird has become truly widespread here. As it feeds on fish, its large population causes damage to the fish supply and ruins the fishermen’s nets. All vegetation dies around its nesting colonies. It weighs up to 2.5 kg and it is hunted for the regulation of its population. 345 specimens were hunted in 2007, 407 in 2008, 707 in 2009, and 594 in 2010.

The Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea

This is the biggest and most common heron in Europe. Its main colour is grey. Typically to all herons, also the Grey Heron flies with its head pulled back. The nest is made of twigs and is high up in a tree. It feeds on fish and amphibians, causes considerable damage in fish farms. It is hunted for the regulation of its population. 25 specimens were hunted in 2007, 55 in 2008, 88 in 2009, and 76 in 2010.

Goose hunting in Estonia-The Taiga Bean Goose, Anser fabalis

Nests in swampy places and in taiga on the territories near the Arctic Ocean. A migratory bird, migrates through Estonia in spring as well as in autumn. Main colour of plumage is brown, the feet are orange yellow. Weighs up to 4.2 kg. 1,400 specimens were hunted in 2007, 1,481 in 2008, 1,487 in 2009, and 1,104 in 2010.

Goose hunting in Estonia- The Greater White-fronted Goose, Anser albifrons

A species of goose widespread in the circumpolar area. Nests in solitary couples in swampy tundra north of the forest line. A migratory bird that stops over in Estonia in spring and autumn. Characteristic features are white facial blaze (does not extend upwards to the eyes) and abdominal shield with strong pattern (big black patches). Weighs up to 3.3 kg. 453 specimens were hunted in 2007, 846 in 2008, 559 in 2009, and 288 specimens in 2010.

Goose hunting in Estonia- The Greylag Goose, Anser anser

Nests in Iceland, Scotland, from Central Europe to the Pacific Ocean, also in Finland and Sweden. Both a nester and as a migratory bird in Estonia. Nests on bays rich in reed and on coastal lakes, also on islands in the sea. Main colour is grey. Migrates through Estonia in September. The last Greylag Geese leave Estonia in October. Weighs up to 4.5 kg. 922 specimens were hunted in 2007, 1,239 in 2008, 1,005 in 2009, and 977 in 2010.

Goose hunting in Estonia- The Canada Goose, Branta canadensis

A species of large brand goose native to the North of America and with many subspecies. Has a white ’chinstrap’ on the cheeks and under the throat. Nesting areas closest to us are in Finland and Sweden. Some specimens are seen every year. Weighs up to 5.4 kg. 15 specimens were hunted in 2007, 9 in 2008, 17 in 2009, and 23 in 2010.

Goose hunting in Estonia- The Barnacle Goose, Branta leucopsis

Nests in Greenland, Spitzbergen, Novaja Zemlja and elsewhere on the coast of the Arctic Ocean. In small numbers nests also in Estonia. Migrates through Estonia in autumn in great numbers. The top of the face, cheeks and area under the throat are white. Weighs up to 2.4 kg. 462 specimens were hunted in 2007, 1,324 in 2008, 1,085 in 2009, and 2,778 in 2010.

The Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope

The Eurasian Wigeon is a bit smaller than a crow and quite stubby. Mainly a migratory bird for Estonia, in some areas also summer bird (flocks of moulting male birds can be seen on bays in June and July). Nests in Estonia in small numbers. Weighs up to 1 kg. 1,078 specimens were hunted in 2007, 761 in 2008, 1,255 in 2009, and 1,454 in 2010.

The Gadwall, Anas strepera

Smaller than a crow, similar to the Mallard. Nests mainly in the Southeast of Europe. A breeder with small population in Estonia. Lives on bodies of water rich in vegetation. Weighs up to 1.3 kg. 164 specimens were hunted in 2007, 55 in 2008, 106 in 2009, and 161 in 2010.

The Eurasian Teal, Anas crecca

The Eurasian Teal is one of our smallest dabbling ducks, can be up to the size of the Jackdaw. It is also one of our most numerous dabbling ducks both as a nesting bird and as a migratory bird. Lives on different inland bodies of water. Weighs up to 500 g. 3,118 specimens were hunted in 2007, 1,426 in 2008, 2,341 in 2009, and 3,688 in 2010.

The Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos

The Mallard has a quite massive body and is bigger than a crow. It has the biggest population and is the biggest dabbling duck in Estonia both as a nesting bird and as a migratory bird and in winter. Nests near water and also further away. Nest is on the ground and sometimes also in trees (in an old crow nest). Lives also in artificial nests. The Mallard make up the biggest part of game birds hunted in Estonia. Weighs up to 1.5 kg. 6,204 specimens were hunted in 2007, 6,024 in 2008, 7,125 in 2009, and 7,492 in 2010.

