The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife will be opening special access to Puu Oo area of the Hilo Restricted Watershed for the control of feral cattle.
The deadline to apply for permits, which will be granted via a lottery, is Oct. 18. The lottery will be held Oct. 24 at the East Hawaii DOFAW office at 19 E. Kawili St., Hilo. One hunter group per Saturday will get access to the area starting in November. Hunting dates are Nov. 16, 23 and 30; Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28; Jan. 4, 11, 18 and 25; Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22; and March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.
Applications are available at the East Hawaii and West Hawaii DOFAW offices or online at hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw. Applications must consist of a minimum of five and maximum of 10 licensed hunters as a group. Applicants may only submit their name on a single application. Duplicate entries will be discarded. Results of the random lottery drawing will be made available at both the East and West Hawaii DOFAW offices, as well as online.
Feral pigs and sheep may be hunted as usual. No dogs are allowed.
Selected applicants must confirm acceptance of their assigned hunt period by calling the East Hawaii DOFAW office at 974-4221 no later than noon on the Wednesday preceding their assigned hunting date. Permits will be issued and/or validated at the entrance gate into Puu Oo near mile marker 22 on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway on the Saturday morning of the assigned hunt. If selected applicants decline or do not call to confirm by the deadline, then a standby group will be chosen from the original list of applicants who were not previously selected. Standbys will be notified by phone. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed.
Access to the Hilo Restricted Watershed will be provided at Puu Oo and a four-wheel drive vehicle is required. ATVs will be allowed on the access roads and parking area. There will be a bag limit of two cattle of either sex per licensed hunter.
Interested individuals wanting additional details regarding the feral cattle control program, application process and/or special accommodations, may contact Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at 974-4221.