Where the Wild Things Are: Maui Pig Hunt

maui pig hunting
Fresh tracks hint at nearby prey.

Two days later, Brad shakes me awake. “We got pigs!” he whispers emphatically.

“Pigs?” I ask.

“Yeah, two!”

Moments later we’re standing outside the trap we set earlier in the week. The food scraps have been replaced by a pair of black pigs, and as the four of us stare at each other, I wonder, “Now what?”

Our friends soon arrive and get right to work. Before I can process what’s happening, one hands me a knife and asks—no, tells—me that I’m “up first.” I’m motionless as bodies swirl around me, readying the pig. As if mimicking Lopaka’s earlier reaction, my knee starts quivering. I receive the “go for it” nod, and as the animal is pinned against the trap, I slip the blade behind its shoulder, into the heart.

maui pig hunting
Just days after her hike, our writer traps two pigs on her farm. Overnight, the animals transformed the grassy terrain into a muddy wallow.

I imagine what our neighbors must think of this early-morning ruckus, then convince myself that they are thankful. They, too, have waked to find uprooted plants and thrashed growing beds. I’m certain they are troubled by the devastation feral pigs cause to our forests and watersheds.

We spend the rest of the day butchering the pigs, whose meat will later be smoked, cured, and barbecued; the less desirable bits turned into dog food. Two fewer pigs are no big deal in the grand scheme of things. For Brad and me, this is major: Our crops are a little more secure, at least for now.

We load the trap with fresh bait—leftover sweets that our friend assures us will keep the hungry animals coming back. Yes, they will be back. But at least now, we’re ready for ’em.

For info on Lopaka’s tours, visit HuntFishMaui.com. To see how we turned wild pig into a local delicacy, click here.



  1. Aloha Lehia,

    Great article! Could definitely feel the thrill of the hunt. Nice work on the harvest from the trap as well. It is never easy to take a life but to help protect our delicate ecosystem it is sometimes necessary. We also set a trap to get pigs on our property and have found a delicious recipe for Chile verde that is an awesome preparation for the harvested meat. Try this one out when you have enough cubed meat for a crock pot full.


    4-5 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cubed
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    28 ounce canned tomatillos (I use fresh and roast them over a flame before tossing in the blender.
    ½ cup onion chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    14 ounce green enchilada sauce
    16 ounce salsa verde
    4 ounce diced green chilies
    ½ Tablespoon cumin
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 tsp salt
    2 Tbsp cornstarch

    In a medium sized skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Brown the sides of the pork and add them to the slow cooker.

    In a food processor add the tomatillos and blend until smooth. Add it to the slow cooker alone with chopped onion, garlic, green enchilada sauce, salsa verde, green chilies, cumin, dried oregano, and salt.

    Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4. An hour before serving, take out 1 cup of juice from slow cooker and whisk it with the cornstarch. Add it back to the slow cooker and allow to thicken and cook for about 1 more hour.


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