KAPAA — Anyone interested in bow hunting feral pigs on Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) has a chance to weigh in on a state proposal to institute a trial archery hunting program for feral pigs in the Nounou Mountain Forest Reserve.
The meeting will be hosted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife on Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Kapaa Middle School Cafeteria, located at 4867 Olohena Road in Kapaa.
A popular hiking area, Nounou Mountain is about 722 acres in size and is located in Wailua, north of the Wailua River. It is currently closed to hunting.
The proposal for the trial hunt is to determine the effectiveness of archery hunting in reducing the number of pigs on the mountain.
In mid-January, DFW reported more than 2,500 licensed hunters on Kauai. Public hunting combined with other state-led control methods keeps the feral pig population at an “acceptable level.”
Representatives said it is estimated 70 percent of the feral pig population has to be removed each year just to keep the population from growing.
But it’s difficult to nail down exact population sizes, and officials said the best way to estimate their numbers is by looking at their impacts.
Uprooted trees and underground plants and eaten understory plants are signs of feral pig presence, and those activities create opportunities for invasive species to flourish.
For conservation of Kauai’s native forests, trapping and fencing are being used in places like the Alakai Wilderness Preserve and Hono O Na Pali Natural Area — all of which are managed through liberal public hunting, staff control and ungulate exclusion fences.
However, there isn’t an island-wide pig management plan due to the wide variety of ownership on the island.