You might’ve heard of feral cats, pigs and goats. But feral cattle? Believe it or not, feral cattle have been around in Hawai‘i for more than two centuries. And the state Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to keep it in check.
The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife recently announced the opening of a feral cattle control in the Pu‘u Ka Pele Forest Reserve, on Kaua‘i’s Westside, from July 8 to Aug. 28.
In 1793 and 1794, British Capt. George Vancouver — Capt. James Cook’s successor — gave King Kamehameha I four males and eight females, according to hawaiihistory.org.
By 1846, there were an estimated 25,000 cattle heads in the wild and 10,000 domesticated cattle in Hawai‘i, largely due to a hunting prohibition that lasted until 1830.
Today, feral cattle are found mainly on Kaua‘i, Molokai and the Big Island.
As part of its core mission, the DOFAW is charged with protecting watershed areas from damage caused by feral cattle. To accomplish this, DOFAW requests participation from the hunting community.
Permits will be limited and issued on a first-come, first-serve basis from the DOFAW Kaua‘i Branch office at 3060 ‘Eiwa Street Room 306, Lihu‘e, HI 96766. Hunters must present their 2014-15 Hawai‘i Hunting license when acquiring their permit. Permits can be picked up for someone else; as long as they present their valid hunting license at the same time.
Control dates are (three-day slots): July 15-17, 22-24, 29-31, August 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, and 26-28, 2014.
Fifty permits will be issued per three-day slot. Bag limit will be two feral cattle per permit.
Cattle may be de-boned in the field, but participant must keep tail for identification.
Feral pig, feral goat and black-tailed deer will be closed to hunting.
Hunters may sign up again after they have completed their hunt.
Hunters must sign-in and out at the Koke‘e Hunter Check station.
All requirements contained in Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Chapter 13-123, Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting apply to the cattle control, including use of hunter orange garment, legal firearms and ammunition, and lawful carriage of firearms.
Call DOFAW Kaua‘i Branch at 274-3433 for more information.