By AUDREY McAVOY
HONOLULU (AP) - A Maui hunting ranch owner is pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count for taking an unlicensed hunter to shoot game animals.
The case stems from a broader investigation into the interisland trading of harmful invasive species, axis deer and mouflon sheep. But the ranch owner's attorney, David Hayakawa, says his client wasn't charged for the transportation of animals.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Song told a judge Thursday that Jeffrey Grundhauser took an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent hunting even though the agent said he didn't have a hunting license.
Hayakawa says Grundhauser provided two female and one male deer to a Big Island individual, and took 11 Big Island sheep to his fenced Maui ranch. Hayakawa says Grundhauser believed the deer would be penned on Hawaii Island.