Yes, Hawaii has turkey hunting.
As wildlife management history goes, roughly 400 Texas Rio Grande turkeys were originally trapped-and-transferred to the Hawaiian islands back in the early 1960s.
The birds did the rest of the work populating the region.
Why go that far for such turkeys when you can get them on the United States mainland? It's just a little bit different in Hawaii.
If chasing gobblers at elevations of 6,000 to 10,000 feet in the morning and hanging out on white sandy beaches in the afternoon is your idea of a good month of March, then Hawaii is for you. Locations where these turkeys live are high and dry.
Fact is, Hawaii often comes up in conversations among turkey hunters. "Have you done Hawaii yet?" It's often couched in the notion your significant other might enjoy the trip, too.
It’s not for everybody though.
Some hardcore turkey hunters don’t really care for sunning and sipping cool drinks with umbrellas in them. As far as the “B” grade goes, our THN thinking went like this: tourist-destination types would likely give it an “A” for all it offers in addition to turkeys, while someone looking for traditional spring gobbler hunting might come in with a lower “C” rating.
What kind of turkey hunter are you?
In all fairness, we averaged both attitudes. Personally, I've never made the trip. Will I some day? Maybe. They do have birds.
True enough, the Big Island of Hawaii has an ample supply of longbeards sources say (though officials also admit actual turkey numbers aren't available), with good public and private land opportunities.
One note to consider though. As of this writing, wild turkey hunting is prohibited on the island of Oahu, The reason? According to officials, it's to allow populations to stabilize for future hunting opportunities.
Downside is the travel expense, lodging and cost of the stay. In all honesty, it is also difficult at times to dig up current hunting regulations for this state, but you can track current information down eventually. Despite these challenges, this once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip and vacation might be worth the effort though.
Outfitter and president of the NWTF’s Hawaii chapter Jon Sabati has guided visiting hunters on the Kealia Ranch for over 15 years. Mention Hawaii turkey hunting and his name will likely come up. He's active on Facebook as well, and easy to contact.
Sabati indicated that success rates on the ranch are 100 percent. Still he readily admitted those who spend a couple of days hunting public ground also have a high success rate as well. The best public hunting location is the massive Mauna Kea Forest, Sabati offered.
As a side note, he also suggested leaving the crow and owl locator calls at home since neither species live here.
Turkey Hunting in Hawaii (©Gizmo Photo-Shutterstock)
Fun Fact: Well, maybe not so much fun, unless you work at it. Get in shape before your hunting trip to Hawaii. Fail to do this, and you'll be gasping for air during climbs for these Big Island gobblers. Upside is you'll look a shade better at the Tiki bar.
– Steve Hickoff
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