Search and rescue teams looking for a missing hunter near Balclutha have called in search dogs tonight.

Police said just after 9pm they had brought in the dogs to help officers and LandSAR volunteers currently searching the Blue Mountains, northwest of Balclutha.

"Efforts to locate the man using the helicopter's night-vision equipment have so far been unsuccessful and the helicopter has been stood down for now," police said.

A statement tonight said the search was being carried out in what was now "cold and drizzly conditions."


The missing man is understood to have a backpack and a basic first-aid kit, as well as a thermal blanket.

Earlier the man had fired shots from his rifle, narrowing down the search area.

The man went out hunting with a small group yesterday. His companions returned about 2pm but the man remained in the bush.

Police were alerted about 11am today.

They say the man had "basic hunting hear" but was not prepared for a night in cold conditions.

The search will continue throughout the night.