Honoring the Hunted

Honoring the Hunted

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(bell music) – [Narrator] In various
regions of the world, hunting is coming under
increasing scrutiny. (metal clangs) and there appears little likelihood that this reality will fade any time soon. So let’s state the problem in clear terms: Why doesn’t society
recognize the good we do? (crowd noise) The answer to this
question is complicated, but clearly one reason is that
non-hunters find it difficult to believe that we care about wildlife in any emotional sense. Seemingly, they cannot
get past their impression that we take pleasure from an experience that often results in the
death of wild creatures, and therefor we cannot
possibly care for animals. They say we only intervene in
debates on wildlife’s future when the opportunity
to hunt is threatened, and not for the good of wildlife as such. In some, perhaps many
cases, they are right. (crowd noise) It appears, given this, that these people are not prepared to accept hunting regardless of its social
and economic benefits. They’d reject it on an emotional basis. (Elk Bugle) I disagree with those who argue that we can ignore this issue, and who suggest there is really no way to effectively change
societal views on hunting, but how do we do this,
how do we demonstrate to the wider public that
hunters do care about wildlife, And that our interests in wild creatures, and the lands and waters they occupy extend far beyond the practical question of whether there will be animals
to hunt, and fish to catch? (piano music) (wind blowing) I suggest we begin by honoring the hunted. And by letting the hunter
play a distant second fiddle to the magnificent
creatures that we pursue, and sometimes kill. Doing so would require a
major change in our culture, one that is intoxicated with
awards that promote the hunter and magazine stories and
television shows that do the same. Is there really any wonder the
public is conflicted about us or feel that it is the animal, and not the hunter who needs support? If we wish to convince the
general public that we care about something more, and
pursue something greater than the animal’s death, we
must emphasize the experience and the living animal most. We care for animals in a fundamental way. Yes, we may take the life, and thereby take possession of one wild
creature during our hunt, but that does not mean we
do not admire them in life, and wish to see their future secured, even if that future does
not include hunting. Let us diminish the focus on
our achievements, and on us. Let’s start honoring what truly matters.


  1. I agree also. Even in Colorado where we have a very large elk herd, many hunters will shoot an elk only once out of every 5 years of hunting and it well may be a cow. But they keep hunting. When talking to hunters there is the talk about the elk that they got but there is also talk about what they saw: the pine martin chasing squirrels around a tree, the bear walking down the side of the mountain, the grandeur of the mountains in fall, the quiet of the forest in the morning, the glimpse of a cougar. A couple of years ago I came around the corner to find my friend sitting on a rock next to a stream with 2 fawns drinking a couple of feet away and a somewhat worried doe wondering about the strange rock. It is not all about the kill it is the entire experience.

  2. I totally agree with the points of this video. I've only harvested one spike elk in 6 years of going. It's more about enjoying the outdoors and the comradery of my hunt mates. Living the victories with them and also the stories of loss.

    One point I would like to make is we should replace "Kill" with "Harvest". It is a more apropos to the actual activity of hunting and not akin to slaughter, which anti-hunters like to quote.

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