Attack of the Alien Invaders, National Geographic Magazine: Deer Season Opens For Sport Hunters

Deer hangs upsidedown with hunters gathered around it.

Skilled hunters bagged several elusive Axis deer on opening day of hunting season on Lanai, the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Axis deer were a royal gift to the islands in 1868 from Hong Kong. Five were brought to Maui in 1959 for hunting and now there are 10,000 eating their way through Hawaii’s native plants. They can be found on several islands and are proliferating without the pressure of predators.

Opinions are sharply divided on managing axis deer. A fence was built around endangered plants on Haleakala National Park to protect them from the deer, and the deer are hunted in an effort to eradicate them within the fenced area. And guiding hunters is a good source of income for locals.

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