Hunting in Hawaii
Check out the latest tale of Hunting in Hawaii!
by Ed H. Edwards, SCI Lansing Chapter Member
Hawaii offers much more than Surfing, Luau Parties, and Hula Dancers!
Hunting in Hawaii was extremely enjoyable.
The climb to reach a favorite goat grazing area had been long, physically challenging, and had a few scary moments. We had driven in the dark to a bluff that was covered in lush grass and other vegetation goats found to be delicious and known to graze most mornings.
Due to the wind direction the approach to the hunting area required climbing the lava covered side of the bluff (sharp cliff!) which was as slick as pancake batter in some spots. It also brought us downwind from the trails that the goats used to reach the mountain top pasture. My wife thought the climb was cool and I was utterly terrified.
Soon after reaching our position, the occasional “bah-bah” of goats could be heard as they climbed up from the lava filled basin.
Prior to this trip I had stepped foot into every U.S. state except Hawaii, which has always been on my bucket list. After reading many hunting articles over the years and watching several outdoor shows featuring hunting in Hawaii, I did a little research. If the trip was to ever come together it would be on the Big Island which is not nearly developed or populated as the others and has excellent hunting opportunities.
Good fortune came one morning in the way of a telemarketing call from the Hilton Hotel chain. As a member of their Honors Program they offered me a chance to book a hotel + car package at one of their premium resort locations. Our choices were Orlando, Vegas, and Kona. After verification that it was not a scam I purchased the Kona package.
Pat Fisher of Hawaii Safaris is used by Jim Shockey, Craig Boddington, and several other outdoor show hosts. After a couple of e-mails I booked a combination goat and boar hunt on the Big Island.
Goat Hunting in Hawaii
Goats typically have solid dark brown to black hides and we started to see and glass small groups of them. Our guide, Matt, ask if I had any color preference. Since my plan was a European mount I had no preference. Matt replied “There is a mottled coat ram about 600 yards out that has good horns for sure.” This ram had been spotted on previous hunts several times but always slipped the stalk.
With a good wind and using every bit of available cover we closed to 130 yards according to Matt’s range finder binoculars. I got into a shooting position and waited for a clear shot. The goats were in constant motion like bare feet on hot coals and every time the chosen one hesitated it was either a bad angle or other goats were in front or behind him.
After about 15 nerve racking minutes, a clear shot was possible and I wasted no time sending a 130 grain Sierra Game King on its way. Before we started, Matt requested I take a follow up shot if the goat did not drop in its tracks since goats try to escape to the basin even if fatally hit and may not be recoverable.
Mine ran a short half circle and went down on its knees and a quick follow up shot just to be sure ended the goat hunt!
Wild boar in Hawaii behave as they do in the rest of the world and bed during the day in thick cover and feed after the sun sets.
We traveled to a different property that had mango and several other types of fruit trees and pockets of thick cover providing perfect food and bedding habitat. I was warned a good boar was the hardest trophy to take in Hawaii due to the limited amount of time they are active. Normally, the best opportunities are in the last 30 minutes of grey light before total darkness. Before we reached the hunting area on the new property several sounders of pigs were jumped so things looked promising.
The plan was to walk the edge of a two track which runs through the transition of areas the pigs bed and feed. Once the pigs start feeding they calm down and can be stalked as long as the wind is right. Quietly sneaking along the roads edge wearing complete camo and avoiding being sky lighted as much as possible allowed us to get within 50 yards of feeding pigs. Matt pointed out a boar that was as black as ground peppercorn right at dark-thirty and I really appreciated the light gathering and thick cross hairs of the 6X42 scope. The 140 grain Bear claw performed as intended and the boar dropped in its tracks!
After the hunt Carol remarked “that goat hunt and mountain climbing was fun, lets go on some kind of sheep hunt someday!”
While Hawaii does not have any native big game animals they are all free ranging and have been on the islands a very long time. Sheep and goats were brought in the 1700’s via Cook and Vancouver expeditions. Boar came in with Polynesian migrants over 2000 years ago.
Hawaii offers a lot of vacation activities and hunting is certainly one of them!
Contact Pat Fisher at Hawaii Safaris if you are interested in going for any of the available Hawaii game, he has access to many properties on the other islands in addition to the Big Island we hunted.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Lansing area SCI Chapter please visit the membership section of our website or call for more information. Happy hunting!