For many families on Lanai, hunting is more than a sport or a pastime — it’s a tradition. Alec Pascua learned from his father how to hunt with a bow and rifle nearly 30 years ago. Now, he heads up the Game Management department at Pulama Lanai, where he spends many of his days helping hunters of all experience levels get licensed, obtain permits and book guided hunts.
Pascua estimates that as much as 50 percent of the island population — men, women and children — are active hunters or have hunted in the past.
“We have a smaller population and greater access to hunting, so people are more accepting,” he says. “It’s a way of life. Families will go out together and kids will learn from their dads and uncles.”
For an island of only 140 square miles, Lanai boasts a large population of mouflon sheep and axis deer available for hunting year-round on Pulama Lanai-owned lands, or during certain times of year on state lands.
In the fall, many Lanai hunters look forward to the annual resident hunt, a years-long tradition that provides an opportunity for Lanai residents to hunt for free.
With the annual resident hunt coming up soon, here’s a quick guide on how to get started as a hunter.
Steps for New Hunters
Many Lanai residents, like Pascua, learn to hunt from their families. However, everyone, regardless of experience level, must complete a basic Hawaii Hunter Education course before they can receive their hunting license.
This 12-hour course, offered on nearly every island, covers conservation, wildlife management, firearms and bowhunting safety, rules and regulations, first aid and game care. It’s available to ages 16 and older, or to youth 10 and older with an adult present. Call 1-800-353-4868 to register for classes on Maui and Lanai.
Participants must pass a written exam in order to receive their hunting certification card at the end of the course. This card enables hunters to purchase their annual State of Hawaii hunting license for $20 (Hawaii resident rate), which expires every June 30.
Licensed hunters can call Alec at 565-3981 or 565-3102 or visit the Game Management office to make a hunting reservation on one of three hunting “units,” or areas. Alec suggests booking well in advance, especially for rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader units, as those tend to fill up quickly.
The annual resident hunt begins issuing permits for youth and adults in October, so stay tuned for details. Happy hunting!
Lanai Hunting Contact Information
Hawaii Hunter Education
Game Management Office – for hunting reservations
565-3981 or 565-3102