A Hastings hunter has been jailed after a hunting tragedy earlier this year.

Family, friends and supporters of both the victim and the defendant filled the Hastings District Court this morning to hear the sentencing of Hastings man Gary McCurrach, 58, who shot and killed Danny Jordan, after mistaking him for a deer while hunting in the Ruahine Range on March 31.

McCurrach received six months in prison on a charge of carelessly using a rifle causing the death of the 23-year-old soldier.

In summing up Judge Tony Adeane said McCurrach was an experienced hunter, who knew the risks when he fired at 42m range, killing Mr Jordan instantly.

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Members of Mr Jordan's family were in the court and gave emotional statements on the ongoing impact of his death.

His father Tony Jordan, a flower grower from Waiuku, near Auckland, said he was a fun-loving son who was an avid hunter and gatherer and whose future had been stolen from him.

"Danny was the type of person I was sure would have children and a family and I was looking forward to sharing that with him."