The hunter who died after falling onto rocks near Hanmer Springs yesterday was crossing a river on a water level monitoring device.
The incident happened on the Department of Conservation-managed Molesworth Station, and was first reported as involving a cable bridge.
DOC spokeswoman Lizzie Sutcliffe said the structure had been put up by a local authority for monitoring river levels, and was not intended to be used for river crossings.
It's understood the man was involved in an organised game-bird hunt.
She said the department could not comment further as the matter was before the coroner.
The Westpac rescue helicopter and police rescue staff were called to the Acheron River area about 1pm yesterday after the accident was reported. Police said the man had fallen about 10-18m from a cable onto rocks.