Hunter's body won't be recovered tonight
Fri, 07 Sep 2012 6:00p.m.
By Sanele Chadwick
The body of a man shot dead by his friend while hunting has been located, but will not be recovered tonight. The death is the third hunting-related fatality this year.
The shooting happened early this morning in dense and remote bush in the Waikete Valley, south of Rotorua.
“It was first reported to us by a hunter on a cellphone, that person reported that there had been an accident and that he had fatally shot a hunting partner,” says Rotorua area police commander Inspector Bruce Horne.
Mr Horne says the hunter was distressed and disorientated.
It took search and rescue staff most of the day to locate the body in steep, rugged terrain, and attempts to retrieve the man's body by air and on foot failed.
“The intention was to get them out today, but unfortunately the adverse weather conditions mean we haven't been able to do that,” says Mr Horne.
Hunting expert Bryce Meredith says it’s another wake-up call for hunters about basic safety precautions.
Police say it's too early to decide whether charges will be laid.
“Someone has died and they've died a violent death, so our standard approach is that we have an open mind, do a thorough investigation, and see where the evidence takes us," says Mr Horne.
A small team is staying with the body tonight, with a recovery operation expected to be completed tomorrow.
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