Hunter safe and well

A 57-year-old Waimate hunter who spent a night in the bush near Queenstown after becoming separated from his 43-year-old companion was found safe and well yesterday.

A police search and rescue patrol spotted the man on a ridge near Gilbert's Hut, north of Arthur's Point, where he fired six distress rifle shots to identify himself, Acting Sergeant Terry Wood, of Queenstown, said.

The pair had driven a 4WD to the hut on privately-owned land on Thursday morning to hunt baby goats and became separated about 10am on the way to Stony Creek because they were travelling at different speeds.

"There was some concern because the older man was walking so far ahead, which was out of character," Acting Sgt Wood said.

The younger man had become tired and walked back to Gilbert's Hut and called his family, who alerted police.

Acting Sgt Wood said the older man stayed in the bush on Thursday night, although it was not known if he made it to Stony Creek Hut or slept in the open.

After walking down from the ridge, the older man was taken back to Queenstown where he was interviewed by police.

It was still not known exactly how the two became separated when police were contacted yesterday.

Both men had the correct equipment for the trip and had permission from the landowner to hunt on the property, Acting Sgt Wood said.

He said the search and rescue callout was a precautionary measure and that the men were not "lost or overdue".


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