A hunter who has been missing on Stewart Island for nearly three days has been found.

The man failed to return to his 13-strong hunting group on Monday afternoon.

A search party was launched, with Land Search and Rescue teams involved in the search from both Invercargill and Stewart Island, as well as Police Search and Rescue staff.

Thermal technology was used as well as a Land Search and Rescue search dog from Dunedin. Police focused the search around the Lords River area.

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The 39-year-old was found just after 11am today, Detective Alun Griffiths said.

"He had become disorientated after knocking his head during a fall and his compass was later found to be incorrectly reading due to a knife being close by.

"Fortunately, he was able to sustain himself on the first night by eating a deer he had shot. He was then able to forage for limpets and paua."

The hunter was today sighted from the air during an extended shoreline search at Chew Tobacco Bay.

"This serves as a reminder to anyone entering the bush, even for a short time, to take a Personal Locator Beacon and a backup form of navigation," Griffiths said.

He thanked Land Search and Rescue for providing teams during this "challenging time".

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