Hawaii Deer Population: A recent survey of Hawaii, combined with some previous data, puts the deer population at around 131,500 a significant increase from previous estimates. The annual deer kill is around 1,000 or less.


Hawaii Deer News

Modeling Scenarios for the Management of Axis Deer in Hawaii 2021 Pacific Science

... Only nine deer were introduced in 1959, but recent estimates of >10,000 deer suggest population growth rates (r) ranging between 0.147 and 0.160 even ... Effectively reducing axis deer will most likely require an annual removal of approximately 20–30% of the population and with a greater proportion of females to increase the population decline. Selective removal of males may not only be inefficient, but also counterproductive to population reduction goals...


Acting Hawaii governor signs emergency proclamation for Maui drought November 10, 2021 Hawaii News Now

... The state also said the drought conditions have led axis deer to migrate into new areas, leading to added concerns...


Maui officials are seeking proposals on how to manage the county October 3, 2021 Hawaii, KITV

... A county survey estimated there are currently 50,000 deer on the Valley Isle ... the county is seeking proposals from non-profit and for-profit groups for its feral animal control grant program...


Funding for Deer Management March 24, 2021 Hawaii, Molokai Dispatch

... six grants to assess and manage feral animal populations, including axis deer, throughout Maui County... These grants will help to assess the scope of the problem and employ humane ways to keep deer populations in check ...


Is Hawaii’s Lanai the Most Impeccable Island Getaway in the U.S.? March 25, 2021 Wall Street Journal

... ON LANAI, the smallest Hawaiian island, deer outnumber people about 10 to one ... Larry Ellison, the billionaire tech mogul, owns 98% of the island, so he has about as much run of the place as the roughly 30,000 deer do...


$775,000 to Assist with Axis Deer Management in Maui County March 16, 2021 Hawaii, Maui Now

... invasive species [brought to Hawaii] ... These grants will help to assess the scope of the problem and employ humane ways to keep deer populations in check ...


Emergency funds available for Maui, Molokai farmers affected by drought-driven deer March 5, 2021 Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

... “The drought has hit Maui County hard, and I am declaring it a disaster area so we can take immediate measures to reduce and control the axis deer populations and to remove and dispose of the carcasses quickly,” said Ige ...


County seeks solutions for deer February 26, 2021 Hawaii, Maui News

... The population and movement of axis deer, which collectively may number over 100,000 in Maui County, according to some experts, have been a problem for years but have come under increasing scrutiny in recent months as deer dying from starvation because of drought ...


Informational Meeting on Upcountry Maui Axis Deer February 20, 2021 Hawaii, Maui Now

... a virtual informational meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. to further address the struggle to control axis deer challenging our farmers, ranchers, hunters and residents with loss of crops ...


Deer Culling Concerns February 19, 2021 Hawaii, Molokai Dispatch

... The Axis deer population on the west end has been extensively culled by starvation already... in my humble opinion, the total population has been reduced by over 70 percent! ...


Deer native to India starve to death amid drought in Hawaii February 10, 2021 Hawaii, Seattle Times

... Axis deer, a species native to India presented as a gift from Hong Kong to the king of Hawaii in 1868, have fed hunters and their families on the rural island of Molokai for generations... an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 deer on the 260 square mile island ..,


Ige declares Maui County a disaster area January 30, 2021 Hawaii, Thegardenisland.com

...“The drought has hit Maui County hard, and I am declaring it a disaster area so we can take immediate measures to reduce and control the axis deer populations and to remove and dispose of the carcasses quickly,” ...


Ranchers hope for greener pastures amid Maui County's 'extreme' drought January 29, 2021 Hawaii News Now

... Ranchers on Molokai say the ongoing drought has magnified the deer issue facing the islands. “Because of extreme drought, the deer population is coming out of their habitats and searching for feed,” ...


Molokai’s Fabled Axis Deer Are Starving To Death In Droves January 24, 2021 Hawaii, Civil Beat

... For more than a century, the axis deer that roam Molokai have played an integral role on the island... starving and dying at what locals say is an unprecedented rate. The herds are fleeing their normal pastures, decimated by drought ...


Lawmakers working to manage deer population in Maui County January 23, 2021 Hawaii, KHON2

... they are hoping to create a plan to effectively bring the numbers down without eradicating them since they are considered a vital food source for the Molokai community... severe drought through summer and fall caused hundreds to starve to death ...


Molokai legislators say they will continue to help with axis deer carcasses piling up January 12, 2021 Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

... carcasses are being found along highways and on private land, and DOFAW is working with landowners and agencies to excavate and bury them. ... The deer, with no natural predators on Maui and Molokai, are considered by DLNR as game, and can be hunted daily, year-round with no bag limits...


