An elderly farmer has been shot at by a group "spotlighting" on his central North Island property early today.

Police said they were called to the Turakina Valley Rd property near Hunterville after a farmer in his 70s said he had been shot at with a hunting rifle at 1am.

The farmer said he had a gun turned on him by people "spotlighting" on the back of a ute on his property near McLeays and Mangatipona roads.

He was not injured and his vehicle was not hit.


Police said the spotlighters left the property but the farmer was able to give police a good description of the vehicle.

Later in the morning police stopped a ute matching the description in Levin about 90km south of the Rangitikei farm.

Three people in the ute were arrested.

A 20-year-old and two 19-year-olds were due to appear in the Levin District Court tomorrow charged with firearms offences.