The Southland hunter who fatally shot a fellow deerstalker after mistaking him for a deer earlier this year has been sentenced to seven months' home detention, 400 hours' community service and ordered to pay $10,000 to his victim's partner.

On April 13, Wayne Edgerton from Tuatapere mistook Adam Hill, 25, for a deer and shot him while hunting in the Longwood Forest in Western Southland. Earlier Edgerton pleaded guilty to reckless use of a firearm causing death.

Several victim impact reports read to the Invercargill District Court today spoke about the impact of losing a young man, Edgerton's stupidity and asked for him to be imprisoned.

On hearing the sentence delivered by Judge Michael Turner, several people walked from the court muttering their dissatisfaction.


Judge Turner described the incident as Edgerton, a well known local gun safety advocate, as having a momentary lapse of care which had tragic consequences for both families.

Judge Turner ordered Edgerton to pay the victim's partner, Christine Pink, $10,000 for emotional harm and the forfeit of his firearm.

Mr Hill, a dairy farmer and father of two, was shot once through the chest by Edgerton, who was a member of another hunting party.

At the time of the incident, Detective Sergeant Mark McCloy said the area was not heavily populated with hunters at the time.

The death came amid "the roar" - the prime deer-hunting season between April and May, when stags come out in force to mark their territory.