Elected Officials Release Statement on Recent Deer Deaths on Moloka‘i January 12, 2021 Hawaii, Maui Now

... State wildlife officials believe that severe drought conditions on Molokaʻi are to blame for recent instances of deer dying ... in 2019, we introduced HB265 to appropriate funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the management of the axis deer population and substantial reduction of these invasive species,” ...


A drought is causing Molokai deer to starve, and carcasses are piling up December 31, 2020 Hawaii, KHNL

... A video shared with Hawaii News Now also showed a deer coming right up to the door of a private condo community, indicating they’re searching for food outside of their normal habitats...


2021 Lāna'i Axis Deer Hunting Season Canceled September 15, 2020 Hawaii, Maui Now

... The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife announced the cancellation of the 2021 Lāna‘i Axis Deer season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic...


Sheep, deer season canceled July 10, 2020 Hawaii, Maui New

... The division “has determined the cancellation of the hunt is in the best interest of public health and safety,” likely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic...


Axis deer on the rise, experts say January 25, 2019 Hawaii, The Maui News

... Kia Hawaii has surveyed more than 250,000 acres on Maui, Molokai and Lanai over the last three years and his studies are 95 percent accurate. Molokai has 50,000 to 70,000 deer. Lanai has 25,000 to 30,000 deer. Maui has about 35,000 to 50,000 deer. While Molokai and Lanai are at carrying capacity ... Maui is 25 to 30 years away from carrying capacity ... anticipates a deer carrying capacity for Maui to be 210,000..,


Local Border Collies work to save Hawaiian birds October 9, 2019 Asheboro Courier Tribune

... After only three weeks, there was a 90% reduction in Nene sightings. Gwen calls the results “phenomenal.” “They’re nesting now and there still hasn’t been an egg lay. That was the idea — no more nesting at the resort,” ...They’ve been known to work emu and ostrich and deer...


Game management plan still in the works October 7, 2019 Hawaii, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

... Alone, among the 50 states, Hawaii has no game management plan ... Aerial eradication of ungulates, including feral cattle, pigs, deer and goats, is now conducted outside the federally protected palila habitat since an exemption for state employees and contractors was added in 2016 to a law banning aerial hunting in Hawaii...


Hunting Axis Deer on Lanai Island June 10, 2019 Hawaii, Field & Stream

... Lanai ... home to the world’s largest herd of free-range axis deer...


Black-Tailed Deer Season to Open on Kaua'i June 8, 2019 Hawaii, Big Island Now

... Each Hawai‘i resident hunter will be charged $15, which includes processing the lottery application and rifle tag ($30 for non-resident hunter)..,


Although the Probability Has Increased, Hawaiʻi Drivers Continue to be Least Likely to Hit a Deer October 15, 2018 Hawaii, HPR

... "The population has probably been growing, but we don't have any estimates on how fast that growth rate would be." ... the two species of deer, Axis and Blacktail, are only present in two counties - Maui and Kauaʻi...


DLNR Announces 2018 Lana'i Deer Hunting Season September 24, 2017 Hawaii, Big Island Now

... The bag limit for the 2018 Lana‘i axis deer season will be three axis deer (two does and one either sex) per hunter for the archery season, three axis deer (two does and one either sex) per hunter for the youth hunt and three axis deer (two does and one either sex) per hunter for the muzzleloader and general rifle hunts...


Axis deer no longer present in Ka'u August 5, 2017 Hawaii, Hawaii Tribune Herald

... The Big Island Invasive Species Committee has declared victory in its effort to remove axis deer from Ka‘u, nearly eight years since they were introduced... no confirmed sightings of the deer since the last one was killed in 2012...

State releases draft plan for Kula forest July 5, 2017 Hawaii, Maui News

... the draft report calls for acquiring or negotiating leases for neighboring properties; maintaining forest cover; controlling ungulate populations, such as pigs, deer and goats ... control actions include encouraging public hunting and identifying sensitive areas for possible fencing...

DLNR Announces Black-Tailed Deer Season on Kaua‘i June 25, 2017 Hawaii, Big Island Now

... The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has announced the opening dates for of the 2017 black-tailed deer hunting season on the island of Kaua‘i. Hunters may apply for three hunts including archery, muzzle-load rifles only and regular rifles ...


Plan Approved To Control Feral Animals In Haleakalā National Park's Nu'u Parcel January 8, 2017 Hawaii, National Parks Traveler

... the first year of action will be the most intensive, with a goal of removing all feral animals from the parcel... Lethal methods will include ground and aerial teams removing the animals by killing them with firearms... feral goats, pigs, dogs and axis deer ...


