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For a year, wild pigs in Honolulu to be hunted

February 02, 2007|From the Associated Press

HONOLULU — A yearlong pig hunt, including full-moon hunts with knives and dogs, will begin this weekend above several Honolulu neighborhoods plagued by porcine invaders.

Areas to be opened for the hunt are along the Honolulu Mauka Trail System in the Koolau Mountains overlooking the growing Honolulu and Waikiki skyline.

"The Honolulu Mauka Trail System is normally off-limits to hunting due to the level of public use" and its proximity to neighborhoods, said Peter Young, chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, in announcing the hunt this week. "But the persistence of feral pigs requires measures to control damage they have caused to the resources, watershed, and public and private property.

Hunting will be allowed on Wednesdays and Sundays from dawn until dusk starting Sunday and ending in a year.

Hunting can be conducted with dogs and knives or with bows and arrows.

Signs will be put at all major trail heads alerting hikers of the hunt and encouraging them to leave their pet dogs at home on hunting days to avoid potential run-ins with hunting dogs.

And officials said hikers shouldn't worry that would be greeted at the trails by a hail of archers' arrows.

Archers generally hunt far from any established trail and must be relatively close to their target, particularly in dense forest areas, he said. "They're usually shooting at things that are 10 or 20 meters away." That's about 33 to 65 feet.

Along with the Wednesday and Sunday hunts, the state will also offer a night hunt on evenings every two months when the moon is full.

The state has previously held two special hunts operating on three-month cycles. During the 2002 hunt, 15 feral pigs were bagged; 22 were taken during the 2004 through 2005 program.

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