It's been a painful return to the bush for two hunters injured in the first days of the country's move to a less-restricted life.

Hunting, along with most other outdoor pursuits, was banned during the alert level 4 lockdown. Under level 3 hunting was allowed, but only on private land within the hunter's home region.

After Kiwis stopped the spread of Covid-19 and the country moved to level 2 just before midnight on Wednesday many restrictions - including hunting on public land - were lifted.

On Thursday, the first full day at level 2, a hunter was injured near Mangatarata, 30km southwest of Thames, about 3.15pm.

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The man, aged in his 30s, was injured with a knife, Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust communications manager Lincoln Davies said.

He was helped by the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter and was in a moderate condition following the incident.

Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew at the scene of one of the hunting incidents under level 2. Photo / Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust
Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew at the scene of one of the hunting incidents under level 2. Photo / Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

The second incident, also involving a knife, occurred at 11.30am today at Kennedy Bay, 15km northeast of Coromandel town.

The man, aged in his 40s, had injured himself while pig hunting, Davies said.

He was flown by Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Waikato Hospital in a moderate condition.