Encounter with a Bear
If you go down to the woods today in most parts of Finland, a big surprise encounter with a bear is very unlikely. But for anyone keen to join an organised trip to see and photograph wild bears, the densely forested borderlands of Eastern Finland are an ideal destination.
Finland’s vast forests are home to an estimated 1,500 brown bears. Though they may roam anywhere in mainland Finland, bears usually try hard to avoid people. But on the bear-watching trips run between April and September in several localities in Finland’s Wild East sightings can be almost guaranteed (though wild animals can be unpredictable, and big game seekers should plan to spend at least a couple of nights out in the woods).
PICNIC-TiME FOR TEDDY BEARS
On a typical trip, bear-watchers are taken out to a fairly comfortable cabin-like hide in the forest in the late afternoon. They then settle down to spend the night overlooking a small clearing where tasty treats like salmon scraps or pig carcasses have been placed to tempt hungry bears onto the scene.
The local bears – and with luck also wolves and even wolverines – may come and go throughout the light northern night, enabling eager photographers to get fantastic close-up shots of Europe’s most awesome wild animals.
UNFORGETTABLY WILD NIGHTLIFE
Bears are formidable animals. Big males can weigh up to 300 kilos, and hunt large animals like deer or elk (moose). But there’s also something endearing about these huge furry creatures. Spending the night out in the forest watching a real life teddy bears’ picnic is an unforgettable experience for any nature-lover.
Wild & Free
To be truly free, all you need is the untouched wilderness and a touch of madness in your blood.