A Matakanui farmer hunting on his property at dusk lined up a shot, was alarmed by hearing two gun shots nearby then spotted a suspected poacher through his sights when a man ran across his potential field of fire in what police are calling a "near-miss".
"The farmer was stalking a deer and believed he was the only one hunting on the property and it was just on dusk, so there was low light," Detective Sergeant Derek Shaw, of the Central Otago CIB, said yesterday.
"He had his shot lined up, was alarmed to hear two gun shots nearby and then saw a guy, through his sights, run across his field of fire, between him and the deer. Given the two hunters literally crossed paths, with one unaware of the other, and in each other's potential field of fire, we'd certainly call it a near-miss," Det Sgt Shaw said.
Police are investigating the incident.
They had talked to the "suspected poacher" - a 30-year-old Alexandra man who was pig hunting on the farm, he said.
They were looking into the man's claim he was allowed to hunt on the farm because he had an arrangement with the former owner of the property.
The farmer, the new owner of the Thomson Gorge property, contacted police immediately after the incident, which happened on Saturday at about 6.15pm.