Police say the hunter who was killed in Bay of Plenty on Friday, and his hunting companion, were both very experienced bushmen.
It is believed James Dodds, 30, was shot dead by his companion in Waikite Valley 30 kilometres south of Rotorua.
Rotorua area police commander Inspector Bruce Horne says both men spent a lot of time in the outdoors and were well respected in the mountain biking community, both locally and internationally.
A statement from friends of Mr Dodds says his death is a terrible shock and is still sinking in.
It also says the two families involved in the tragedy know each other well and are supporting one another.
On Saturday, Mr Dodds' body was removed from the dense bush and steep terrain where it lay and a post-mortem examination was carried out.