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Where you live: Lana'i part 4 - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Where you live: Lana'i part 4

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A tranquil picture of a countryside and deer grazing in the clearing.

You'd think you were far far away from Hawaii.

But you 're not, you're on Lana'i.

Axis deer were introduced to the island in the early 1920s and they have flourished. Now, outnumbering the population by an estimated three to one.

"They come right in your backyard, eat your vegetables if you're not protecting them by fence," Wendell Sarme said. 

Sarme says on Lana'i, hunting isn't just a sport. It's a tradition, passed down from generation to generation.

"A lot of hunters? Yeah, I would say here is like 85 to 90 percent of the people here hunts, yeah because you know a lot of our activity is out here. The ocean and the mountains and even the kids in school, you know they start off by seeing their parents hunt, their grandparents hunt so it's like tradition, everybody keeps hunting and hunting," Sarme said. 

We tagged along with Wendell and his wife Jonie on a deer hunt.

First, we signed in. Hunting is regulated on Lana'i, you need a hunting license.

Today, they choose the bow, dressed in camouflage and we ventured into the forest.

We continue, deeper into the trees, looking for deer or signs they've been around.

"Check this out, he's rubbing his horns. This must be about two days  old. They was here," Sarme whispered. 

The bark is rubbed off on trees all around us, by deer rubbing the velvet off their horns.

"Because they have velvet antlers and when they turn into the routing season, he antlers become polished and get harder and it becomes really polished and they start fighting, for fighting mate, for their battle and breeding purpose. Yeah so they're just getting ready to battle," Sarme said. 

It's mid day, we don't have much luck but Sarme says they'll be back later.

"They go down the trail, down deep in the forest, way down there and we just hopefully in the afternoon, they come back up and we can catch em," Sarme said. 

Sarme has been hunting since he was a kid. Not only deer, but Mouflon sheep as well. And fishing too.

He says there are some trophy size animals on Lana'i.

"The biggest animal I shot was maybe a 230 pound deer and big buck, he's got huge gigantic horns like about 36 inches long year," Sarme said. 

And nothing is taken for granted or wasted. Without big box stores, Lana'i families rely on hunting for their food.

"Hunting is like play, a part of our lifestyle because we eat the meat. You know and we do a lot with it make burgers, we make sausages, smoked meat and you know, it's free range so we just go out there and get em ourselves," Sarme said.