A Wellington man has been bailed after being charged over the death of hunter Cam McDonald, who was shot and killed in remote Wairarapa at Easter weekend.
Alexander Cameron McDonald, known as Cam, 29, a self-employed Auckland builder, died instantly from a shot to the head in Aorangi Forest Park, near Pirinoa in south Wairarapa, on April 7.
Christopher Dummer, 54, of Island Bay was remanded on bail for two weeks by Wellington District Court judge Oke Blaikie when he appeared this morning charged with careless use of a firearm causing death.
The judge granted him bail on the conditions that he surrender all firearms and firearms licences to police, not apply for a passport and not contact witnesses in the case.
His defence lawyer Andrew Davie said name suppression was not asked for. No plea was entered to the charge.
Detective Senior Sergeant Sean Hansen, of Wairarapa CIB, said the charge followed a lengthy investigation.
"A detailed investigation has been undertaken including examination of a difficult scene in a remote location and interviews with key witnesses.
"Today's decision follows a legal review of the file to determine the most appropriate charge which should be laid.
"I have spoken to McDonald's family this morning to inform them of our decision.
"I would like to thank all those who have assisted police with the investigation," said Hansen.
The charge of careless use of firearm causing death carries a maximum penalty of three years' prison and a fine up to $4000.
McDonald and a friend, 59-year-old Doug Williams of Greytown, had gone hunting in Aorangi Forest Park at 5.30am on April 7, after an unsuccessful hunt on Good Friday night.
Williams shot a stag about 8.30am, then the men continued hunting until about 11.30am, when Williams called in a stag near a place known locally as Williamson's Creek.
They separated so McDonald could get a shot at the stag Williams was luring in.
They had been apart for about 10 minutes when a shot rang out, which Williams initially thought was his hunting partner firing at a stag.
Since then police have questioned four Wellington hunters, who were believed to be hunting in pairs at the time, including the man charged this morning.
In the past decade, eight hunters have been shot dead.
Those include Dougal Fyfe, who was shot while deer hunting near Wanaka in December.
Reuben Burke, 24, pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm causing death following the accident.
Fyfe was one of three hunters who saw a deer walking on a rural property in the Mangawera Valley.
He was shot in the head while he and Burke chased the animal, police said.
In October 2010, Lower Hutt schoolteacher Rosemary Ives, 25, was shot while cleaning her teeth at a Conservation Department campground near Turangi.
Andrew Mears, 26, served 11 months' imprisonment for her manslaughter.
He was illegally spotlighting at night with three friends and mistook Ives' headlamp for the eyes of a deer.
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