Since this was our first hunting trip we concentrated mostly on getting familiar with the forest area and what game can be found there. We slept the night in a Finnish teepee (laavu) with a fire to keep warm.
During the reconnaissance trips we saw rabbits, reindeer, swans and several species of arctic birds. I got close enough to try to shoot a willow ptarmigan (riekko) from about 35 meters but unfortunately missed. We also got close enough to a rabbit but decided not to shoot because we had too light shots loaded into our shotguns.
Some points for the next trip:
- Driving 12 hours each way was quite tiring. We should consider taking the car train to Kolari instead
- Camping in middle of the hunting area probably scared some game away. Next time we could camp elsewhere or rent a cabin from Muonio
- We should take a rifle in addition to the shotguns. We could've shot at least one black grouse (teeri) with a longer range weapon
- We should try to find a general purpose shotgun cartridge. Something around 3mm shots could work for both grouse and rabbits
- We need to find more about the game we're trying to hunt. Activity periods, habitats etc. to make them easier to find
- Some Skeet shooting would be good for accuracy
Some photos can be found from the Muonio gallery.