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Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

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Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

Old 08-29-2006, 04:53 AM
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Default Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

Howzit everybody. I used to hang out around here a long time ago but haven't been here lately. Figured I would share some pictures and a story of this cow I caught on Sunday. There is a "feral and trespass cattle hunt" that has been going on in the Hilo watershed for the last 11 months. Hilo is on the east side of the big island here in Hawaii.

Well, I went up for the third time, this time ready for action. The other two trips were just exploratory. Also brought along a classmate but he's just starting out at hunting and I'm trying to get him off on the right foot. We hiked in the dark with a lightning storm to the south. The day was beautiful and we hunted up the Wailuku river after hiking in on the Morita Camp Trail. At first, we saw no cows along the river although there was much fresh sign. Then we did some target practice above a huge dry waterfall before starting our way back. Never made it even half way back while walking through the forest when I noticed a white face looking at me through the sticks 20 yard to my right. I motioned over my friend and handed him the video camera. We blew the camera job and never pushed the record button, or perhaps pushed it one too many times. It was my friend's first time filming and I'm not too hard on him because I have done the same thing twice before. I made a shot to the head and through the smoke I saw the cow fall. We put two more shots into him as we were approaching just to be safe. The young bull is estimated in the 500 to 700 pound range and taken in the late morning. We took as much meat as we could given the conditions (pretty muchall of it) and even took the hide to tan. The colors were striking and the fur was incredibly soft. On the four mile hike out, lightning storms approached and eventually were cracking some bolts overhead. We took turns wearing the hide as a cape as it's weight was better ditributed that way. The hide is being salted right now and the hair is not slipping. Hopefully the sun will be shining tomorrow morning to help dry it out better. As for cow hunting: brah, cows are a trip. They’re like ghosts of the forest. We had a herd spot us as we were peaking up over a hill and when we weren’t looking they apparently ran off into the forest without even making a sound. To us it seemed like they had vanished because we had only looked away for a few seconds. I guess that’s all it took. They do have a weekness though in that they stare at you for a moment before running. Otherwise, excellent senses and they are quite on the hook even when moving fast through thick forest.Our shoulders are still very sore from carrying all that meat. I cooked some up tonight and it's good stuff. Has afaint hintof musky gameyness to it similar to a rank pig but not nearly as strong.

Head shot with the 20 guage is what dropped him.


Here's my friend.


And me.


Thank you Cow.
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:34 PM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

Wait a second, let me get this straight, you all hunt cows??? Wow I can not imagine there being much sport in that
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

I've seen them running around Management areas in Florida before, but somebody owns them. They will scare the crap out of you when you are walking to your stand in the dark. Some of the black ones look like cape buffalo lokking back given the terrain. Enjoy the hamburgers my friend. I guess sometimes we don't have to pay someone to do our dirty work to get the steaks.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:58 PM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

Jadepe, its a lot more challenging than you would think. Their eyesight and other sensesare terrific, they are quite on the hoof and sneaky. They are also reportedly a Dangerouse Game and sometimes charge. I tried doing mock stalks on this day and another day and they always spotted me when I wouldn't have expected, thinking I was well hidden. Then they would stare for a moment before running. They are a heck of a lot harder to hunt than pigs and no, we don't "all hunt cows." I hunt pigs, goats and a variety of other big game in my state and I'm trying something new. There's a special season being held in the Hilo Forest Reserve of the Big Island to get some more cows out of the forest. Feral Cattle are very bad for native Hawaiian forests andthe statehas already allowed cattle ranchers of the area to round up as many as they can and they even have one way gates at the top of the forest. The plan is to have hunting pressure from the lower slopes of the forest drive the cows in the direction of the gates. The season is supposed to go on for one year after which I would imagine the state is going to start an eradication program in which all meat will be left to rot (does that bother anyone?). There is an estimated 200 to 400 feral cattle living in the forest. It's a three mile hike through a new lava flow to get to the older substrate that the cattle can live on. These are decendants of feral cattle given to the king of Hawaii by george Vancouver, which were allowed to multiply to huge levels before eradication efforts were put forth a century later (first half of the 1900s) by Hawaii sugar planters in order to save the source of their water. Low populations of Cattle still exist in certain remote areas of Hawaii but this one was getting out of hand within about an 80 square mile area.

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Old 08-31-2006, 05:46 AM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

That about covers it. Good job man. Are there any black ones to shoot. I guess it would be a little cheaper than a cape buffalo hunt, but you might get a charge out of it. I'm sure once they go wild again, they're just like everything else. I have a bunch of customers from the Big Island. I can't wait to head out your way for a pig hunt.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:34 AM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

thanks for the info, it does sound cool, I guess being from the Midwest it is hard to imagine, but withthe heat and humidity and terrain you all do have your work cut ot for you. I am used to domestice cattel around here that I can walk right up to, never thought about them reverting to their wild state. Sounds good and I know it would be a hell of a lot cheaper for the ol meat supply. Keep up the hunting
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:14 AM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

I have hunted wild cattle many times down here, they are actualy very hard to find and can be quite a chalange to stalk.
Scrub bulls are also very dangerous down here, all the ones that I have shot were either killing other cattle or attacking people or vehicles.

Good work I hope you can find a realy large (and cranky) Bull next time as it's loads of fun.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:36 PM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

Thats a lot of beef. How many freezers did yall fill?
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:53 AM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

congrats.........Toso. has a buttload of cows........makes for an interesting hunt from time to time, lol...
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:06 AM
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Default RE: Big Island Feral Cattle. Success!

Just about any domestic animal that lives wild for awhile is like any wild game animal. Feral hogs, feral housecats (bad news & smart) or a wild dog. Don't see why a cow would be any different. PLUS-STEAKS.
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