A man has been charged with the manslaughter of a friend he allegedly shot dead while hunting in Southland earlier this year.

Mark Richard Vanderley, 26, had been spotlighting for deer with a group in remote farmland in the Cattle Flat area when he was shot with a hunting rifle early on April 29.

Mr Vanderley, originally from Gore, and who was working as a builder in the Palmerston area, died instantly.

Police said a 25-year-old Waikaka man appeared in Invercargill District Court today charged with his manslaughter.

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"The charge follows a legal review of the file to ensure that the most appropriate charge has been laid," they said in a statement.

"The family of the deceased has been informed. They are still very upset and are requesting privacy in their time of grief."