Saturday, February 28, 2015

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Hawaii Sportsmen's Alliance

Train cam action! lol ...

Again, DLNR is taking two days out of a 31 day Spring Turkey hunting season for Eradication of an almost extinct species, the Mauna Kea Mouflon...

You wonder why we need a Commission? Today the mountain was closed. How would I know.... oh.. they say they put it in the newsprint... and I'm sure there is some fall back caveat that lets them thumb their noses at us when we complain about lack of notice, but the one thing that they can't skate from, is their total disregard for hunters.

Now Bird Hunters.... they pay more money, have less days to hunt and are further dismissed as of no consequence to the overall scheme of things in the eyes of DLNR leadership by having days taken and not replaced.

It is the Departments arrogance that drives people to seek change and a Voice not heard though MANDATED by 183D. And they have their willing accomplices and enablers in the LIKES of Representative Karl Rhoads who has no qualm in suppressing legislation passed unanimously into his Committee based on personal bias.

Then we hear, that he will reconsider hearing our Bill, HB1041_HD1 with further specified change to incorporate more environmental voices to run a game and game management program. The reason we only have one token hunter on the NARS commission, is that hunters don't know about plant biology or whatnot. The reason that you don't want environmentalists on a game commission is that they don't know animal husbandry nor the production of game. Would one on the Commission be helpful, certainly, for then we can find ways to address issues.

A Game Commission is about seasons, bag limits, and opportunity. It is about habitat and carrying and impact capacity. It is about valuing our resources and promoting hunting and hunters from both in state and out of state. It is about the people of Hawaii.

Aloha,

Tom Lodge
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Has anyone had a chance to look at the DLNR's Waiakea Timber management proposal? Would potentially affect hunting in Unit B. Thoughts?

oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/Hawaii/2010s/2015-02-08-HA-5B-DE...
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guess what's NOT on the list
www.youtube.com/watch?v=STiMDepybTs
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Puuanahulu season announcement.

Some of my personal thoughts:
A lot of long time bowhunters on the Big Island has seen the decline in game mammals at Puuanahulu. Some have speculated poaching or relatively liberal bag limits, or wild dogs.

Here's my take. Puuanahulu had a massive fire back in the late 90s. I cannot remember exactly when as I was in high school when it happened. It burned all the way deep into Pohakuloa Area 22,20,19. After the fire, game mammals were still plentiful and would feed on the new green growth of fountain grass that was later to dominate the whole area.
Any wildlife manager knows, habitat is the first and fundamental basis for having any wildlife. No habitat, no wildlife.
If sportsmen don't believe that certain invasive and alien plants affect them, I'd suggest otherwise.
As the fountain grass grew thicker and thicker, it is my guess that the goats and sheep began to move out and seek better habitat. Why would you stay in a crappy house when you can easily move elsewhere? Any experienced hunter knows you'll find very few animals if at all in waist deep fountain grass as opposed to areas with mixed grasses, shorter ground cover, and decent areas of shade.
Keamuku is another example. When the cattle and water was taken away the fountain grass grew. Certain areas of cover was fenced off and we began to see a sharp and continuing decline in the goat populations there.
It is my belief that nearby Puuwaawaa only supports goats in the fountain grass areas because controlled cattle grazing manages fountain grass and easy sources of water and cover make it very attractive.

Today, federal policies restrict us as sportsmen in Hawaii to use any federal dollars to provide better habitat for game mammals. Citing the Endangered Species Act Section 7 review, that if we maintain game mammals, they could potentially eat an endangered species somewhere, anywhere on the island. This means that as we let your current public hunting area habitats get taken over by fountain grass, our animals move elsewhere perhaps to places where endangered species exist and are unwanted and eradicated. This poses a problem as we are not able to keep them in areas that are okay to have them, and away from sensitive areas, because our hands are so tied.

I would encourage all sportsmen to get involved in understanding habitat and how it affects them and the wildlife they value. Especially those of us on the Big Island where fountain grass is slowly reducing our useful habitat unchecked.
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HUNTER'S if you are serious about being part of the solution, be it. Pohakuloa has made overtures to the hunting community now for months and received no response. Well here is your chance to be a part of the solution.

PTA has 20,000 acres that the USFWS is going to want animals removed and they are asking for your help in coming up with ideas in exactly how to do it within whatever "boundaries" we are constrained with. They offered a date to meet and discuss this on February 18, a Wednesday. He's open, so Saturday would also work, but if we don't want the slaughter we experienced in September, let's at least offer our ideas.

Aloha Tom Lodge
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