Hawaii is a dream destination for most people already, and even more so that you can hunt for deer there. If you are an avid hunter and you are wondering when deer season in Hawaii opens up, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know, from season dates to licenses and weapon regulations. Let’s dive in!
Hunting seasons work slightly differently in Hawaii to other states we have discussed. In Hawaii, the hunting season is split between 11 Islands with different species to target. For deer, we are going to focus on the main islands, Lanai, and Kauai. To stay in tune with what hunts are happening and then keep an eye on go hunt Hawaii. Hunting dates are also allocated per island by a lottery. Hunters will be allocated hunting dates by their deer tags. Hunting times are reserved for half an hour before sunrise and after sunset.
Lanai Hunting Season
In Lanai, the Axis deer can only be found on this island and is the prime target for hunters attracted to this island. Hunting dates in Lanai are decided by a lottery draw. Here are the season dates for hunting Axis Deer in Lanai.
|Archery||Draws will be held Feb 1 to Feb 12, 2023|
|Muzzleloaders||Draw will be held on the weekend of the 9-12 of March.|
|Rifles||will be held over eleven consecutive Weekends, beginning March 16, 2023, and ending on May 28, 2023.|
|The Youth Hunt||Draw will be held on the weekend of the 2-5 of March.|
Kauai Hunting Season
Kauai is known for its abundance of Black Tailed Deer. The hunting dates in Kauai are separated amongst hunting units throughout the year. Take note that dates can be changed at the discretion of the state.
|Weapon||Hunting Unit||Open Dates||Bag Limits|
|Muzzleloader||A and H||A weekend only. The seventh weekend before the end of October.||One Antlered Buck per hunter through their license validity.|
|Rifle, Bows, and Muzzleloaders||A and H||Six weekends in a row before the last weekend of October.||One Antlered Buck per hunter through their license validity.|
|Bow and Arrow||F||September to November. Hunting days are allocated through purchased deer tags.||One Antlered Buck per hunter through their license validity.|
|Archery||J and K||September to November. Hunting days are allocated through purchased deer tags.||One Antlered Buck per hunter through their license validity.|
If you are looking to hunt in Hawaii, you need to make sure you have the right license and that you purchase the correct deer tags for the deer you want to hunt. Note that licensing will be open for application from August 2022 and will have a $10 dollar fee for the application. Below are the license prices for residents and non-residents on a given island.
|License / Tag Type||Cost|
|Blacktail Deer License||$5|
|Blacktail Deer Rifle Tag||$10 residents|
|Blacktail deer Muzzleloader tag||$10 residents|
|Blacktail Deer Archery Tag||$5 residents|
|Axis Deer Lottery Application||$10|
|Axis Deer Tag||$20 residents|
What Weapons can you Hunt Deer with in Hawaii?
When it comes to hunting in Hawaii, you can generally carry any weapon that is needed to target the animal you are hunting. Here’s a list of the weapons you can hunt within Hawaii:
- Archery- Bow & Arrow
- Muzzleloading rifles
- Centre-fire rifles
Every state in the US. is governed by their own specific gun and ammunition regulations. We’d recommend you take a thorough look below at Hawaii’s gun regulations before heading out. For more information on the weapon regulations in Hawaii check their Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting Guide
|Shotguns||Loaded with slugs or 00 or a larger Buckshot.|
|Centerfire rifle||0.22 Caliber and up with a magnum load or centerfire cartridge.|
|Handguns||43 calibre and down with a barrel no longer than four and a half inches.|
Bow and Arrow:
|Arrows||Arrow must be 24 inches in length.|
|Broadheads||Broadheads can be fixed with two blades and must be ⅞ inches wide at their widest point.|
|Bow characteristics||LongBow minimum draw weight for hunting deer is 40 lbs and a draw length of 28’. Recurve Bows’ minimum draw weight is 35 lbs.|
|Crossbow draw weight||Crossbows have a draw tension that exceeds 30 lbs and must be mechanically safe.|
|Arrows/ bolts||The arrow/ bolt must be at least 18 inches, excluding the broad head.|
|Broadheads||Must be ⅞ inches at the widest point.|
|Powder||black powder or black powder substitute only.|
|Caliber||Single barrel of.45 caliber or greater.|
|Legal projectile||Muzzleloaders can be smoothbore or rifled.|
|Ignition||Matchlock, flintlock ignition system, percussion ignition system with a primer or percussion cap, or a wheel-lock.|
What Types of Deer Are Popular in Hawaii?
In Hawaii the most popular deer to hunt are the Axis deer and the Blacktail deer. The Axis Deer can be identified by dark brown to rusty red fur and the white spots covering their body. A telltale sign is also their white throat and their long tails. You will find them mostly in xlowland plains and on lower hills. The Axis Deer is mostly nocturnal, making the best time to hunt for it in the early hours of the morning or evening.
The Blacktail deer is the other species of deer that can be accross in Hawaii. They are generally confused with Mule deer as they are a subspecies of the Mule deer but can be identified by their oblongly shaped tails and from how dark the top of their bodies are. Underneath, they are white. The Male deer also have antlers that branch off in two directions every time they grow.
But there are a few laws you need to know when hunting. If you don’t have a current hunting license or don’t have it on you, you can’t have hunting guns or archery gear or shoot a gun on public hunting land. You are only allowed to have one gun or bow and arrow that is needed to hunt the game you want to catch. A hunter can take another hunter’s gun if he or she is trying to help the other hunter. Also, shooters have to let someone from the Hawaii Wildlife and Forestry Department check out their gear.
Any hunter who doesn’t follow this rule will be breaking Hawaii’s hunting law, which could lead to their licenses and other hunting rights being taken away. When it is not hunting season or a no-hunting day, it is against the law to have a bow or gun on public hunting land. When you’ve hit the bag limit for a game, you can’t have your bow or a gun that’s been loaded in your possession.
What else is Popular to Hunt in Hawaii?
Aside from deer, there are a few other great species that you can hunt in Hawaii. Keep in mind that each species requires a tag or license to go along with it, and you need to purchase these accordingly. Hunting dates will change for each species throughout the year. Here are the animals that you can hunt in Hawaii:
- Feral Pig
- Feral Goat
- Mouflon Sheep
- Feral Sheep
- Mouflon-Feral Hybrid Sheep