The Pintail, Anas acuta

The Pintail is about the size of a crow and slimmer than the Mallard. It has a rather big population both in nesting and as a migratory bird. Lives in shallow bodies of water and in wet grasslands. Male birds form flocks in summer, often together with other duck species. Weighs up to 1.3 kg. 364 specimens were hunted in 2007, 494 in 2008, 558 in 2009, and 678 in 2010.

The Garganey, Anas querquedula

The Garganey is the size of a Jackdaw like the Eurasian Teal but has a lighter plumage. In Estonia, it is a breeder with large population and less numerous as a migratory bird. Migrates usually to Africa. Weight up to 600 g. 299 specimens were hunted in 2007, 151 in 2008, 161 in 2009, and 161 in 2010.

The Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata

The Northern Shoveler is of rather small size, smaller than a crow. Nests on bays, less on lakes. Weighs up to 1 kg. 226 specimens were hunted in 2007, 275 in 2008, 288 in 2009, and 270 in 2010.

The Common Pochard, Aythya ferina

The Common Pochard has a quite big population in Estonia and is a regular breeding bird here. Although its meat is tasty, it is hunted very little. About 20–30 specimens are hunted in autumns. Leaves in the beginning of October. Migrates to the Mediterranean area. Weighs up to 1.2 kg. 6 specimens were hunted in 2007, 8 in 2008, in 45 2009, and 41 in 2010.

The Tufted Duck, Aythya fuligula

One of the most numerous diving ducks on Estonian sea islands, coastal lakes, several types of inland bodies of water including fish ponds and bogs. The population is increasing. The Tufted Duck is also numerous as migratory bird. Compared to the size of its population it is hunted very little in Estonia. Weighs up to 1 kg. 43 specimens were hunted in 2007, 21 in 2008, 33 in 2009, and 25 in 2010

The Common Eider, Somateria mollissima

A clumsy bird the size of a small goose. Flies in a heavy manner. Male birds are of rare colour, the lower half is black and upper part is white. The Common Eider is a typical breeder in our sea island that has to be surrounded by deep water (3–4m). Most birds have left Estonia by the start of the hunting season. Weighs up to 2.8 kg. In 2007 no Common Eiders were hunted, similarly in 2008 and in 2010, and only 3 specimens of the Common Eider were hunted in 2009.

The Long-tailed Duck, Clangula hyemalis

The Long-tailed Duck is smaller than the Tufted Duck. Nests in tundra area. One of the most numerous migratory ducks stopping over in Estonia. Depending on the season the number of Long-tailed Ducks migrating through Estonia can reach up to a million. Mostly seen on sea, less in inland. Long narrowing tail is common for the male bird. Weighs up to 900 g. 7 specimens were hunted in 2007, 11 in 2008, 70 in 2009, and 10 in 2010.

The Common Scoter, Melanitta nigra

The Common Scoter is about the size of a raven, with all black (male) or dark brown (female) plumage. Nests in tundra area. Migrates through Estonia across the northern coast in large numbers. Hunted very rarely. Weighs up to 1.5 kg. 1 specimen was hunted in 2007, 49 specimens in 2008, 3 in 2009, and 1 in 2010.

The Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

140 specimens were hunted in 2007, 56 in 2008, 127 in 2009, and 112 in 2010.

The Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula

The Common Goldeneye is a breeder with small population in Estonia, nests mainly on forest lakes and also on rivers. Uses also artificial nests. Migrates through Estonia in large numbers. Spends winters on the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Weighs up to 1.3 kg. 92 specimens were hunted in 2007, 94 in 2008, 54 in 2009, and 177 in 2010.

The Hazel Grouse, Bonasa bonasia

The Hazel Grouse is a bird typical of the coniferous forests of the taiga zone. It is closely connected to spruce woodlands, especially damp mixed spruce forests where the undergrowth is plentiful. Common in the forests of Estonian mainland. Weighs up to 490 g. 84 specimens were hunted in 2007, 57 in 2008, 20 in 2009, and 37 in 2010.

The Grey Partridge, Perdix perdix

Perdix perdix lucida, the subspecies of the Grey Partridge is widespread in Estonia. The Grey Partridge is characteristic bird of steppes and forest steppes, who feeds only on the ground. It has moved to the northern parts of its habitat following the plow. It resembles domestic fowl but is much smaller. Weighs up to 430 g. 41 specimens were hunted in 2007, 46 in 2008, 13 in 2009, and 45 in 2010.

The Eurasian Coot, Fulica atra

The Eurasian Coot also known as Coot is a well-known waterfowl. The plumage of an old bird has a metallic shine, it also has a white beak and a white patch on the upper part of the face. In Estonia, it mostly nests on inland bodies of water and on the sea coast. It is also a common breeder in Estonia. Weighs up to 1.2 kg. 30 specimens were hunted in 2007, 84 in 2008, 50 in 2009, and 93 in 2010.

The Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago

It is bigger than a Starling, has a twisted flight up usually accompanied by a characteristic sound. Nests in Estonia and also migrates through. Inhabits swamps, damp meadows, edges of bogs. In spring performs flight games. Weight up to 170 g. 7 specimens were hunted in 2007, 31 in 2008, 20 in 2009, and 107 in 2010.

