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Waikato hunter sends goodbye text to wife after accidentally stabbing himself while in the bush

A Waikato hunter has recounted a remarkable tale of survival where he sent his wife a goodbye text, after accidentally stabbing himself with a knife while cutting a fresh kill in the bush.

Friedmann, who doesn't want his last name used due to privacy reasons, was cutting the carcass of a deer he'd just killed inland from the Kawhia Harbour on Saturday when he slipped and fell on his sharp hunting knife.

"I got up, pulled the knife out and then I felt a really warm sensation going through my body which I thought [was] a bit weird and then I looked down and blood was just pouring out," he told Fairfax.

The 38-year-old went into action mode, heading to an easily visible spot by a riverbed to activate the emergency locator beacon his wife had urged him to buy before wrapping a tourniquet around the gash in his left leg.

"I got myself in a comfortable position because I was dizzy already and my heart was going 100 miles an hour and then I activated the beacon. I thought first things first, I need to stop the bleeding and calm the heart rate down."  

Knowing he would have to wait for hours before help came Friedmann used techniques he'd learned from watching survivalist Bear Grylls on TV to help him survive.

These included regulating his breathing and keeping his wound cool in the riverbed's waters to constrict the blood pumping out of the cut vein in his leg.

The hunter sent a final goodbye text to his wife shortly before being rescued by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter around 10pm, thinking he might not make it.

"I can't thank my rescuers enough, they were amazing," he said.

The rescued hunter now urges all others heading into the bush to be prepared and make sure they have an emergency locator beacon on their person.