A hunter has died after being shot in the chest in the Kaimai Range.

Waikato Senior Sergeant Mike Henwood said police received a call about a hunter being shot about 10.15am. Henwood said the area was very remote and had no communication. The hunter was shot in forest near Wairakau Rd, about 15km south of Te Aroha.

It comes during the beginning of the roar, a favoured hunting period, for many parts of the country.

The roar is when stags are most vocal, calling to attract the attention of females and are less cautious than other times.


The roar lasts about four weeks, and stags are the most vocal in the middle two weeks.

Red deer roar from late March through April.

A fellow hunter called emergency services about 10.15am.

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter was sent to the remote spot and a paramedic winched down to work on the man, who was about a two-hour hike from the carpark.

Police would conduct inquiries on behalf of the coroner.

New Zealand Deerstalkers' Association national president Bill O'Leary said the reality was a fatal hunting incident such as this happened once or twice a year.

"The position that we take is that there is no such thing as an accident with firearms, it is the result of a mistake being made.

"Regardless of the detail if someone has shot him it is failure to identify target, if he shot himself then [the firearm] has been put in an unsafe position," O'Leary said.


It was likely since the person was shot in the chest that one of the seven firearms safety rules was not followed, he said.

The Mountain Safety Council said it was also working with police to understand what happened.

The Kamai Range has a variety of game species for hunters, but pig and deer are most popular.

"We urge all hunters to follow the Firearms Safety Code.

"It is heartbreaking news. Our condolences are with the family and friends of the hunter," a spokesman said.

MSC chief executive Mike Daisley said the "vast majority of firearms-related hunting incidents can be traced back to a firearms safety rule not being followed".

"It's critical to reducing incident numbers that hunters follow these rules."

An average of 195,098 hunters participated in New Zealand each year, according to the MSC's report ''A Hunters Tale'', which was a comprehensive exploration of hunting participation and incidents in New Zealand.

- More to come