The Hunting Package

Hunting in Estonia rich in game, a place where a true hunter goes hunting at least once in their lifetime!

Simplified terms for the use of weapons and joining the Schengen area that lost border controls has made coming to hunt in Estonia even easier. There are no problems with taking one’s own gun along but when necessary, local hunters will lend you their weapons.

Estonian forests offer a rather wide choice of game and good opportunities for trophies. At the same time Estonians appreciate their nature and see to it that animals are taken care of and the principles of responsible hunting are followed.

We are the only ones who offer an opportunity to hunt all over Estonia. We will organise you a successful hunting week or a hunt at the weekend all based on your wishes. If you wish, you can hunt in different regions in one week in Estonia. For example 2 days on our wonderful island Saaremaa and 2 days in Valga County in South Estonia. But you can spend your whole vacation also in one hunting region. Whatever your wish, we have the solution.

If you are interested in wild boar, bear, elk or wolf hunt, then you can experience all that with us. Or perhaps you are into bird hunting, for example the Eurasian Woodcock or a goose hunt? We can offer this to you. The variety of game species and a large hunting area guarantee a 100% excellent quality hunting experience. Numerous game populations have been preserved here which is unique compared to the rest of Europe. With minor restrictions, the wild boar can be hunted all year round. The mild climate has boosted the boar population, which is rather annoying, since the boars are a serious threat for local hay fields and potato crops. Large numbers of migration birds make the island of Saaremaa a paradise of bird hunters. The most popular quarries are ducks and geese, but the beginning of woodcock season bring hunters from as far as France, Italy and the Great Britain. They usually bring their own dogs and take hunting very seriously. Bigger games include elk, roe deer, deer and wild boar. Saaremaa and Hiiumaa have the highest populations of red deer, a highly desirable target for hunters. The deer-hunting season lasts from September to January and deer antlers have become a coveted trophy for hunters. Get to know our game and birds here and the hunting seasons can be found here.

Professional game wardens with more than ten years of experience in hunting work with us. Also the members of local hunting society help to organise and carry out the hunt. You can talk about our hunting culture and traditions in more depth during our evening program that comes with a light shot and sauna.

We also organise a vacation for your spouses and children while you are on the hunt. For example we can organise a fun day at the spa, a concert or a shopping tour – everything based on your wishes.

You don’t have to worry about anything. You being 100% satisfied is what is most important for us. We can pick you up from an airport or port, if you come by car we will meet you at the place of accommodation and a carefree hunting week or weekend can begin.

The price of the hunting package is 690–2000 euros, depending on the number of hunting days and the hunting area.

The price includes: accommodation, catering, transport, hunting days

The price does not include:

Plane tickets or transport to Estonia, trophies

Trophy fees

For an offer to meet all your needs, contact us and tell us about your hunting plans in less than 24 hours we will contact you.

Conditions:

According to the laws of Estonia, the citizen of a foreign country can hunt in Estonia if they have in their own country a hunting certificate and a firearms licence. The citizen of a foreign country will receive the foreigner’s hunting certificate that is issued based on the request of the owner of a hunting region in Estonia or of the inviter.

The foreigner can take along their own firearm if they have the EU firearms pass issued by the institution responsible for that section in their country. Local hunters can also lend their arm for hunting.

According to Estonian laws it is allowed to hunt in Estonia under the following conditions:

  • you are at least 18 years old
  • a hunting rifle is used (bow and crossbows are forbidden to be used in hunting in Estonia)
  • you are a citizen who (in their place of residence) has a hunting certificate and a firearm licence

Citizens of a foreign country will be issued Estonian hunting certificates/protocols based on the request of the owner of a hunting region in Estonia and based on the hunting licence of the place of residence.

Necessary documents

  • European fire weapons card
  • ID or passport
  • National hunting licence

You need two weeks for processing hunting permits in Estonia.

The citizen of a foreign country is allowed to take along with their hunting rifle up to 100 cartridges

Hunting seasons

  • European hare or mountain hare – 1 October – 28 February
  • Wolf – 1 November – 28 February
  • Lynx – 1 December – 28 February
  • Beaver – 1 August – 1 April
  • Bear – 1 August – 31 October(except mother bear with cubs)
  • Raccoon dog – throughout the year
  • Roe deer – 1 June – 31 December, from that does and calves 1 September – 31 December
  • Wild boar – throughout the year (except sows with piglets), driven hunt 1 October – 28 February
  • Mink – throughout the year
  • Badger – 1 September – 28 February
  • Marten – 1 November – 28 February
  • Muskrat – 1 October – 28 February
  • Red deer – 1 September – 31 January (hind/fawn 1 September – 30 November)
  • Elk – 15 September – 15 December (1–15 December only calf)
  • Fox – throughout the year
  • European polecat – 1 November – 28 February

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