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Hawaii investigation unable to prove wrongdoing in 'American Jungle' TV show about hunting

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Hawaii officials investigating a History channel television show called "American Jungle" were unable to prove any laws were violated during filming.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources began investigating after an episode aired in November raised concerns that unpermitted hunting was taking place on state land on the Big Island.

The department said Thursday the investigation wasn't able to prove that producers filmed on state land or if any marine or wildlife laws were violated, West Hawaii Today reported (http://ow.ly/yh6Ed ).

The show depicts "clans" fighting over access to territorial hunting grounds, and using knives and spears to take down prey. DLNR Chairman William Aila and Gov. Neil Abercrombie have criticized how the show portrays hunting in Hawaii.

"Through the Hawaii Film Office, DLNR has conveyed to the History Channel its view that the show was misleading in its depiction and disrespectful, and its expectation that any future film projects must obtain permits for filming on state lands," department spokeswoman Deborah Ward said in an email.

"American Jungle" creator T'Jaye Forsythe said the state's investigation disrupted discussions about the show's future.

He said reactions to the show have been mixed. Reality television is a mix of fiction and reality, he said.

The first episode, broadcast Nov. 10, shows hunters using spears and dogs to hunt a cow, the department said, even though it's illegal to hunt cattle without a special feral cattle control permit. The department noted there is no evidence that Native Hawaiians ever used spears to hunt cattle or pigs in the forest.

There were also concerns about an episode showing hunters at night. Hunting at night is illegal on public or private land.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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