2017 Lanai Axis Deer Hunting Season Hunt Announcement September 30, 2016 Hawaii, Division of Forestry and Wildlife

... The bag limit for the 2017 Lanai Axis deer season will be three (3) Axis deer (two (2) does and one (1) either sex) per hunter for the archery season, three (3) Axis deer (two (2) does and one (1) either sex) per hunter for the youth hunt, and three (3) Axis deer (two (2) does and one (1) either sex) per hunter for the muzzleloader and general rifle hunts. All hunters will be required to purchase a doe tag and have the option of purchasing an either sex tag and/or another doe tag...


What Animals Live In Hawaii? September 10, 2016 Hawaii, World Atlas

... axis deer or chital, native to the Indian subcontinen ... was first introduced in Hawaii when Hong Kong gifted King Kamehameha V, the ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii (1863 to 1872). Today, the Hawaiian island of Lanai houses a large population of the axis deer .., the mule deer was introduced to the Kauai Island of Hawaii by humans...


Feral plant, animal removal planned on Maui June 27, 2016 Hawaii, West Hawaii Today

... Plans funded by the national park and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation call for restoring the area’s natural habitat by removing non-native plants as well as feral pigs, goats, dogs and axis deer...

Wild Hawaiian venison comes to Oregon as sustainable meat option December 3, 2015 Hawaii, Portland Tribune

... Portland-based Nicky USA just announced their exclusive distribution partnership with Maui Nui Venison, which harvests wild Axis deer on the islands of Maui and Moloka’i ...


Hawaii drivers least likely to hit deer September 14, 2015 Honolulu Star-Advertiser

... An annual study by insurance company State Farm found that the odds of a Hawaii driver hitting a deer are 1 in 8,765 ...


Black-Tailed Deer Hunting To Open On Kaua'i July 21, 2015 Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources - Hawaii.gov

The Department of Land and Natural Resources announces the opening of a black-tailed deer hunting season on the island of Kaua‘i. ... The public drawing will be held at the Lihu‘e State Office Building, third floor conference room 303 on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. Lottery results will not be given over the telephone. Hunters are encouraged to attend the public drawing to determine the results, or wait for their validated tags to be mailed to them. The Lihue Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office will post the results after the August 12th public drawing.

All deer hunters (archery, muzzle-loader and regular rifle) are required to carry their deer tag(s) and valid hunting license on their person at all times while in the hunting area. Deer tags are non-transferable between hunters and all fees are non-refundable. There will be no make-up weekends or standby permits. Deer tag(s) must be fastened to the carcass immediately after taking a deer. Successful deer hunters are to bring their animal carcass to the Koke‘e Hunter Check Station for weighing and examination. All hunters shall be required to preserve their game in a condition that will enable the identification of sex and species...


Rules spell out fines for introducing wildlife May 14, 2015 Hawaii, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

... fines up to $25,000 and seizure of equipment, aircraft, vehicles and vessels used in the violation. The introduction of axis deer on the Big Island in 2009 by a Big Island hunter and rancher and a Maui pilot spurred the rule change ...


New rule means $25,000 fine for introducing wildlife May 14, 2015 Hawaii, Hawaii News Now

... the state's land management officials drafted the law in response to axis deer that were put on the Big Island in 2009 by a local hunter and a Maui pilot...


Meetings to Discuss Proposed Protection of Native Habitat at Nuʻu May 11, 2015 Hawaii, Maul Now

... “The fence installation is proposed to keep feral and introduced animals (feral goats, feral pigs, feral dogs, axis deer, and cattle) out of known ʻuaʻu habitat and to facilitate habitat restoration within the exclosure...


Lawsuit Discmissed December 18, 2014 HawaiiTribune-hHerald.com

... dismissed a lawsuit that sought to exempt state employees and contractors from county and state laws banning aerial hunting. The ruling by Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara thwarts state plans, at least for now, to conduct aerial hunting of feral ungulates such as ... axis deer beyond critical habitat of the native palila bird on Mauna Kea ...


State sues Hawaii County over aerial hunting ban November 11, 2012 Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

... The Office of Attorney General David Louie last week filed a lawsuit ... Eradication of feral sheep, goats, swine, cattle and axis deer is necessary to protect habitat, according to the lawsuit, and state officials want to kill unwanted species from the air...


Lānaʻi Axis Deer Hunting Applications Available October 21, 2014 Hawaii, Maul Now

... Due to a Dec. 31, 2007 appellate court ruling, application fees for the 2015 Lānaʻi Axis deer season have been waived. Pending approval of rules regulating game mammal hunting, tag fees may be implemented for this hunt. [Three hunts: Archery only, Muzzleloader, Rifle] ...


