Kauai Hunting: Big Game in Hawaii?

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Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Kauai Hunting: Big Game in Hawaii?

Outdoor sportsmen have lots to do in Hawaii – including hunting. Learn about Kauai hunting and guided options across the islands. 

Hunting in Hawaii

Big game hunting may be the last thing that comes to mind when someone says “Hawaii.” The name and the place conjure images of swaying palm trees, crystal blue waters, and languid sunsets (and, perhaps, a colorful cocktail with a tiny umbrella and a pineapple wedge in it). Not camo-clad hunters, biding their time in hunting blinds for the 10-point buck that will land them on the cover of Field & Stream, right?

But we do have big game hunting in Hawaii, on all of the major islands. And we have a variety of animal species you probably wouldn’t expect, deer and rams included. All are feral, and in some parts of the state, they’re a nuisance and threat to endangered native species. 

Game animals have no natural predators in Hawaii, and their numbers can grow quickly, so limiting their populations is important to the preservation of Hawaii’s natural environment. That’s why Kauai hunting is mostly encouraged, though visitors will need to make sure they go with a guide to ensure they’re participating legally and safely. 

Kauai Hunting Game & Methods

Most hunters from Kauai and throughout Hawaii would likely agree that trophy hunting is simply distasteful, and they’ll consume most – if not all – of their kills. But trophy hunting is not uncommon among visiting hunters. 

Some hunt with dogs, others with bow and arrow, and other more adventurous hunters use knives. Hunting with guns is also common.


Kauai hunting: feral pigs in Hawaii

Feral pigs are the quarry of choice for most Kaui hunters (can’t have a luau without Kalua Pig!). Pig hunting is centuries old in Hawaii, and it continues to be an important cultural and economic pursuit for thousands of Hawaii families.


Visitors may be surprised to learn that there are wild deer in Hawaii. Two species, in fact. The axis deer was introduced from India to Hawaii in 1867 as a gift to Kamehameha V. They were first released on Molokai, but are now found in the thousands on Lanai and Maui as well. Columbian black-tailed deer were introduced on Kauai from Oregon in 1960, and there is now a growing population of over 700 in Waimea Canyon. Kauai hunting often focuses on wild deer.


The black Hawaiian ram is another soughtafter quarry for Hawaii hunters. This is a bit of a misnomer, as there are no ungulates native to Hawaii. It’s actually a kind of mouflon, or sheep, introduced to Hawaii in the 1950’s. They are fairly abundant in parts of the Big Island and Lanai. Kauai Hunters will also find feral goats, if you know where to look.

Pheasants & Doves

If you’re hunting in Kauai, you may prefer to go after birds – pheasants and doves are common game on the island. But bird hunting is only seasonal in Hawaii. 

How to Go Hunting in Kauai

For visitors interested in big game hunting in Hawaii, it’s best to go with a reputable outfitter. The state heavily regulates hunting. The Division of Forestry & Wildlife’s Rules Regulating Mammal Hunting is 56 pages long. 

For those who are into it, hunting in Hawaii can be an exciting and fulfilling adventure. Hawaii outfitters are humane and environmentally sensitive. Because of the damage that these introduced species do to native plant, insect, and bird species, hunting them in Hawaii can actually be an act of environmental preservation.

Need help finding a great Kauai hunting guide? The team at Hawaii Aloha Travel can help. We provide recommendations for all kinds of unique Hawaii activities that will make your vacation one-of-a-kind.