A pig-hunter lost in the Tararua Ranges has walked out tonight just as a search was about to get underway.

Police said just as the search and rescue team were preparing to go into the Tararua Forest Park when the missing man walked out of Waiohine Gorge.

The lightly-clad hunter was described as cold but fine.

The man had earlier become separated from a hunting companion chasing a pig.

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His companion returned to his vehicle and raised the alarm.

The missing hunter was not prepared for a night in the open wearing only light clothing and gumboots.

Police said while they were pleased the hunter was safe and well it was important when going into the bush to always wear appropriate clothing for the environment and conditions.