Show consideration if you meet reindeer while on a trip
Domesticated reindeer are not particularly shy, and mountain hikers often get the chance to meet these beautiful animals in the mountains. However, the animals require peace and quiet when grazing, so show consideration and do not disturb the animals unnecessarily. The reindeer are especially vulnerable during the calving period. Remember to keep your dog on a leash, and don’t follow the herds.
There are two domesticated reindeer companies that are licensed to herd reindeer in the area; Lom Tamrein As and Vågå Tamrein As. They have approximately 2400 animals in each of their winter herds, and if we include the additional claves that are born, there may be a total of 7 to 8000 reindeer grazing in Jotunheimen and the surrounding area.
Utilization of mountain pastures
Agriculture in the mountain villages relies on rough grazing, but the local village populations saw an even better method of utilizing resources. One of the founders of the domesticated reindeer associations in Vågå said the following:
“Where the mountain grasses end, the moss-plains begin. Only reindeer can utilize the very high mountain plateaus. This is a commercial opportunity for a mountain community”.
The Lom Domesticated Reindeer Association was founded in 1926, while Vågå established themselves in 1942.
With well organized herding, the associations have managed to adapt to mountain tourism in Jotunheimen, and meeting the reindeer and their herders can be a highlight for many mountain hikers while on a trip!