The reindeer rutting season begins in September and continues until the middle of November. The bulls move with small flocks of cows to the winter pastures and specifically the Gjeska and Ånderdalen/Blåfjell area. During the rut some bulls can act aggressively, and it’s therefore recommended to steer clear of reindeer herds at this time of the year.
Reindeer on their early winter pastures. Photo: Anne-Katrine Borander
Reindeer bull in the autumntime rutting season. Photo: Jan Inge Karlsen
When you meet reindeer
To encounter reindeer up close is a very special experience. Let it also be a positive event for the reindeer themselves by following these precautions:
- Keep your dog on a leash. Reindeer can easily associate a free-running dog as a threatening predator on the hunt. Over the whole of Norway, April 1st – August 20th is a law-bound ‘on leash period’, which means your dog must be on a lead then. Even outside these dates your dog must be under control. Dogs running loose can pose a considerable threat to reindeer, sheep, other livestock, and wildlife.
- Change your direction of travel if you encounter grazing reindeer.
- Consider sitting down and waiting until reindeer have passed if there are reindeer coming your way.
- In springtime reindeer are particularly vulnerable after the long winter, and cows are calving. If a cow is startled and leaves its calf, the calf’s life may be in danger. When you meet reindeer in the spring you need to carefully consider which route you need to take to avoid disturbing them. Make a detour if necessary.
There is little sheep-farming in the Park. A farmer in Flastadvåg transports the sheep over to Lomsnes in Selfjorden and although these sheep graze primarily outside the Park, they can be found foraging in the Park in Selfjordbotn and eastwards towards Gjøvika and Vassvika. There is more sheep husbandry in the Vesterfjell area, from where sheep graze into the Park. In general, there is very restricted sheep grazing access to the Park area.
Sheep on the summer pastures at Lomsnes in Selfjorden. Photo: Ingve Birkeland