I had no idea you can hunt in Hawaii! Actually, I’d heard rumors of people in Hawaii hunting hogs with dogs and knives, much like I’ve seen in Texas. But my impression of an anti-gun anti-hunting Hawaii is quickly getting corrected! In fact, SHWAT™ partnered with Norma Ammunition, Primary Weapons Systems, Sig Saurer Optics, Elite Survival Systems, Scalarworks, LALO Tactical and our friend Kyle Lamb at Viking Tactics to create this Bucket List hunt in Paradise! Subscribe to our newsletter so you won’t miss anything in this series.
Here’s what we’re doing and taking with us!
Before 2019 my experience with Norma Ammunition was quite limited. Norma comes from Europe and struck me as the Mercedes-AMG Project One Hypercar of ammunition. That means cool accents, performance and different (odd to an American) marketing.
Then we got the request to test their new 300 WIN MAG Bondstrike long range ammo on a hog at less than 100 yards to see how the bullet would perform. You can read that initial Bondstrike review and see for yourself how well it performs. It turns out that the 308 Bondstrike takes down hogs nicely. We’ll soon tell the story on Norma Ammo taking down Colorado elk, but that will wait for another day.
Given our ongoing successes with Norma it makes sense to take the 308 Bondstrike to Hawaii. We might have some long shots on sheep and close ones on hogs. For something closer to real time reporting, follow us on Instagram, @SHWATteam.
Primary Weapons Systems
Similar to my experience with Norma, I’d talked with PWS several times over the years. My only first hand experience was speccing out an AR pistol with their original CQB comp, aka, blast deflector. One thing I did know about this piston system AR manufacturer: They had the most killer cut away guns I’ve ever seen, showing exactly how their system works.
Then Pro Staffer Casey Jones, proud owner of a couple of PWS rifles, starts talking them up to me. Soon we would publish his review, Long Stroke, Short Review – The PWS MK114 MOD2-M. Reading it, I came to the conclusion these things must be pretty great. But how could I take them to Hawaii for a bucket list hunt? There’s no way you could have ARs in Hawaii, right? Wrong!
While you cannot have what Hawaii calls “Assault Pistols”, 18 inch barreled ARs are generally (at the time of this writing) perfectly legal. No insane California style restrictions beyond that! You must register your rifles with the local Chief of Police within five days of arriving. Easy.
Given the terrain and targets, the PWS MK2 308 rifles seem ideal.
Sig Saur BDX Rangefinders and Scopes
I love the Sig BDX concept! It took me a little bit to figure it out (in retrospect, maybe because I didn’t read all the directions), but here’s the short version: Pick a target, say a Hawaiian sheep at an unknown distance. (No, I’m not all that awesome and estimating ranges, I’m a mere mortal, not a Paul Phillips Extreme Long Range Guru).
Range the target with one of Sig’s Rangefinders and it then tells a paired rifle scope what the hold for that shot is. The rifle scope moves the illuminated dot along the crosshairs. Put dot on target, pull trigger. Given that I love cool tech and things that make getting my shot right simpler or faster, this just makes sense to me.
Elite Survival Systems
If you know SHWAT™ you know I’m a huge believer in Elite Survival Systems. For most of a decade I’ve used their gear. It all started with their epic M4 Roller Bag, and I still use it today. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I traveled or hunted without one of their packs, travel bags, range bags, etc.
For Hawaii, I and my two hunting partners need gear for the Hawaiian back country. I’ll be sleeping in my Recon Bag, we’ll all use backpacks from Elite Survival Systems, and our PWS rifles will be in Elite Survival Systems scabbards.
Scalarworks is new to the SHWAT™ Team, brand new. New as in the paint would still be drying if we were actually painting anything. I don’t like cheap mounts, I’ve never been pleased with them. The Scalarworks LEAP mounts aren’t cheap, but they are sexy.
Honestly, besides being good looking, they are super easy to mount. Getting your scope level with your rifle is incredibly important and I don’t know of a consistently quick way to get that right. Well, until now I mean. We’ll revisit this later, but a single screw let’s you level to your rifle without even looking through the scope. In fact, before you even mount it to the rifle! Consider that tease for now.
Are you a regular here? Then you already know how much I love LALO Tactical boots and shoes. Literally, I’ve tested their gear from the Middle East to every time zone in the continental USA. We’re about to add Hawaii to that. Somehow I need to find my way to Alaska and New Zealand in these, but not today.
LALO footwear simply isn’t like any other I’ve tried (and I have a closet full of boots!). Their BUD/S Zodiac Recon AT Tactical shoes are my daily wear and adventure travel wear choice. Their Shadow Amphibian boots have been on my feet during I can’t remember how many hunts and hikes now.
For Hawaii I’m trying out the LALO Intruder boot, a waterproof version of the the Amphibians. We’ll catch you up on those later, but they’ve already been Elk hunting with me and aren’t getting left home.
Kyle Lamb is a real life American hero. Google him. I started using a VTAC sling from his company, Viking Tactics, years ago. I have no idea where I bought it, but I keep coming back to it over and over again. Since the PWS rifles aren’t the lightest things to hike Hawaiian terrain with, I wanted slings that were familiar to me and ridiculously reliable. And, as I told Kyle, it’s a great occasion for me to shamelessly point our spotlight his direction. Thank you, Sir, for everything!
By the way, if Leadership is something you aspire to excel in, you might want to read his book, Leadership in the Shadows. I did.
Hunting in Hawaii
So, hunting in Hawaii is real! And far more accessible that I’d imagined. It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, and you get to hunt and explore a vacation paradise all in the same trip! We’ll have plenty of stories to update you as it develops. If you haven’t already signed up for the newsletter and followed us on Instagram or Facebook, please do! I look forward to sharing Hunting in Paradise with in you all those places!