It's dogs gone wild during hog hunts
WHEN I FIRST heard about the state allowing pig hunting in the Manoa Valley and at Tantalus I thought it was a great idea, one I might even take part in. I've never been a big hunter or fisherman, mainly because I don't like the taste of the animals usually hunted and fished. I love the concept of fishing, for instance, but being punished with cod liver oil as a lad ruined my taste for fish. I've often thought how much fun it would be to fish if fish only tasted like cheeseburgers.
Likewise with the land animals hunters hunt. I tried some moose a friend of mine killed and it tasted like old gym socks. And I tried some kind of flying creature, quail or pheasant or pterodactyl or something that a neighbor shot, and it tasted like pterodactyl marinated in old gym socks. If there was an animal I could hunt that tasted like honey barbecue wings or a taco, I'd grab a gun, baseball cap and red vest and head for the tall grass.
So the idea of hunting wild pigs seemed interesting. Bacon comes from pigs, so what's not to like about hunting bacon? Then I found out you can only get a license to hunt with a knife or bow and arrow. Now, this seems pretty good for the pig. Sporting, even. But it's a little too Rambo-ish for a guy who makes his living typing. I tried to picture myself attacking a 100-pound angry wild pig with a knife-clinched in my teeth, but couldn't. Isn't it possible to hunt bacon from a car with a big, quiet laser-sighted rifle and porters to drag the bacon home for you?
Wild pig hunting has been going on around Manoa and Tantalus since February, and hunters more proficient with table cutlery than me have dispatched 36 feral pigs. They use dogs to chase and attack the pigs and then finish off their quarry with knives. (If the hunters really wanted a thrill, they'd go after the pigs with salad forks and soup spoons.)
But there have been problems. The hunting dogs have attacked not just wild pigs but pet pigs and even a pet goat. Homeowners who used to complain about pigs gone wild now complain about dogs gone wild. You can't blame the dogs, really. The hunters let them go and they race off in search of protein on the hoof. How are they to know goats aren't fair game? In some hunting areas, goats have a special designation: Bait. In other places, goats are the things being hunted. For instance, goat hunting was a big sport on Kahoolawe for a while until people found out that goat tastes like pterodactyl.
It just goes to show you that one man's pet is another's entrée. And the line is hazy. Some people have chickens for pets and others have chickens for lunch. Technically, poultry in Hawaii can't be pets. That's why they aren't covered under "cruelty to pets" laws. If you kill a dog and cook it, it's a crime. If you kill a chicken and cook it, it's a fundraiser.
The state is trying to figure out how to conduct wild pig hunts without hunting dogs terrorizing people and pets. I suggest the use of porters to drive the bacon near major roadways and let nature take its course.
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