By JO-MARIE BROWN

Taupo police want people to be more careful when shooting rabbits after a bullet ricocheted into a man who was walking up his driveway.

Detective Sergeant David Beattie said the 54-year-old was hit on Sunday night while working on his rural property in Kinloch.

He received a minor wound to the side of his stomach.

It was not known what the bullet had bounced off but Mr Beattie said it was lucky it had not hit the man directly.

"If it had hit him in the face it could have been completely different."

A farmer shooting rabbits in the area with a .22 rifle had been spoken to and other residents hunting the pests would also be interviewed.

"Although rabbits are starting to come back as a problem in this area, if every man and his dog is going to go out there and try to bowl rabbits over they have just got to remember that shooting close to a road is very dangerous," Mr Beattie said.

"They're still dealing with something that travels extremely fast. "They have got to remember what is in the distance, particularly with all those lifestyle blocks."

Police acknowledged rabbits caused problems for farmers but Mr Beattie believed people often took more care to avoid hitting stock than people when trying to rid their properties of them.