The 23-year-old man shot dead in a hunting accident near Wanaka this morning has been named as Dougal Disston Standford Fyfe.
The local farm worker died after he was shot the back of the head while rabbit shooting with two friends on a property in the Maungawera Valley, just outside the town.
Police were called to the farmland at 2.30am following the incident.
Mr Fyfe and two school friends had spent the day together, said Sergeant Aaron Nicholson.
"They'd been socialising that day together and had been eeling and then rabbit shooting," he said.
The group were on the Maungawera Valley property when they spotted a deer and chased it into a patch of manuka, and in the course of the hunt a shot was fired, hitting Mr Fyfe in the back of the head.
Mr Fyfe was "not a firearms' holder so I wouldn't say he was experienced (at hunting)," said Sergeant Nicholson.
There were no suspicious circumstances, he said.
Sergeant Nicholson said the families of the men involved were close and were all shocked by the news.
Police are investigating the death on behalf of the Coroner, and a criminal investigation is under way.