July 15, 2013

From CTPost.com

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Big Island landowners and law enforcement say illegal hunting on private property is still a major problem on the island.

The problem has worsened over the years, Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman Ltd., Puna’s largest landowner, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Tenant farmers put their lifeblood into their fields only to have hunters come in and damage crops, he said.

Hamakua Community Policing Officer Zachary Fernando says hunters sometimes cut cattle fences to chase pigs, then don’t fix the fences when they’re done. The offenses usually amount to trespassing and property damage, he said.

Puna Patrol Lt. Reed Mahuna said he doesn’t have statistics for illegal hunting complaints, but he calls the number “significant.”

Vandalism sometimes happens “because the property owner comes out and busts (the hunters) and they like get revenge,” said hunter, guide and taxidermist Orion Enocencio.

County Prosecutor Mitch Roth says an individual caught trespassing with a loaded firearm could be charged with a felony and with misdemeanor trespassing.


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