Man in court after duck hunter shot

By Cherie Taylor -
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INJURY: The first injury of the duck hunting season was claimed on Saturday, in rural Wairarapa. PHOTO/FILE
INJURY: The first injury of the duck hunting season was claimed on Saturday, in rural Wairarapa. PHOTO/FILE

A 44-year-old Auckland man has appeared in Masterton District Court charged in relation to a duck hunter shooting in Wairarapa on the first day of the duck hunting season.

The man, who appeared before the registrar, was granted interim name suppression at the request of defence lawyer Louise Elder.

He entered no plea to one charge of careless use of a firearm causing injury and was remanded on bail to reappear on May 26 when he is due to enter a plea to the charge.

Outside court he declined to speak with media and looked visibly upset.

On Saturday about 11.20am, five hours after the duck hunting season got underway, police allege he shot a 44-year-old Hawkes Bay man from his own duck hunting group in the arm. The incident happened at Bideford, near Masterton. The man was air lifted to Wellington Hospital in a serious condition where he underwent emergency surgery to his elbow on Saturday.

Hospital officials said the man remains in a stable condition and is recovering.

It wasn't the only duck hunting accidental shooting to take place on the first day of the popular season.

On Saturday afternoon, another man in his 40s, was shot in the buttocks and leg while hunting at Glenorchy, north west of Queenstown.

Queenstown police say he suffered minor injuries caused by pellets ricocheting off something.

The Wairarapa duck hunting season runs through until June 15 with the Mountain Safety Council warning shooters to be vigilant about safety precautions.

"Duck hunters need to ensure that their firing zone is always checked before they pull the trigger,'' said Nicole McKee, the councils's firearms & hunter safety programme manager.

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