Hawaii Game Bird Hunting Laws and Regulations

Hawaii Bird Hunting Overview

Hawaii offers diverse game bird hunting across its archipelago, spanning six major islands: Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, and Hawaii Island. Enthusiasts can explore numerous State-designated public hunting areas, known as Hunting Units, which have scheduled open seasons annually. For those interested in game mammal hunting, opportunities extend to private lands. It's important to note that hunting conditions, such as season availability and allowed regions, can change. These alterations are often due to shifts in climate or wildlife populations, and the Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW) reserves the right to modify or cancel hunting seasons accordingly. Consequently, hunters should use this document as a preliminary guide, while definitive legal advice concerning hunting regulations can be obtained from the cited “Title 13, Chapter 122, Rules Regulating Game Bird Hunting, Hawaii Administrative Rules” (link to Hawai‘i Administrative Rules). For up-to-date details on hunting specifics, including seasons, zones, and conditions, hunters must reach out to the respective island's local DOFAW office before embarking on their hunting trip. Additionally, certain hunting activities require special permits or tags, which are distributed via a lottery system, underlining the importance of securing the necessary permissions before planning your hunt.

Hawaii Hunting Licensing and Regulations

Those intending to hunt game mammals in Hawaii must have a valid hunting license on their person. A resident of Hawaii will pay a fee of $20.00 for a license. In contrast, non-residents are subject to a fee of $105.00. Licenses can be acquired through a streamlined process online at the Hawaii hunting license portal, at any local Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office (DOFAW), or via certified vendors, the specifics of which are accessible through DOFAW offices. Moreover, it is mandatory to obtain a Hawaii Wildlife Conservation Stamp, which comes at an additional cost of $10.00. This stamp is an essential part of the licensing process; it must be signed and secured in the specified area on the license itself.

Mandatory hunter education enforces the completion of an approved course by the National Hunter Education Association unless an individual qualifies for an exemption by having been born before January 1, 1972. Exempt hunters must prove ownership of a Hawaii hunting license issued before July 1, 1990, though it's still advised to complete the course. Criteria for qualification as a resident, eligible for lower licensing fees, necessitates having lived in Hawaii for at least one full year preceding the license application. Active-duty military personnel and their dependents stationed in Hawaii are granted the benefit of resident licensing fees.

For personalized assistance or specialized inquiries about hunting regulations in Hawaii, resources are readily available at the Hawaii Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) located at 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 311, Honolulu, HI 96813. Communication with DOCARE can be initiated by phone at (808) 587-0077 or via fax at (808) 587-0080 for prompt service. Additional support, especially on educational resources, is offered by the Hawaii Hunter Education Program, situated at 1130 North Nimitz Highway #212-A, Honolulu, HI 96817. They can be reached by calling (808) 587-0200 or by faxing (808) 587-0205 to address course specifics or educational concerns.

Public Hunting Area Requirements in Hawaii

For the protection and safety of individuals and the environment, public hunting areas in Hawaii enforce specific regulations. Anyone who partakes in hunting or aids in the activity, including guides or individuals accompanying a hunter, must adhere to blaze orange safety attire rules. This means wearing an outer garment that is easily visible—such as a shirt, vest, coat, or jacket—made of commercially produced blaze orange material. This requirement extends to both the act of hunting and the ancillary tasks that accompany it.

The blaze orange material utilized must be manufactured to meet standards and may come in either solid fabric or a mesh style. If mesh is selected, it must not exceed one-eighth inch in mesh size to ensure optimal visibility. It is crucial to note that the use of camouflage orange is expressly forbidden, as it does not provide the level of contrast necessary for maximum safety.

However, there's a significant exception to these rules: when hunting in areas that are exclusively reserved for archery, the blaze orange attire is not mandatory. These archery-only designated zones negate the requirement for high-visibility clothing, presumably due to the reduced risk associated with the specific hunting method in these areas. For all other public hunting zones, compliance with the blaze orange regulation is mandatory to ensure the safety of all individuals within the vicinity.

Hawaii Game Mammal Hunting Hours and Regulations

In Hawaii, game mammals can be hunted from one-half hour before sunrise up until one-half hour after sunset throughout the entire year. It is essential to note that hunting during twilight hours—specifically between one-half hour post-sunset and one-half hour pre-sunrise—is unlawful. Engaging in hunting with any artificial lights during these times is also firmly prohibited. The stipulation of hunting hours remains consistent across both public and private lands in Hawaii to ensure a standardized regulation.

Legal Hunting Methods

When it comes to hunting game birds, hunters are limited to using shotguns or bow and arrows as their weapons of choice. It's important to respect the prohibition against the use of BB-sized shots or pellets that are larger, with a single exception made for the Spring Turkey Hunt, during which larger shot sizes are permitted.

