Kauai Blacktail; Weekend 1

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Kauai Blacktail; Weekend 1

Post  Ranger91298 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:34 am

Goodevening to everyone (If anyone is on). I have came to the site a few times to post and get the knowledge on how to hunt Hawaii. I have learned alot on this site and have been successful over the last year and a half. I have managed to shoot 5 Axis Deer, 2 Mouflon, 3 Goats & 6 boars. I have wanted to try to add a blacktail to that list. I am aware that there is a 2-3% success rate but I want to give it a try. Last year my wife and I got drawn for weekend 4 which conflicted with my yearly hunt back home in Idaho for elk. My wife and I got lucky this year and got weekend 1 (September 21/22). In the past when I have went to different islands I have went 2-3 days prior to do some scouting. Unfortunately I will be working Friday morning so the scouting is out of the question. Is there anyone that would not mind giving me some advice on places to go in Area H? How about lodging and vehicle rental nearby to the area? Will we need a 4x4 to hunt the area? Thank you for any assistance that can be provided. Aloha! Scott

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Re: Kauai Blacktail; Weekend 1

Post  Kauai808 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:52 pm

Lucky! We got the last weekend (again). I'm actually terrible with remembering where we hunt every year up there. Most places we go, we don't need 4x4 but there are a couple roads that are kinda bad. I think that you would be fine without one but safer to have one. Try and call the kokee lodge to see if they have any cabins available but they get booked up. http://www.thelodgeatkokee.net/ You can always pitch a tent at one of the campsites at the park but bring your blankets because it gets cold. Maybe you can find a cabin on VRBO or a vaction rental in waimea or kekaha.
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Re: Kauai Blacktail; Weekend 1

Post  Nic Barca on Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:53 am

Hey Kauai808, I got the last weekend three years in a row now.  Starting to think the people drawing the tabs don't like me!  But I also hear that it's the best hunting since it's closest to the rut.

Sorry that this is sort of after the fact.  I wanted to add my two cents just in case somebody looks up this post in the future.

Unit H is accessible from the main highway, Makaha Ridge Road, Milolii ridge road (4WD), the Nualolo Trail, and Awaawapuhi trail.  There's deer and pigs all through the whole place from the upper accessible areas to the lower remote areas, although the lower areas are more open terrain and probably have a bit more deer in remote sections (if you can handle the hike).  The upper reaches are dense medium-rainfall forest which can get pretty thick in a lot of places. Towards the lower reaches, it gets dryer with steep gulches covered in dry scrub.

When I went for rifle season I came upon deer about 8 times in heavy cover from 10 to 30 yards away but never got a good look at any of them. Didn't see a single deer in the open where I would hope to get a shot.  Only in thick stuff.

After a few seasons of trying, this is what I have concluded about black-tailed deer hunting on Kauai.
1. Scent control clothes are a must! The vast majority of areas where you hunt deer are in hilly terrain across the main wind direction. Consequently, there's a lot of swirling wind to give away a hunter's position.

2. Virtually no information exists on hunting black tailed deer on Kauai. However, a lot of information can be gleamed from the experience of west coast hunters. Google hunting the "columbian black-tailed deer" and you might find a lot of good info which I am simply repeating with this post.

3. Use tree stands, or ground blinds.

4. According to west coast hunters, black-tailed bucks stay in thick cover. The does and fawns come to open areas more often than bucks which tend to hang in the thick stuff.

5. Hunt the rub lines on the top third of a hill. according to west coast hunters, that is where the bucks tend to stay. And while you probably will not be able to pattern a particular buck, you'll be much more likely to see him and other bucks if you hunt these spots.

6. Scouting helps a lot. I feel like the lack of success is largely due to this.   You are allowed only one weekend a year to hunt deer in Unit H, which makes it hard for those who don't have the time to get up there more often. One can get good knowledge of the area by taking advantage of the pig seasons which run November through June.

I'll post trail camera photos of Kauai deer if I ever place my camera up there. -Nic


Last edited by Nic Barca on Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Cleaned up a couple typos)
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Re: Kauai Blacktail; Weekend 1

Post  Kauai808 on Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:07 am

Nic Barca wrote:Hey Kauai808, I got the last weekend three years in a row now.  Starting to think the people drawing the tabs don't like me!  But I also hear that it's the best hunting since it's closest to the rut.

Sorry that this is sort of after the fact.  I wanted to add my two cents just in case somebody looks up this post in the future.

Unit H is accessible from the main highway, Makaha Ridge Road, Milolii ridge road (4WD), the Nualolo Trail, and Awaawapuhi trail.  There's deer and pigs all through the whole place from the upper accessible areas to the lower remote areas, although the lower areas are more open terrain and probably have a bit more deer in remote sections (if you can handle the hike).  The upper reaches are dense medium-rainfall forest which can get pretty thick in a lot of places. Towards the lower reaches, it gets dryer with steep gulches covered in dry scrub.

When I went for rifle season I came upon deer about 8 times in heavy cover from 10 to 30 yards away but never got a good look at any of them. Didn't see a single deer in the open where I would hope to get a shot.  Only in thick stuff.

After a few seasons of trying, this is what I have concluded about black-tailed deer hunting on Kauai.
1. Scent control clothes are a must! The vast majority of areas where you hunt deer are in hilly terrain across the main wind direction. Consequently, there's a lot of swirling wind to give away a hunter's position.

2. Virtually no information exists on hunting black tailed deer on Kauai. However, a lot of information can be gleamed from the experience of west coast hunters. Google hunting the "columbian black-tailed deer" and you might find a lot of good info which I am simply repeating with this post.

3. Use tree stands, or ground blinds.

4. According to west coast hunters, black-tailed bucks stay in thick cover. The does and fawns come to open areas more often than bucks which tend to hang in the thick stuff.

5. Hunt the rub lines on the top third of a hill. according to west coast hunters, that is where the bucks tend to stay. And while you probably will will be able to pattern a particular buck, you'll be much more likely to see him and other bucks if you hunt these spots.

6. Scouting helps a lot. I feel like the lack of success is largely due to this.   You are allowed only one weekend a year to hunt deer in Unit H, which makes it hard for those who don't have the time to get up there more often. One can get food knowledge of the area by taking advantage of the pig seasons which run November through June.

I'll post trail camera photos of Kauai deer if I ever place my camera up there. -Nic

We went to Milolii ridge the past two years. This past year was kind of last minute since it was raining but decided to go around 330. By the time we got up there from kilauea there was all kinds of hunters parked on the road. We went all the way down to almost the burnt area. Hung out for a few hours until the rain made us think we might get stuck down there. Hunter station said only 4 deer came out and all from milolii area I think. I hope they open up the puopai (sp?) next year.
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Re: Kauai Blacktail; Weekend 1

Post  Nic Barca on Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:50 pm

I put a trail camera down Nualolo trail back in April and just picked it up again. If any hunters stumbled upon it, I must thank them for not taking it. Got tons of game photos. I put it in a Facebook album and set the privacy setting to public. Hopefully you all can see.

Unit H Trail Camera Facebook album

I been analyzing the data and it seems the buck to doe ratio was around 4 buck to every 5 does, at least in these pictures. Pretty good buck to doe ratio! Lots of skinny deer down there an nothing great was captured on camera, but there seemed to be only 4 bucks using the area so maybe nearby had something bigger. I was a bit put off by how skinny they were. Probably gonna hunt higher up where the forest is in better shape and has better food for them. Hope you all can see it.
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Re: Kauai Blacktail; Weekend 1

Post  Kauai808 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:17 am

Nice. Good to see some game around.
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