Cameron Dickson Maclarty, of Dunedin, collapsed and died just 400m from Hollyford Rd, near Sunny Creek, about 4.30pm with his hunting companion, whom police have not named.
Sergeant Tod Hollebon, of Te Anau, said the youth did everything right in the difficult situation and it was unfortunate Mr Maclarty could not be saved.
''He did very well and his family should be proud of him.
''He found himself in very difficult circumstances.''
The death is not suspicious and has been referred to the coroner.
The pair had separated from a bigger group, all from Dunedin, and chose to go hunting while the rest stayed to fish in Milford.
The two hunters did not carry a locator beacon, but marked a trail through the trees from the Hollyford Rd.
When Mr Maclarty collapsed, the youth made his way back along the marked trail to Gunn's Camp and raised the alarm with one of the camp's staff members and a roading contractor. A helicopter was dispatched with a Te Anau doctor on board, as well as police.
The three then made their way to the older man, who was pronounced dead by the doctor.