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Vacation fresh.

FOR FATHER'S DAY I took my father-in-law, Don Rollo, hunting on the Big Island of Hawaii. Getting older is a difficult fact for this man to accept since he's spent a hard-labor life serving in the military, working at a power-plant and maintaining a farm. Though he can often be grumpy, I've been married to his daughter long enough to witness his great compassion and generosity toward others. He's always wrenching on someone's pipes, building a friend a porch or lending his handy hands to fix a project for a person in need. Amazingly, he still finds time to volunteer and socialize with patients at the local hospital. Since undergoing several knee and hip replacement surgeries the last several years, his recovery has been slow and painful.


Don now finds his peace on the island of Maui. What was a once-in-a-lifetime vacation a few years ago has turned into a biannual trip. But at his core, he's a hunter who loves life in the field. Maintaining a whitetail property in Illinois has become quite a chore for him, particularly due to the cold weather that has been especially bitter these last few winters. The discomfort he endures throughout his lower body makes him restless and forces him to resign from his favorite sport far earlier in the season than the local deer herd's patience. Hunting isn't as rewarding for him as it used to be.

On my first visit to the Hawaiian islands a few years ago, I become enamored with the Polynesian culture and Hawaiians' tasty passion for slow-roasting pigs underground in palm leaves. A local informed me that some of the pigs used in luaus had been hunted on one of the islands. My thoughts on that trip turned to hunting pua, or wild pig.

Pua is not native to Hawaii. The small, black Polynesian pig is thought to have first arrived 2,000 years ago with the first migration of Pacific islanders. European settlers also introduced their own boars to the islands, which produced a hybrid. They've since been a prized source of food and an important component to the culture.

Last February, I called Craig Boddington and asked if he could recommend an outfitter.

"Sure, that one's easy," he said. "Patrick Fisher, Hawaii Safaris. No one else is worth contacting. Pat is a great guy, hunts several islands. Pat has good rifles, so don't bother to bring one!"

Pat Fisher hunts Spanish goats (Hawaiian ibex), black Hawaiian sheep, dove, Rio Grande turkey, mouflon sheep, axis deer and wild boar on 127,800 acres of five of the state's eight major islands.

I visited hawaiisafaris. com and scoped out the website to learn more about the vast selection of game and locations. Though I would have loved the challenge to hunt axis deer on the rough, Jurassic terrain on Moloki, I learned that a wild boar hunt was physically doable and an affordable adventure for Don and me.

Fisher booked the week leading up to Father's Day, and while our wives and kids were enjoying Mommie time on Maui's beaches, Don and I jumped on a cheap flight to Kona where we met one of Patrick's incredibly hospitable guides, Mat Bowman. Two hours later, we found ourselves in our camo sloshing through the tall grass and wet forest of the Big Island's north face carrying Mat's new Vortex--scoped Browning X-Bolt chambered in .270 WSM.

By 4 o'clock in the afternoon, sows were emerging from the dense jungle to snack on the region's macadamia nuts and root the remote farm country. The damage to crops is expensive, and the local landowner reported that his family shoots as many as 15 pigs a day, which may include a big tusker. It was incredible to hunt through sunset with the far-reaching blue Pacific Ocean stretching out into the horizon. On that evening, Don successfully brought down an equally stubborn boar. He saved the tusks for his lei.

The next morning, I stalked sheep on the backside of an active volcano. It was epic. More on that coming soon.


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Title Annotation:EDITORIAL
Author:Poole, Eric R.
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Aug 19, 2015
Previous Article:Shootout.
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