Feral pigs are running rampant around the Hawaiian islands these days. You see them on the side of the road, in backyards and sometimes even inside your living room!
They dig through your garden and sometimes even threaten to attack. Theyʻre in such high numbers that they need to be controlled. But can you shoot a feral pig if you find one on your property?
In Hawaii, you can shoot a feral pig as long as you follow things to ensure you are within the law.
How To Legally Shoot A Wild Pig (Boar) In Hawaii Legally
Itʻs important to follow the law whenever discharging firearms for any purpose. You donʻt want to get in trouble with the law over illegally discharging a firearm.
Gun License Requirements
Of course, you’re going to have to have a gun, which means going through all of the loopholes to ensure that you can legally own a gun in Hawaii.
You can find all the details on the Hawaii Rifle Association website.
Hunting License Requirements
All persons are required to have a valid Hawai‘i hunting license on their person to hunt or have a bagged game mammal in their possession. Resident hunting licenses cost $10.00 and non-resident licenses are $95.00. A license may be obtained online or from any Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office. A current-year, $10.00 Hawai‘i Wildlife Conservation Stamp is also required to hunt. The stamp must be endorsed across the front by the hunter and affixed to their hunting license in the space provided.
All hunting license applicants must show proof of having successfully completed a hunter education course that is recognized by the National Hunter Education Association. The only exception to this requirement is if a person was born before January 1, 1972, and can show proof of having been issued a Hawai‘i hunting license before July 1, 1990.
A person is considered to be a resident of Hawai‘i if they have resided in the State of Hawai‘i for at least one year. Active duty military personnel and their dependents stationed in Hawaii are also considered to be residents for the purposes of obtaining a hunting license.
Shooting Pigs On Public and Private Property
There are two places you are likely to want to shoot a boar. One is on public lands that allow hunting, and the other is on your own property. Let us get into both situations and what exactly is legal.
Shooting Pigs On Public Land
All the islands have forest reserves, parks, and other hunting areas that are open to the public during certain times of the year in which boar hunting is allowed. You must have an active hunting license and show proof of license for your firearm.
You normally need to get a permit with DLNR but sometimes it is with another agency. Here are the rules for hunting put out by DLNR.
Shooting Pigs On Private Property
It is possible to shoot pigs on private property, under a few conditions. First off, you must have the proper licensing, both a gun license and a hunting license, even when on private property.
You also must have the permission of the landowner.
Weapons shall not be discharged in a subdivision in which you may be in close proximity to others, but if you have large open space around you, it is fair game.
If you do live in a subdivision with neighbors, you could use a trap to capture pigs alive and then put them down with a slit to the throat with a knife. Many people use a single shot with a handgun regardless.
Do not use undersized weapons to scare off pigs. All you do is injure a pig, it can lead to disease and cause the meat to be inedible for someone who does go through the effort to harvest the animal responsibly. Donʻt be that guy.
You can shoot other animals on your homestead using a pellet gun though. I routinely use mine to harvest chickens our to pick off mongoose that may be going after my chickens. To learn more about this, you should check out this post.
The Best Way To Shoot A Pig On Private Property
Is with a bow. Save yourself all the headaches that might come with discharging a weapon if youʻre not clear on the legalities, use a bow and arrow to shoot a boar. It is both silent and effective.
A great entry-level bow for this purpose is the Diamond Archery 320 Edge Compound Bow. It is strong enough to take down a boar, but not too costly that it will take down your bank account too.
The History Of Feral Pigs In Hawaiʻi
What you may not know is that the feral pigs, also known in the Hawaiian language as “pua’a”, have a history that reaches as far back as the people who first came to Hawai’i.
The pua’a, or feral hogs, are present on all of the islands except for Lana’i. Pigs are not native to Hawai’i and were brought to Hawaii by two peoples at different times in Hawaiian history.
The Polynesians imported pua’a and it became part of Hawaiian culture and tradition and relied heavily upon as an important source of lean protein. In ancient Hawaiian history, the pig populations were controlled and did not roam free to destroy the crops the first Hawaiians needed for survival.
The second group of people to introduce pigs to the Islands was Captain Cook and the crew. Cook introduced European breeds in an attempt to make the Polynesian breeds larger. Both their population and destructive ability exploded.
Since then, weʻve been dealing with a wild pig problem that has gone way past sustainable. They destroy habitats for native wildlife, spread diseases, and tear up gardens.
The Dangers Of Wild Pigs
Wild pigs can be very dangerous to humans. Feral pig attacks can cause serious injury and even death. Feral pigs have even been known to attack and eat young livestock such as newborn kid goats and baby lambs.
Besides being highly aggressive, feral pigs can carry as many as 45 diseases that can be transmitted to humans, livestock, pets, and other wildlife species. Some of the diseases wild pigs spread are E.coli into surface water systems and crops, hepatitis E, influenza A, and brucellosis.
Measures to Protect Yourself from Wild Pigs Attacks in Hawaii:
- Fencing- Wild pigs tend to destroy landscapes and gardens in their search for food. Putting up fencing around your yard or garden is a good way to keep pigs out.
However, pigs are intelligent and highly adaptive and have figured out ways to get around fences by digging under them.
- Hunting: Though this is not the ideal way of handling the problem, it is useful in reducing their numbers, reducing the threat they pose, and alleviating ecological stress.
The Puaʻa In Hawaiian Moʻoleo (Story)
Hawaiian lore tells the story of the Kamapua’a, born to Hina (also the mother to the demigod Maui). When Kamapua’a was born, his father disowned him and called him “Hog-Child.”
In a twist of fate, “Hog-Child” grew to be handsome and brawny with shape-shifting abilities, but, drunk on a combination of his own charm and his ruthless desire to win his father’s acceptance. He tattooed his face, cloaked himself in animal skins, and murdered Hina’s husband.
When his real father—Hina’s lover—claimed he had no son, Kamapua’a pillaged the villages, seduced women, and indiscriminately killed those who crossed him.
But after falling in love with Pele—the goddess of fire—his anger vanished, leaving him as attractive as he was when he was a child.
The sudden transformation enraged the powerful goddess, who saw it as competition, but in an act of mercy, gave him the wetter side of the Big Island.
When Mount Kilauea erupted, Kamapua’a took to the seas to save himself—and to save himself from a broken heart, thinking his beloved Pele had perished under the lava.
The ocean embraced the volatile “Hog-Child,” where he became humuhumunukunukuapua’a, or Hawaii’s State Fish; local children today are taught that the fish makes snorting sounds much like a pig.
Consider the devastating story of Kamapua’a from his place in the ocean, he’s rumored to shield hearts from breaking.
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