Injured deer hunter airlifted to hospital

A deer hunter was airlifted to hospital after injuring himself in a 20m fall in rugged terrain in Steele Creek, about 15km west of Glenorchy, on Thursday.

Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand spokesman Vince Cholewa said the 35-year-old Invercargill man suffered a puncture wound to his abdomen after falling down ''steps of ice'' in very steep country while hunting with a companion about 11.20am.

The pair activated an emergency beacon, and a Lakes District Air Rescue Trusthelicopter flew in from Queenstown, reaching the pair about 12.45pm.

The helicopter could not land near the men so they were lifted by long-line to an area where it was safe to land, Mr Cholewa said.

A paramedic treated the injured man at the scene before he was flown to Lakes District Hospital in Frankton, arriving about 2pm.

Rescue trust manager Ed Halson said the man suffered severe bruising as well as the wound.

The prompt rescue highlighted the value of people carrying beacons in the mountains, as the pilot was able to fly straight to the pair.

Both men were carrying beacons, and had done everything right.

Steele Creek runs between the Greenstone and Caples valleys, which are popular tramping routes. It is part of the Greenstone-Caples recreational hunting area, where permits are balloted for hunting fallow deer each year between April and September.

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