Temporary Pig Control in The Honolulu Forest Reserve

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The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has commenced a special year-long pig control hunt, by permit, for the mauka sections of the Ala Wai Watershed. It started on February 4, 2007.

Areas to be affected include the Honolulu mauka trail system, located within the Honolulu Forest Reserve, that spans the Makiki-Tantalus area across Manoa Valley to Wa‘ahila ridge. Also included in the hunt boundary are portions of Pauoa Flats west of the adjacent Makiki/Tantalus ridge.

“The Honolulu Mauka Trail System is normally off-limits to hunting due to the level of public use and situation adjacent to the community, but the persistence of feral pigs requires measures to control damage they have caused to the resources, watershed, and public and private property,” said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.

“As stewards of the state’s forest reserves and watershed areas, DLNR’s mission is to protect these vital resources. Special hunts serve as a tool with which to address pig damage in areas otherwise unsuitable for regular hunting area designation,” Young said.

“Last summer we held a community meeting to discuss the proposed control measures with the Manoa and Tantalus communities. We will be posting notices at trail heads in the watershed to alert the public of ongoing activities and to ask their cooperation for safety’s sake,” he said.

DLNR had previously instituted two special hunts which operated in 3 month-on and 3-month-off cycles. In 2002, 15 feral pigs were caught, and 22 animals were taken during the 2004/2005 program.

DLNR’s Forestry and Wildlife and Enforcement staff have been working with the Board of Water Supply, the O‘ahu Pig Hunters’ Association, the Honolulu Police Department, Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, and the office of State Rep. Kirk Caldwell to prepare for the special pig control hunt.

Following are the hunt rules:

Hunting

Hunting will be allowed on Wednesdays and Sundays only, from sun-up to sundown. The season will run for twelve months, from February 4, 2007 through February 4, 2008. Hunting methods will be with either dog and knife, or archery. Up to two dogs per hunter, with a maximum of six dogs per hunting party, will be allowed. Hunters are responsible for the control of their dogs at all times.

Important rules of the hunt
There is no daily bag limit.
Firearms and baiting are prohibited.
Notice signs will be posted at all major trails heads.
Hikers with pet dogs should consider using other trails during control hunt period to avoid possible encounters with hunting dogs.

Trial full moon hunt

A trial full moon hunt will be offered on scheduled evenings every two months. Interested hunters should contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife for specific dates and to obtain a special night hunt permit.

Harvest Information

Submitting hunting and trapping harvest information is required through a simple call-in system, whether animals were captured or not.

Necessary information includes: hunter names, date, hunt duration, location of harvest, number of pigs, sex and weight of each animal.

This data is crucial in illustrating such measures as the efficacy of a program design, success of hunter effort per unit of time, location of pig densities, and total harvest.

Refusing to submit harvest data works only against employing methods like hunting and trapping, and against reasons for expanding hunting opportunities.

How to apply:

Temporary wildlife control permits will be issued at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife O‘ahu district office located at 2135 Makiki Heights Drive, by the Wildlife Biologist, to be followed by a briefing.

All applicants must call for an appointment; at the appointment each applicant must provide a valid State of Hawaii hunting license and photo identification (driver’s license, State ID, or passport), a vehicle description and license number, and phone number.

All group information must be submitted together. Groups may consist of not more than five (5) individuals with up to two (2) dogs per person (maximum 6 dogs per hunting party). No participant shall be a part of more than one group.

Hunters are required to have their valid hunting licenses and ID on their person at all times. Numbered vehicle placards will be provided to be prominently displayed in a vehicle’s windshield.

Applications will be accepted throughout the duration of the program, to expire at sundown on February 4, 2008.

Appointments and questions should be directed to the DOFAW wildlife assistant at 628-1381.