Turkey Hunting in Hawaii

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  • B
  • (Population Unknown)

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Rio Grande

    Turkey Subspecies

  • Unavailable

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • Varies (see regulations)

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Varies (see regulations)

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Yes, Hawaii has turkey hunting. In fact, you can take three bearded turkeys, tags providing.

As wildlife management history goes, roughly 400 Texas Rio Grande turkeys were originally trapped and transferred to the Hawaiian islands back in the early 1960s.

The birds did the rest of the work populating the region.

Why go that far for such turkeys when you can get them on the United States mainland? It’s just a little bit different in Hawaii.

If chasing gobblers at elevations of 6,000 to 10,000 feet in the morning and hanging out on white sandy beaches in the afternoon is your idea of a good month of March, then Hawaii is for you. Locations where these turkeys live are high and dry.

Fact is, Hawaii often comes up in conversations among turkey hunters. “Have you done Hawaii yet?” It’s often couched in the notion your significant other might enjoy the trip, too.

It’s not for everybody though.

Some hardcore turkey hunters don’t really care for sunning and sipping cool drinks with umbrellas in them. But don't let the traditional view of Hawaii deter you. Several of my contacts have chased turkeys in high-elevation snowfall and biting cold. 

What kind of turkey hunter are you?

True enough, the Big Island of Hawaii has an ample supply of longbeards, sources say (though officials also admit actual turkey numbers aren’t available), with good public and private-land opportunities.

Insiders say those who spend a couple of days hunting public ground also have a high success rate. Some of the best public hunting is found in the massive Mauna Kea Forest.

Downside is the travel expense: getting there, lodging, and cost of the stay. In all honesty, it is also difficult at times to dig up current hunting regulations for this state (see our regulations link below to help with this), but you can track information down eventually. Despite these challenges, this once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip and vacation might be worth the effort. 

Get in shape before your hunting trip to Hawaii. Fail to do this, and you’ll be gasping for air during climbs for these Big Island gobblers. Upside is you’ll look a shade better at the tiki bar.

— Steve Hickoff

Turkey hunting in Hawaii. Image by Gizmo Photo / Shutterstock

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.