Life in SwedenSwedish wildlife

Wildlife in Norrland: Reindeer

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Really, how can I complain when on a Sunday morning this is what I get to wake up to?

Reindeer in our backyard

I was fascinated! What beautiful creatures! My Swede, on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered to even to get out of bed to look. He said “Now, if they were moose, that would be a different story…”

Hmmm, is that just because he knows how good moose tastes, or because he is allowed to hunt moose? Who knows.

Reindeer in Norrland

The reindeer in Sweden are all owned by the Sami, who are the native people of Sweden (kinda like the native Americans in the States or the First Nations in Canada). Since the Sami own all the reindeer, Swedes are not allowed to hunt the reindeer like they are moose. The Sami herd the reindeer (though sadly I didn’t see any Sami around these reindeer), and in the old days they use to actually follow the reindeer around. Nowadays they take trucks and sometimes even helicopters to herd them around.

So maybe that is why my Swede dislikes reindeer so much. He isn’t able to hunt them. Or maybe it is because they love to eat the salt on the roads and will just stand in the road enjoying themselves, not even bothering to move for cars. How rude.Reindeer in Sweden

Whatever the reason, I think they are beautiful creatures and it made my day to see some in our backyard (even without the Sami).


  1. Ellen
    March 29, 2011 at 06:28 — Reply

    Awesome!! I hope I get to see some this summer when I go to the north!
    I have to admit I agree with your Swede a bit on the moose being more worthy of excitement but the reindeer really are spectacular.

    • March 29, 2011 at 06:57 — Reply

      Hehehe, maybe I’m just easy to please. Growing up we had normal deer, they are cool too but reindeer are sure a step up!

  2. Michelle
    March 30, 2011 at 18:51 — Reply

    any sign of santa! lol (i had to) they are b-e-a-utiful!!!!!

    • March 30, 2011 at 19:12 — Reply

      I know, whenever Johan goes off on reindeer and how stupid he thinks they are, I tell him to not say ANYTHING like that in the States. Do NOT diss the animals that help Santa deliver presents!

  3. Michelle
    March 31, 2011 at 09:12 — Reply

    because even us adults here in the states watch our p’s and q’s for santa! has that man never seen fred claus!? careful johan…..he may put you on the naughty list!!!!! lol

    BTW…….rudolph is TOTALLY real 😉 ive seen him :*)

    • March 31, 2011 at 15:17 — Reply

      They actually have Santa here. During xmas the father goes “out” for the newspaper and while he is gone Santa magically appears with gifts. They even sell Santa costumes in the stores for this. But he doesn’t come with any reindeer, Santa isn’t Samisk I guess! :/

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The Author



Hilary lived two years in Norrland, Sweden (Northern Sweden) and fell in love with the country. She lives in Prague, Czechia and hopes to one day soon return to Sweden.