A man who shot his Hawke's Bay friend in the elbow on the first day of the duck-shooting season has escaped prison.

Cameron King was on a shooting expedition with friends on private property near Masterton on May 2 when the incident took place.

He was charged with causing bodily injury by careless use of a firearm.

The 44-year-old, who had known the victim since primary school, had earlier pleaded guilty, with his lawyer saying he was "very sorry" for what happened.


At the Manukau District Court yesterday, King was sentenced to six months' community detention and 200 hours of community work.

He was also ordered to pay $3000 in reparation to the victim, who is unlikely to recover the full use of his arm.

Judge Charles Blackie said fundamental errors were made: "I would have thought any shooter, but particularly a shooter with your [King's] experience, would readily recognise that."

He said King had a loaded gun in a confined space with others around, did not have the safety on, was carrying his shotgun at waist height and pointed in front of him and with his finger on the trigger.