Kauai Hunting – After Action Report

Hunt dates: May 2019

Summary:

Hunting on Kauai, Hawaii was a rewarding, serendipitous experience on public land that I was not expecting to have. I traveled to Kauai with my girlfriend to visit the sites, but I brought my bow and Hawaii hunting license for my Molokai hunting trip afterwards. I found out from a local at Waimea Canyon that hunting was still allowed and specifically within Waimea Canyon State Park and Kokee State Park where we were staying.

After speaking with a local about hunting, he steered me to a liquor shop, which had two helpful owners that gave me a hunting map of zones in Hawaii (I’ve included a map of the hunting areas at the bottom of this post).

After a little more research, I realized that I could hunt the Kukui trail in Waimea Canyon State Park, which is basically a trail down into the valley of the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. 

kauai hunting

The fact I was hunting on public land in such a beautiful setting combined with the surprise of the opportunity made this a highly rewarding hunt.

Arriving at approximately 7 AM, I walked down the Kukui trail and between 0.5 and 0.75 miles I came upon a ferrel goat mother and baby. I wasn’t sure what it is, but when I moved slowly to within range, I noticed the goats in a small gully. I ranged the mother goat at 19 yards and she was quartering away giving me a perfect shot. She even stood still looking at me for approximately a minute.

The mother’s utters were so large she was practically tripping over them. The baby was oblivious so it was probably still feeding with her mother.

On another day, I might have still killed the mother, but today I let them go. Seeing the animals was rewarding because it solidified the hunting experience. They were viable animals I could have harvested had I wanted to.

Key Learnings:

#1. Knock up quickly when opportunity is there

After I saw the goats, I should have instantly knocked up and prepared to take a shot. I obviously could have decided not to take the shot when I saw what animals were in the gully, but it would have been better practice to have an arrow ready before deciding rather than afterwards.

Cool Tidbits & Takeaways:

  • Indigenous people have been hunting the trail that I used down into the Waimea valley for hundreds of years.
  • Hunting public land in Hawaii via archery or with knives and dogs is generally year-round. Sometimes it is restricted to weekends. Either way, there is a lot of availability in hunting on this public land and a high quantity of animals.
  • The favored method of hunting by locals is to use hog dogs to catch the hogs and then come in with a knife and stab the hog under the shoulder into the heart. I saw many hunters with crates of their dogs on the mountain that weekend. Unfortunately, hog dogs that grab the hogs and hold them still do not live long. I am interested in buying a hog dog in the near future, but it will be a pointer, not a grabber.

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