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Latvia

ESTONIA, LATVIA, LITHUANIA

The Baltic States, which were part of the Soviet Union, each about the size of the state of West Virginia, lie along the coast of the Baltic Sea, north of Poland and bordered to the east by Russia. While the native populations of Latvia and Lithuania are known as Baltic people, those of Estonia are Finnish people, related to the Finns.

Blessed with beautiful coastal plains and tidal estuaries, as well as vast evergreen forests, these countries share a cultural heritage and for several decades were dominated by Russia. The Russian influence is still felt today, although not much appreciated by Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians. These countries have all joined NATO, and are today part of the European Union.

The European Moose is the most popular game animal in the Baltics. More than 10,000 are harvested each year. Hunt success and trophy quality has been excellent in recent years. They are hunted using traditional high seats, near popular feeding areas and by calling during the rut and with the use of specially trained dogs.

Wild boar are also numerous and the second most popular game animal in the Baltics. Hunted by high seat over bait and in driven shoots thousands are taken each year.

European lynx grow very large in the Baltic States. These hunts are conducted using dogs to track and tree the lynx in deep snow, much like cougars are hunted in North America.

Hunting for the trophy birds, Capercaillie and black grouse, is also very popular and populations for both of these species are high. Woodcock shooting is also a favorite sport there.

The Baltics are also an excellent choice for a hunt for the unusual raccoon dog, an immigrant from East Asia. This species was introduced in 1948, in Latvia, and has now spread throughout the Baltic region and into Finland and Sweden. This species is often a bonus trophy on hunts for moose and lynx.

Infrastructure has improved dramatically in recent years, prices are moderate, and the Baltic people are very friendly to tourists. Opportunities in the Baltics are getting better with each passing year and these countries are becoming popular destinations with European hunters.

Species List:

  • European Brown Bear
  • European Moose
  • European Roe Deer
  • European Fallow Deer
  • Eurasian Wild Boar
  • Gray Wolf
  • European Lynx
  • Raccoon dog
  • Capercaillie
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