18 Oct 2009

Missing hunter walks out of bush

2:58 pm on 18 October 2009

A hunter who had been missing in the Nelson Lakes area has found his way to safety.

Tony Manson, 35, from Nelson, had been hunting off the track near Lake Rotoroa and failed to meet up with companions at the Sabine Hut at 1pm on Saturday.

Search and Rescue coordinator Mike Fitzsimons said Mr Manson was not an experienced hunter or bushman but found his own way to a farmhouse at the head of the Howard Valley on Sunday morning.

Sergeant Fitzsimons says the house could have been an easy four-kilometre walk for Mr Manson, but once lost he ended up walking 20 kilometres. He says Mr Manson is wet and cold but otherwise well.

About 30 people with a search dog combed the area on Sunday, and the previous day a ground team with a tracking dog had scoured the area. A rescue helicopter was also brought in on Saturday.