Rotorua Police Search and Rescue last night located a 45 year old hunter in the Urewera Forest after he had already spent two nights lost in the bush.
Police were notified about he overdue hunter at approximately 3pm on Monday 18 April. The Waihi man was part of an experienced, six-man hunting party who flew into the area on Saturday. He was believed to be missing in the Urewera forest, approximately five kilometres North East of Maungapohatu.
Constable Colin Fraser from Rotorua Police Search and Rescue says the hunting group were well prepared and supplied for the conditions. He says the group split up for an initial hunt at around 2pm on Saturday, but the missing hunter did not return as arranged.
"Members of his party searched unsuccessfully on Sunday and two of them walked out to raise the alarm on Monday."
Police Search and Rescue flew into the area just after 3pm yesterday (Monday) to search the tracks and huts in the area. Shortly afterwards, local Search and Rescue volunteers formed a ground team and entered the Urewera Ranges on foot to search in the vicinity of Makomako Hut area.
"They successfully located the man at approximately 9:30pm last night, safe and well. At this stage we believe he simply became lost.
"Obviously we are pleased with the positive, early outcome as conditions in the area overnight were xtremely cold with snow flurries and sleet. His survival is due to being well prepared for the conditions, carrying the right equipment and his extensive hunting experience.
"He was well-equipped with suitable clothing for the environment, along with a survival blanket, torch, firearm and a small belt bag containing other essential items including a map and compass.
"While this Search and Rescue operation had a positive outcome, it serves as a timely reminder that people planning to travel into the bush need to have the right clothing and equipment, and to be prepared for any weather and any emergency."