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Sen. DeCoite announces resources for Maui County residents facing axis deer issues

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Moloka‘i axis deer. (Dec. 9, 2021) PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi

Residents dealing with axis deer issues in Maui County now have a list of resources to help.

Senator Lynn DeCoite (District 7 – Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and Kahoʻolawe), in collaboration with state and County agencies, compiled a list of information and resources on who to contact regarding injured or dead deer, and nuisance populations on private and government lands.  

Severe drought  has had a compounding effect as residents deal with overpopulation of herds.

On May 23, 2022, Governor David Ige signed a second emergency proclamation establishing another emergency relief period for the axis deer crisis in Maui County. That relief period remains in effect through July 22.  

Meanwhile, SB3179 that would bring funding and increased game management capabilities and resources to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, awaits the governorʻs signature.

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“Over these past months I’ve continued to work with Governor Ige and DOFAW to monitor the axis deer situation on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi and the effect the ongoing drought conditions are having on the population numbers,” said Senator DeCoite in a press release. “My office has been getting more calls in the last week from concerned constituents wanting to know what is being done and who to call. I am grateful that the Governor has once again extended the Emergency Proclamation, and I am also anxiously awaiting his signature on my bill SB3179 that will bring funding and increased game management capabilities and resources to DOFAW.  As I’ve said before, proper management of these herds is necessary for the health and safety of all members of our communities.”

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See below for issues relating to:

Injured and alive deer – Deer that have been injured, for example, by vehicle strikes and are still alive pose a threat to public safety. If a live injured deer is encountered, do not approach the animal. Immediately call: 

  • During regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 7:45 – 3:30 pm, Call the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s Maui Branch Office at 808-984-8100, Molokaʻi Office 808-553-1745, Lānaʻi Office 808-565-7916. 
    • After hours and weekends, call the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at 808-873-3990 or Maui Police Department Dispatch at 808-244-6400. DOFAW will immediately dispatch a trained specialist to secure and capture the animal safely.

Dead deer – Proper disposal of dead deer and carcasses is the landowner’s responsibility. Corpses should be buried or removed. If burial or removal is impossible, the carcasses may be covered with lime, available at local garden and hardware stores. In the event a deer carcass is found in need of disposal, contact:

  • Private lands: Contact the landowner.
  • Government property: Contact the responsible government agency that manages the particular property.
  • State highways: Contact the Department of Transportation, Highways Division at 808-270- 7466.
  • County roads: Contact the Department of Public Works at 808-270-7869.
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Nuisance deer – Deer are wild animals that are both a resource and a potential pest. For problems with deer on:

  • Private lands: Landowners are responsible for any deer found on their lands. State wildlife laws do not limit the seasons, days or numbers of deer that may be harvested on private lands with a current valid hunting license and in compliance with all applicable hunting regulations and state firearms laws. In cases whereharvest is not possible, landowners may wish to employ professional wildlife control contractors or fence their property to prevent deer from entering.
  • Government lands: The managing agency is responsible for deer on government lands. Government land managers in need of assistance may contact DOFAWfor interagency technical assistance or advice.

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