POHAKULOA, Hawaii: The 23,000-acre Keamuku Maneuver Area will be open to bow hunting of goats and pigs this Saturday and Sunday. The U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa commander, Lt. Col. Eric P. Shwedo, says he plans to open the area for bird hunting as well before the end of bird season.
The decision was made after the army and the state met with Big Island hunters at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Hilo to solicit their input and discuss hunting at Keamuku – which the Army purchased from Parker Ranch in October 2006. “We had a great meeting, and we want to continue our dialogue with hunting groups and other hunters,” Shwedo said. “We value their input because it helps us develop our hunting strategy for a sustained hunting program on Pōhakuloa Training Area.”
The army says at present, the sheep population in the Keamuku is too small for sustainable hunting. “We will open as many areas as possible, but we have to manage the herds to ensure there is sufficient game year round,” Shwedo said.
Lt. Col. Eric P. Shwedo,
“Our primary mission at Pōhakuloa is to support training. However, we know that there is huge community interest in hunting here, so it only makes sense that we open training areas for hunting when we can.”
Chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources
“The Department is very pleased to see USAG-Pōhakuloa move forward to open up additional hunting areas at Keamuku and provide increased opportunities both in Keamuku and on existing hunting areas on Pōhakuloa Training Area. The Department is interested in helping USAG-Pōhakuloa develop and implement plans and activities to improve game management on the base and increase hunting opportunities to the public where and when able.”
|All hunters must check in and check out at one of the following stations: the Kilohana Hunter’s Check-in Station located between Mile Markers 43 and 44 on Saddle Road; the Huluhulu Hunter’s Check-in Station located at the intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road and Saddle Road—near Mile Marker 28; or the Puanahulu Check-in Station located near Mile Marker 14 on Mamalahoa Highway.Hunting passes will be available at the check-in stations Friday after 5 p.m. Hunters should place the pass on their vehicle dashboard. Hunting passes are only valid for Saturday and Sunday.
Hunters should enter and exit the Keamuku through gates 2, 7 and 10 on Saddle Road or gates 11 and 12 on Mamalahoa Highway. The designated parking area is inside the gate entrances. Hunters should not park alongside the highways at any time.
PTA is extremely dry and fires can start easily. No smoking or open flames are allowed in the training and hunting areas. Please report all fires to the PTA Federal Fire Department at 969-2447 or 969-2448. Additionally, no firearms, alcoholic beverages, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes or recreational vehicles are allowed in the training and hunting areas. Please close all gates when entering or leaving hunting areas.
For more information, call the Hunter’s Hotline at 969-3474 or the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs Office at (808) 656-3160 or (808) 226-2706.