State calls History Channel show 'warped interpretation' of Hawaii hunting

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Nov 29 2013 06:40:00 PM HST

The History Channel's "American Jungle" is being called a "warped interpretation" of Hawaii's hunting program.

Click here to read more in Lara Yamada's article.

HONOLULU -

"This is a show which is billed as a reality show and it is far from reality," said William Aila, Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair.

The History Channel's new series 'American Jungle," filmed on the Big Island, is based on what are called "clans" who hunt for food.

The show follows those "clans" in what appears to be an all out turf war.

Click here to watch Lara Yamada's report.

"The values of the show are completely opposite of what hunters in Hawaii do. There are values of respect and sharing. Not what is portrayed in this so-called reality show," said Aila.

Aila said the DLNR is particularly at odds with scenes in American Jungle showing clans hunting at night and hunting cows using spears and dogs -- all acts he believes are in violation of state laws.

"We're already getting calls from out of state hunters wanting to know how they can come to Hawaii and hunt at night. We have to tell them it's illegal to hunt at night in Hawaii," Aila.


The show's local producer is defending the show, saying 'American Jungle' was filmed on private land, and since the state wasn't there for filming, it has no proof any laws were broken.

T'Jaye Forsythe's website he adds: "If the show was meant to be an accurate depiction of hunting in Hawaii, we would have created a documentary. The DLNR is a bully, taking away rights, threatening cultural livelihood."

Aila said the state denied the show a film permit, because the producer's application didn't give enough details on how the show would be filmed.

Aila said he was not able to reach History Channel executives.

He told KITV the state has since launched an investigation.

"It's hunters coming to us and saying you've got to do something about this. This is not who we are. This is not what we do," he said.

The DLNR and the national Humane Society are offering up to $5,000 for reports any violations of state conservations laws.

KITV spoke directly with Forsythe on Friday, who said he can't comment about the show. 

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