HONOLULU –The 2020 deer rifle season within the Lana‘i Cooperative Game Management Area, is being cancelled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The season was scheduled to run through May 17, 2020. The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) reports efforts are underway to notify hunters who are impacted by this cancellation. A new date for the hunt has not been set, but DOFAW noted that it will make every effort to provide an Axis deer hunting opportunity later this the year if the risk of spreading the coronavirus is no longer a threat.
The Lana‘i deer hunting season is very popular, bringing hundreds of visitors to the island from in-state and out-of-state. With both domestic and interisland travel restricted and passengers under mandatory self-quarantine measures, it would be very difficult for hunters to even get to Lana‘i. DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case said, “While we are very disappointed to have to cancel this hunt, the health and safety of Lana‘i’s residents, the hunting community, and our staff is our highest priority”.
DOFAW will be collecting input from Lana‘i residents and hunters on how to proceed with Lana‘i hunting for the remainder of this year in a manner that protects everyone’s health.
Currently, there are no additional closures of State Forest Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Game Management Areas, Natural Area Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, or Na Ala Hele Trails. There are currently no restrictions on otherwise permitted activities in these areas, including public access, hunting, and recreation, but the people are asked to comply with each county’s mayors’ orders, the Governor’s emergency proclamations, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Hawai‘i Department of Health guidelines for social distancing and personal hygiene. DLNR continues to work closely with other state agencies and will provide notification about any closures or restrictions that may become necessary to keep people healthy and safe.
Additional information on available hunting opportunities can be found at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/recreation/.