A man who went into the bush for a quick shoot left his GPS device behind and had no map of the area when he became lost and was forced to call police for help.
A search and rescue operation was launched about 10am yesterday, using the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Service, to find the 28-year-old Havelock North man who had been hunting in the Ruahine Ranges.
The hunter had left No Man's Hut about five hours earlier on a quad bike. He parked it at a road end and headed into the bush on a marked track. Some time later he left the track, became disoriented and called for help on his phone.
He was spotted from the air and he was winched on board the rescue helicopter to safety.
Hawke's Bay Police Inspector Mike O'Leary said the man was not fully prepared for his hunting trip. He had a GPS but had left it back at the hut, thinking he would not need it as he was only going for a quick shoot. He also had no map of the area.
The rescued man was also wearing light clothing and had only a muesli bar and half a bottle of water to drink.
"This lack of preparation is a concern for police," Mr O'Leary said. "The rescue need not have happened if the man had taken the GPS with him and a map."
The weather can change suddenly in the mountains and people should be prepared with enough clothes and equipment, the officer said.
"You should also carry a reasonable amount of food and water in the event that you do get lost or injured," Mr O'Leary said.
Cellphones should never be relied on solely as a means of communicating distress.