Abercrombie releases natural resources projects money October 21, 2014 Hawaii, West Hawaii Today

... $3,000,000 – Watershed Initiative, statewide – Construction funds for fencing to protect forest lands and watersheds from non-native cattle, goats, pigs and deer at the Alakai Wilderness Preserve on Kauai, along with the Ewa Forest Reserve, Kaluanui Natural Area Reserve and Kaala Natural Area Reserve on Oahu...


It’s Deer-Vehicle Crash Season: Hawai‘i Drivers Least Likely in the Nation to Hit a Deer September 16, 2014 honolulumagazine.com

... State Farm puts the odds at 1 in 10,281 for Hawai‘i drivers ...our state’s low numbers contrast with the national average of a 1 out of 169 for the rest of the country...


The Islands Are Different: Human Perceptions of Game Species in Hawaii

CA Lohr, CA Lepczyk, ED Johnson - Environmental Management 2014

... The desired abundance of game differed significantly among stakeholders, species, and islands. The desired abundance scores were higher for axis deer, mouflon, and turkeys compared to pigs, goats or doves. Enjoyment at seeing game and the cultural value of game were widespread explanatory variables for desired abundance... Given our findings we recommend managers design separate management plans for each island taking into consideration the values of residents...


DLNR announces black-tailed deer season July 27, 2014 Hawaii, The Garden Island

... the opening of black-tailed deer hunting season on Kauai. Due to the Appellate Court ruling, each hunter will be permitted to take only one antlered buck deer (3-inch antler minimum) [a strategy designed to maintain the herd] ...


Three-part course to explore feasibility of Maui axis deer byproducts operation July 13, 2014 Hawaii, The Maui News

... The University of Hawaii Maui College's Office of Continuing Education and Training, in conjunction with the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui and EdVenture, is offering a three-part course to help interested students explore the feasibility of developing an axis deer byproducts operation...

Maui axis deer numbers cut by 2,500, group says May 10, 2014 Hawaii, Honolulu Star Advertiser

... Axis deer are native to South Asia. The state brought a few deer to Maui in the 1950s to expand hunting opportunities for veterans... The Maui Axis Deer Working Group last year estimated that there are about 7,500 axis deer on the island ...


Lawmakers grapple with hunting-ground preservation March 14, 2014 Hawaii, Washington Times

... An amended bill that would require Hawaii to make reasonable efforts to protect hunting grounds ... also establishes a statewide hunting commission ... to report to the legislature ...


Maui axis deer survey counts about 8K animals January 13, 2014 Hawaii, Hawaii News Now

... A September aerial survey counted about 8,000 deer in East Maui ... Axis deer were introduced to Maui in 1959 ...


Applications for Lanai deer hunting are now available October 28, 2013 Hawaii, Maui News

... Because of a Dec. 31, 2007, appellate court ruling, application and tag fees for the 2014 Lanai axis deer season have been waived. The island's axis deer season will consist of three hunts ...

Hawaii Deer Archive: Population and Management

Hawaii Data About 131,500 deer in Hawaii based on a recent detailed survey from 2016 to 2019 reporting that Molokai has 50,000 to 70,000 deer, Lanai has 25,000 to 30,000 deer, and Maui has about 35,000 to 50,000 deer. A two year drought resulted in a significant reduction in Molokai's Axis deer population in 2020. A small herd of blacktails live on Kaua'i. The blacktail population on public land was estimated to be about 1,100 from 2015 to 2018 and 1,000 in 2019 and 2020.

Earlier surveys from around 2013 estimated 8,000 to 10,000 axis deer on Maui, Lan'i, and Moloka'i. In 2013, an aerial survey counted about 8,000 deer in East Maui. In 2014 at least 2,500 were killed by the Maui Axis Deer Working Group. Native to South Asia, Axis deer were brought to Maui in the 1950s to provide hunting for veterans. In 2009, a helicopter pilot brought some of the deer to the Big Island.


Other useful links:

- Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

- Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Goal of Department of Land and Natural Resources: Enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaii’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of visitors and the people of Hawaii nei in partnership with others from the public and private sectors." f


There are black tail deer and deer hunts in Hawaii, deer are non native species. The management philosophy is: " Maintaining or restoring the dynamic natural processes is the goal of native ecosystem protection and restoration programs. Without a clear understanding of what native ecosystem management involves and why it is needed, public support for these programs will be difficult to obtain. Information and education should be incorporated into protection efforts whenever possible. Sound scientific research should be the base for management programs and activities." From Managing the NARS