Firearms Registration

For the introduction of firearms and ammunition into Hawaii, registration with the county's Chief of Police is obligatory. This must occur within 48 hours following the item's arrival into the state. Each island's district police station can assist with registration, as can the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement offices, which also provide additional information regarding the process and regulations.

Minors and Firearms

Special attention is given to minors, specifically those who are 15 years old or younger and wish to hunt using firearms. Such young hunters are mandated to be under the immediate supervision of an adult who possesses a valid hunting license; however, the supervising adult should not be engaged in hunting themselves during the time they are accompanying the minor. This regulation is in place to ensure safety and proper guidance for young hunters as they participate in Hawaii's hunting activities.

Private Land Game Bird Hunting in Hawaii

Licensing and Permission

No individual is allowed to hunt game birds on private land in Hawaii without possessing both a valid Hawaii hunting license and explicit permission from the landowner. This dual requirement is a strict mandate from the state to regulate hunting activities and ensure the respectful use of private properties.

Hunting Seasons and Hours

Game bird hunting on private land, as well as public hunting units, is strictly regulated to coincide with declared game bird hunting seasons determined by the State of Hawaii. Complying with legal hunting hours is non-negotiable; the allowed hunting timeframe stretches from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset during the prescribed game bird seasons. The state enforces a ban on hunting in the twilight periods—specifically from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise—furthermore, the use of artificial lights for hunting at any time is illegal.

Landowner Stipulations

Private landowners retain the right to impose additional regulations beyond what the state prescribes for hunting on their lands. These supplementary rules can include but are not limited to safety measures such as wearing blaze orange garments—a requirement that is not universally demanded by the State but can be enforced at the landowner's discretion.

Game Mammal Exception

It should be noted that the hunting of game mammals diverges from the protocol established for game birds in terms of seasonality. Unlike game birds, game mammals can be hunted on private land throughout the entire year, provided the hunter holds a valid hunting license and has obtained permission from the property's owner. This creates an extended opportunity for hunting enthusiasts to engage in the sport beyond the regulated seasons set for game bird hunting.

Firearm and Ammunition Registration in Hawaii

When entering Hawaii with firearms and ammunition from another state or territory, immediate action is required for legal compliance. These items need to be registered with the Chief of Police in the county where an individual resides, conducts business, or visits. This registration process is a critical step and must be completed within a specified timeframe—specifically, within 48 hours of arrival in Hawaii.

To facilitate the process, newcomers and visitors should reach out to the district police station relevant to their location or island. Moreover, the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement can provide information and assistance concerning the legal requirements for registration and other hunting-related inquiries.

Special Requirements for Minors

Minors, defined as individuals who are 15 years of age or younger, face additional regulatory measures when hunting with a firearm. They must secure a specific permit from the county police department before they can legally engage in hunting activities with a firearm. This step reaffirms the state's commitment to ensuring responsible gun handling and safety, particularly among young hunters.

Hunter Conduct

Hawaii's hunting regulations come with an earnest plea for respectful and responsible hunting practices. All hunters are expected to exhibit courtesy towards landowners, mindfulness of their impact on the land, considerate behavior towards other individuals, and a conservationist approach to the unique flora and fauna of Hawaii. Upholding these values ensures that Hawaii's natural resources and hunting privileges can be sustained and enjoyed by future generations.

To hunters partaking in the Hawaiian outdoors, the state sends off with the traditional Hawaiian sentiment of "Malama pono"—take care. This is not only a wish for safe and enjoyable hunting experiences but also a reminder to preserve and protect the natural beauty and resources of Hawaii for those who follow.

Affirmative Action Compliance of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is the recipient of federal financial assistance through various federal programs. This financial support comes with an obligation to uphold and ensure compliance with a cadre of regulations that promote civil rights and prohibit discrimination.

Federal and State Anti-Discrimination Laws

The following statutes are central to such compliance:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin.
  • Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guards against discrimination based on disability.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 disallows discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities.
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits age-based discrimination.
  • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 further prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Additionally, the laws of the State of Hawaii echo these civil rights protections and expand them, ensuring that discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability is prohibited within its jurisdiction.

Reporting Discrimination

If an individual believes they have been subject to discrimination in any DLNR-managed program, activity, or facility, or if further information on anti-discrimination policies is needed, he or she is encouraged to contact the DLNR directly. To address these concerns, the designated point of contact is:

Affirmative Action Officer Department of Land and Natural Resources Personnel Office 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 321 Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

The DLNR maintains a commitment to promoting equality and preventing discrimination, ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and equitably across all programs and services.


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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.