Hawaii Deer Hunting Laws and Regulations

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

1151 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: 808-587-0400
Website: hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/hunting

Hawaii Deer Impact, Ecology and Populations

The Axis deer are estimated to number 12,000 on Maui with smaller numbers on the other Islands. The economic impact of Hawaii deer hunting is estimated to be $10 million annually. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources  is in charge of monitoring deer regarding numbers, managed hunts, enforcing laws and regulations. They monitor the balance of deer in relation to economic, ecological and safety needs of the state. They implement programs designed to control the deer population. Damage from deer includes farm crops, plant extinction, yard damage, plant extinction, forest damage, car accidents and the spread of disease. They monitor the deer population for diseases such as Chronic wasting disease, Epizootic Hemorrhagic disease, Tuberculosis, Lyme disease and Parasites. Deer-auto collisions have averaged at 130 per year over the past 4 years.

State officials are developing plans to remove axis deer in Hawaii County before damage becomes significant to ranch grasslands, farm crops and plants that are vital to maintain watershed areas. Wild axis deer have become a major problem on Maui, where they have caused millions of dollars in losses to farmers and ranchers, in addition to threats to native plant species. Axis deer are easier to control in small open areas of Lanai and Molokai but have been difficult to control in large spaces like Maui, with forests, and landowners who don’t allow hunting. Two stories exist for Axis being introduced to Hawaii. According to Graf (1950), the first Axis Deer were imported in 1868 to Moloka’i from India, a gift to King Kamehameha from the government of Hong Kong. According to Ables (1974) the Axis was first introduced to Maui in 1989. Populations have multiplied and spread and, today, there is the general feeling in Hawaii that the Axis is a pest and should be eradicated. Axis deer are found almost exclusively at lower elevations (below 3000 feet) throughout dry and mixed deciduous forest habitat (Ables 1977). They are most commonly associated with a mixture of forest and more open grass-shrub associations, but the deer occupy a wide range of habitats throughout their native range

Hawaii Deer Hunting Laws & Regulations

Hawaii deer hunting is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. No person shall hunt from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, except where specified differently. No person shall hunt, kill, or have in their possession any game mammal except with a valid hunting license from the department and except as provided by this chapter and the following exhibits which are located at the end of this chapter and by reference made a part hereof. No person shall hunt game mammals with the use of artificial light. Game mammals may be hunted with a valid hunting license and the landowner’s permission on private land throughout the year, unless prohibited under 13-123-12. When required, only four-wheel drive vehicles will be permitted, No person shall use any aircraft to herd or drive game mammals, or land any aircraft for hunting. No person shall have or carry any loaded weapon on horseback, in any vehicle, boat, or any other carrier or discharge any weapon from any carrier. Unless permitted by the department, no person shall hunt, kill or have in their possession any female deer.

No person shall hunt, serve as a guide, accompany, or assist a hunter in any hunting area where firearms are permitted without wearing an exterior garment (shirt, vest, jacket, or coat) made of commercially manufactured, solid blaze-orange material or solid blaze-orange mesh material with a maximum mesh size of one-eighth inch. (All types of camouflage orange are prohibited for these garments). When carrying game or wearing a back pack, the blaze orange on the upper torso must be visible from both front and back.

Use of tags. Permit-tags are required while Hawaii deer hunting and for the hunting of feral goats and black-tailed deer in Kauai County (Units A, B, E, and H only). Tags are also required to hunt mouflon sheep and axis deer on Molokai and Lanai in Maui County. Tags may be required in Hawaii County. Tags are not required to hunt game mammals on Oahu (City and County of Honolulu). Animals taken are to be tagged immediately by inserting the tag through the skin and around the bone of a back leg and locking the tag. Tags shall remain on the carcass until the hunter checks out of the area and reaches their home or final destination. Tags are not transferable and are valid only for the season for which they are issued. Ear tags and radio transmitters recovered from game mammals shall be turned in to the checking station attendant or the division office on each island. [Eff 9/28/81; am and comp Nov 06 1999 (Auth: HRS §183D-2) (Imp: HRS 183D-2, 183D-3, 183D-4)

Website: www.state.hi.us/dlnr/dofaw/rules/Ch123/Title13_Chap123.htm

Hawaii Deer Hunting Licensing and Costs

Hawaii deer hunting requires a hunting license whether you hunt on public or private land. In order to purchase a Hawaii Hunting License, you must possess one of the following documents: a Hawaii Hunter Education Wallet Card; or a Letter of Exemption. Hawaii Hunter Education Wallet Cards are issued to graduates of our basic Hunter Education course and you may use it to purchase a Hawaii Hunting License directly from a license agent at various retail locations throughout the state. You may also purchase your Hawaii Hunting License online. Letters of Exemption are issued free to those who have an out-of-state hunter education card or a Hawaii Hunting License issued prior to July 1, 1990.  If you’re a nonresident without a hunter education card, contact your local hunter education office and find out how, when, and where to enroll in a hunter education course in your home state/province. Once you get your hunter education certificate, you need to fill out and mail in a completed Letter of Exemption form to our office. Once your form is processed and validated you will be able to purchase a Hawaii hunting license.

Hawaii Resident Hunting Licenses

Resident $10.00
Senior Free
Kalaupapa Patient Free

Hawaii Non-Resident Hunting Licenses

Non-Resident $95.00

Hawaii Deer Hunting – Conclusion

For other hunting laws and regulations, please see our page of US Deer Hunting. We hope this information on Hawaii deer hunting was useful, and that you continue to enjoy the sport.