Maui County

 

maui county is taking a very active role in dealing with the axis deer population. So many of Maui’s businesses, farmers, motorists, and resources are at risk and suffering damages, that a proactive role is required of our local government. Our mayor is very supportive of our efforts. the county council has made a resolution to do what it can to address the situation. in october 2012 a grant was approved and passed through the County office of economic development to fund the start-up of the harvesting and processing of deer.


the first usda inspected maui axis deer went through decoite’s packing house doors in mid- october.  the protocols we must follow to get a deer inspected and processed for sale are daunting, but we have every intention of using the sale of this amazing venison to fund the culling operations cost in the future. there will be many deer that will not be brought down under the usda inspection, and that meat will go home with the hunters.


At this time, we are many moons from a steady supply of USDA certified venison on Maui. The good news is that on moloka’i, the usda has been accompanying moloka’i wildlife management and inspecting the deer that these culling crews are harvesting. for nearly 8 months, the crews have been working with the usda and the local slaughterhouse, moloka’i livestock cooperative to produce a market-ready maui nui venison product. in December 2013 the first shipment of usda certified venison reached the restaurants’ tables on maui. it was brought in and distributed by Maui’s premier distributor of local venison, “royal hawaiian venison”.


our goal has been to turn this “problem” into a resource. with the proper management and utilization of the abundant resource of axis deer, (as well as feral pigs and goats) we can create a steady and sure supply of food, as well as provide many jobs for maui’s residents. as we develop post-processing products like leather, pet food, and soil amendments, we will be turning the waste from one industry  into the raw materials for another industry... creating more jobs and making Maui more of a sustainable, self-contained economy.