Wild pigs are called “Pua” in the Hawaiian language, and were first introduced by the Polynesians over 1200 years ago. Later, in 1768, Captain James Cook introduced the European Boar to the islands. Since then, hunting has been a primary way of putting food on the table for many Hawaiians. Deep in the rain forest is where you’ll find most wild pigs, where food is plentiful for the animals and there are large amounts of cover.
While there are a few risks that come with hunting wild boar, many visitors to Hawaii love the thrill and sense of adventure. Hiring a guide in Hawaii to take you pig hunting is the best way to cut back on these risks.
Unique Things to See and Do while Pig Hunting
- Try your hand at goat hunting as well
- Trek through the jungle across muddy terrain
- Wrestle your own boar to the ground
- Get used to working with hunting dogs
- Familiarize yourself with an ancient Hawaiian practice
How to Pig Hunt
Although there are many ways to carry out a successful pig hunt, the most prominent is by hunting with dogs. It’s also the most effective method, and has been used since ancient times by the Polynesian people. Two different kinds of hunting dogs are used: bay dogs, and second catch dogs (although many people prefer using bay dogs only). Bay dogs do not capture the pig for you; they harass the wild boar and corner it into place by barking loudly. The barking signals the hunter to the bay, where the hunter can then catch and kill the wild pig. Typically this involves holding down the pig and killing it. Catch dogs, however, are usually pit bulls and are trained to grab the pig by the ears until the hunter arrives to harvest the hog. You can decide whether or not to tag and release the boar, or harvest it.
In Hawaii, it’s important to understand that land ownership rights can be complicated, and trespassing on someone else’s property can have serious consequences. There’s also an issue of potentially stepping onto sacred land that demands to be respected. On a guided tour, usually you stick to land owned by the guide operators. The land can be full of vegetation and muddy terrain, making for some challenging treks. With that in mind, it’s important that you’re able bodied with some level of fitness. But we can assure you – the beauty of the land makes it all worthwhile!
Getting to Hawaii
There are many major airlines that fly into the Hawaiian Islands. Inter-island flights are frequent and very cheap, so if you have to do a bit of island hopping, it’s a breeze. Much of the best pig hunting takes place on Maui, where there is plentiful rainforest and tour operators to take you into a hunt.
Did you know…?
In addition to providing food, pig hunting actually keeps the pig populations from growing out of control.
Did you ALSO know…?
Pigs are the focus of Hawaii’s famous luau – the pig is roasted in a special underground oven and served at a dinner that includes a traditional show.
Best Time of Year to Go Pig Hunting
Pig hunting in Hawaii takes place year-round, but it’s easier for the dogs to work when it’s not too hot out. From June to August, tours typically start earlier in the day so that the dogs will not be pushed to more than four hours of hunting. Otherwise, the dogs run the risk of overheating.