Hawaii recently announced it would close the 2021 Lanai axis deer season as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) determined that cancelling the hunt was in the best interest of public safety, even though gyms and a number of beaches in the state are open. Dependent on the status of the pandemic, the DOFAW may revisit the decision and implement a combination mouflon sheep/axis deer season in summer or fall 2021.
Take Action Today! Hawaii members should call the DOFAW and urge them to reopen the 2021 Lanai axis deer season. The DOFAW can be reached at (808) 587-0166.
Closing any hunting season as a result of COVID-19 while still allowing gym patrons and beachgoers flies in the face of logic and science. When it comes to health and fitness, few activities promote a healthy lifestyle more than hunting and fishing, which generally require a fair amount of physical exertion, often result in healthy table fare and can easily be practiced in accordance with social distancing. Hunting and fishing, solitary endeavors, also provide a much-needed mental health respite from hectic life – but especially during this time of duress.
Most states took preventative steps in the early going of the pandemic to limit travel and exposure, including unnecessary hunting and fishing closures. Due to pressure from the Alliance and other sportsmen’s groups across the nation, most states reevaluated the impacts of the pandemic and lifted the closures. Unfortunately for Hawaii’s citizens, the state has decided that only certain outdoor activities are appropriate at this time, and hunting isn’t one of them.
“Many people are making great personal and financial sacrifices as a result of the pandemic. The state of Hawaii itself has suffered greatly as travel to and from the state has been severely limited during COVID19,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Many people rely on hunting to feed their families and escape from the ongoing stress caused by the pandemic. The DOFAW gave very limited information in announcing the closures, further perpetuating the issue with a lack of transparency.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense possible. Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.