8 Sep 2012

Hunter's body found in bush

10:09 am on 8 September 2012

Police have found the body of a hunter believed to have been shot dead by his companion.

The man told police about the shooting in the Waikite Valley, 30km south of Rotorua, about 8am on Friday.

Searchers found the body of 30-year-old James Dodds of Rotorua, in very steep, rugged terrain off Te Kopia Road in the afternoon.

Wet, slippery conditions has made it too dangerous to bring the body out of dense bush and this will be attempted on Saturday.

Police say the other hunter, who is in his 30s, is very distressed, but fully co-operating with the investigation.

Mike Spray from the Mountain Safety Council says the incident should sound alarm bells for hunters.

"An absolute wake-up call for all hunters. Identify your target beyond all doubt - you don't even have to have a firearms licence to understand what that means. It's very basic common sense."

It is the third hunting death this year.

Cam McDonald, 29, was killed while deer hunting in Aorangi Forest Park in south Wairarapa on 7 April. Christopher Dummer was sentenced in August over the death to nine months in prison for careless use of a firearm causing death.

Later in April, a hunter was shot by one of his four companions while spotlighting in the Cattle Flat area near Lumsden in Southland.