Shot teen discharged from hospital

A 17-year-old youth who was shot in the upper leg by a hunting companion while spotlighting for deer near Orepuki, southeast of Tuatapere, early on Monday was discharged from hospital yesterday.

Detective Dougall Henderson, of Invercargill, said the youth was in a group of five, all aged 17 or 18, hunting on a farm which belonged to the parents of one of the boys.

"He was shot in the upper leg and the bullet lodged in his pelvis. He was operated on yesterday [Tuesday] and discharged from hospital today [Wednesday]." Det Henderson said the matter was under investigation and some witnesses were yet to be interviewed.

He declined to elaborate further on the incident, except to say police did not think alcohol was involved.

Charges were likely, but he was unsure at this stage how many people might be charged in relation to the incident, he said.

Traditionally, there was an increase in deer hunting activity at this time of year, Det Henderson said. The incident was a timely reminder for hunters to ensure they followed the seven basic rules of firearms safety, he said.

They should treat every firearm as loaded; always point firearms in a safe direction; load a firearm only when ready to fire; identify their target beyond doubt; check the firing zone; store firearms and ammunition safely; and avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms.