State officials are developing plans to remove axis deer in Hawaii County before damage becomes significant to ranch grasslands, farm crops and plants that are vital to maintain watershed areas.
“We will need to take quick and effective action to prevent costly and destructive impacts on the Big Island that will last for generations, perhaps forever,” said William Aila, director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Kahua Ranch Ltd. Chairman Monte Richards said axis deer can cause great damage to Hawaii island’s forest in Kohala and become difficult to remove once they’re established.
“The thing is to get to them early, and you’ve got a chance,” Richards said.
Richards said Hawaii island ranchers successfully fought against the idea of importing axis deer in the 1960s. He suspects the axis deer were illegally shipped to the island in recent years by someone who wanted the animal for game hunting.
State conservation officials working closely with trackers and using game cameras to survey areas in recent weeks have confirmed the presence of axis deer across the island, including in Kohala, Kau, Kona and Mauna Kea.
The Army says it is closing Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island to hunting because of heightened security at military installations around the world.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii said Monday that hunting will not be allowed at Pohakuloa until the Department of Defense lowers security levels.
The Army normally opens a part of the base to civilian hunters for about 50 days each year to help control wild pigs, sheep and goats.
The feral animals could damage rare and endangered plant habitats if they are not controlled. Allowing civilian hunters to use Pohakuloa also helps the Army’s relations with community members.
HONOLULU – The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is now accepting application forms for the 2011 Lanai Mouflon Sheep Hunting Season.
There will be three types of hunts, archery, muzzleloading and general rifle, which will be held during different periods beginning July 30 through Oct. 23.
Applications and instruction sheets are available at all Division of Forestry and Wildlife offices statewide.
Applicants may also see: www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw.
Applications for all hunts may be submitted in person or mailed to the Maui Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office, 54 South High St., Room 101, Wailuku, 96793.
Lanai residents only are to mail or deliver their applications to the Lanai Division of Forestry and Wildlife office at 917 Fraser Ave., P.O. Box 630661, Lanai City, 96763.
The deadline is 4 p.m., May 27.
For more information on Maui, call 984-8100; on Molokai, call 553-1745; and on Lanai, call 565-7916.
Two North Kohala men killed a boar while illegally hunting at night and carrying marijuana earlier this month, Big Island police said.
Responding to a report of gunshots from possible illegal hunters near Cannery Road about 9 p.m. Feb. 13, officers found a 30-year-old man and a 28-year-old man in a pickup leaving the area.
While checking the truck, the officers found hunting dogs and a wild boar carcass in the truckbed, police said. Officers also allegedly recovered marijuana and a rifle.
Both men were arrested for night hunting and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug. They were released pending further investigation.
Capt. Richard Miyamoto, of the North Kohala District, said illegal hunting, which includes hunting at night, is a problem all over the Big Island.
“We just want to make sure people are aware,” there are hunting laws, Miyamoto said. “We are enforcing those laws.”
He said illegal hunting offenses are often committed with other offenses such as trespassing and firearm violations.
Police did not say what happened to the boar carcass.
Honolulu police and fellow pig hunters are looking for a missing man in Waianae Valley.
Police said 37-year-old Thomas Kalama Jr., an avid hunter, was last seen on Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. at his home in Waianae.
Family members found Kalama Jr.’s 1983 Toyota pickup yesterday at 1 p.m. parked at the end of Waianae Valley Road.
Anyone with information on Kalama Jr. is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.
Conservation Council for Hawaii News Release
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing revisions to Hawaii Administrative Rules relating to hunting and game, and asking the public for their feedback. This is an opportunity to urge the state to change the hunting and game management paradigm to reduce the damage caused by introduced continental feral ungulates and game mammals, and provide more opportunities for hunters to help control animals and bring home the meat.
Castle & Cooke Resorts, Lanai’s biggest employer, has proposed to erect more than 150 wind turbines on the remote northwestern end of the island and lay an undersea cable that would send the power to Oahu.
The project’s supporters say it could be a revenue-generator for the island, but opponents fear it would cut off access to important hunting grounds and have a major impact on an area rich in cultural and archaeological sites.
Over 1,000 marijuana plants removed from valley
LIHU‘E — Nobody should have been in Kalalau Valley except those people working on the rock-mitigation work and state resources-enforcement officers, but there is no guarantee some people did not elude enforcement officers and slip further up the valley.
That is the word from Francis “Bully” Mission, Kaua‘i branch chief of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement.
Mission, a former Kaua‘i Police Department officer, said despite DOCARE overnight camping and stepped-up enforcement efforts to rid Kalalau Valley of un-permitted campers, “it is unknown if one or two illegal campers ran in the deeper portion of the valley and don’t want to be found.”
In an exclusive interview, Mission talked about the daunting task of sweeping the valley even when it was technically closed to all campers while the maintenance work happened, from Sept. 7 to Oct. 31.
“The sweeps have definitely removed a majority of the illegal or un-permitted campers from within the valley. The land mass that we (DOCARE) deal with, in my perspective, from the air (helicopter), Kalalau Valley seems not too big, but once you get on the ground it’s huge.
“The officers need to travel through thick brush and mountainous areas to get to some of the campsites and illegal campers,” said Mission.
“Prior to the closure and during the closure, DOCARE conducted enforcement sweeps to remove illegal campers, and had done periodic campouts to conduct enforcement within the valley. During this period persons were contacted by DOCARE officers, checked for valid permits and issued citations if they could not produce a valid permit,” he said.