We’re unsure if Sen. Gilbert Kahele is a friend of Hawaii’s hunters, but it’s dang sure clear he’s no friend of the axis deer that apparently have been moved to and released on the state’s “Big Island.”
By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor
Kahele is one of the strongest opponents of the exotic deer that have been on the Pacific islands for almost 150 years. You’d sort of think over that much time that someone would have wiped out the critters for food or sport, or both. But they’ve managed to gain a hoofhold on Maui and have wreaked havoc there and on Molokaʻi over the years.
Kahele was a great proponent of the bill signed into law last week by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Senate Bill 3001 made it illegal to possess or transport deer from island to island.
In a media release, the state says “the Axis Deer has caused great damage to native habitats and agricultural crops on Maui and are a danger to vehicular traffic on roadways. SB 3001 aims to provide a deterrent to the purposeful spread of wild or feral deer within the State and establishes penalties for the intentional possession or interisland transportation or release of wild or feral deer.”
Sen. Kahele sponsored the bill after Axis deer were discovered on the Big Island. He’s in favor of wiping them out so they don’t cause any more problems to the flora and fauna.
This isn’t anything new, as the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported in spring 2011. Animal “rights” wackos got bent outta shape back in April when the state issued a release and photo of a hunter with an Axis.
Hawaii political and tourist folks, here’s a suggestion: have a drawing for us mainland hunters, pay for their airfare from the mainland and help them secure some outfitters or local hunters. Encourage hunting. Don’t wipe out these deer with sharpshooters or government agents or fall prey to idiotic “sterilization” or relocation hooey from the illogical Bambi-huggers.
Or, you know, you could invite some hunting industry folks and outdoor writers to come eradicate them. I know of a few folks to help you build a list. Have gun (or bow!), will travel.
If you want the axis deer to disappear then kill the suckers and promote hunting on the islands along with the other cool things to do out there.