Red Deer in Morning SunDeer hunting, and hunting in general, is often misjudged by those who do not take part in it. Tensions increase and brows may furrow when a non-hunter and a hunter discuss hunting ethics and delve into the sport’s motives. The debate can get heated.

When a constructive dialogue takes place, hunters commonly explain hunting’s draw by mentioning appreciation of nature, desire for camaraderie (or sometimes solitude depending on the type of hunting you’re into) and even the excitement and thrill of the hunt.

More well-schooled and knowledgeable hunters might defend and reinforce the necessity of hunting by citing its conservation impact.

According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), hunting and the regulations and practices that surround the sport are responsible for a host of benefits, including the restoration of many once-dwindling animal populations, more protected habitats for threatened species, safer roadways for motorists, and countless amounts of funds generated for the betterment of wildlife in the United States. And as the RMEF puts it, “as society loses its ties to wildlife and conservation, the bonds with nature formed by hunting are the greatest hope for creating the next generation of true conservationists.”

It’s important to note that in order for most of these benefits to continue and/or come to fruition, the fact is that certain animals must be hunted to their deaths. This sometimes uncomfortable reality is hard for some people to stomach; and those people who find this aspect of hunting objectionable should never be forced to face this reality.

That said, if you want insight into the reality of hunting, this 10-minute video summarizes what happens during a hunt and captures the brutal yet respectful act as it occurs. Be forewarned, the video includes suspense in the form of everything from rack rattling and deer calls to the patient stalking and the final shot.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but the video could remove some of the fear and confusion that non-hunters may have about hunting. And it might provide a better understanding about the hunting culture that provides conservation benefits for hunters and non-hunters alike.