Let me introduce myself…My name is Katie Swaim. I am not a professional hunter. In fact 99% of the time I leave the woods with nothing more then a better outlook on life then I had when I went in. I have no hunting show on television (although let’s face it we all believe we should have one). Tiffany Lakosky I am not.
So who am I? I’m simply a wife and a mother of four from Georgia (Go Dawgs!). I may not be the most successful hunter with trophies adorning every wall, but there is no one who enjoys this sport more, of that I am certain. Because when nothing else in life makes sense there is something about being out here with my bow that makes all the sense in the world.
Out here there’s no one to judge me, no one expects anything, or needs anything from me. It’s just me, my thoughts, and the sunrise…and of course, a monster buck would be nice. 🙂 This is where I am most at home. Where I feel closer to God, surrounded by all the beauty in His creation. In fact I’m writing this while sitting in my treestand, high above a peanutfield, waiting for that elusive 30 point buck to step out of the trees and into my sights. But in the meantime I will be thankful for the beautiful view and the peace and quiet.
Being a mother of four beautiful children (two boys and two girls, the oldest of which is five. Yes I said four kids five and under) I get very little peace and quiet and will take it wherever I can find it. I often get asked “how do you find the time to go hunting” and “don’t you think it’s selfish to hunt instead of being home with your children”. To that I answer candidly, “No I don’t think it makes me a bad mother, in fact I believe hunting makes me a better mother.” And this is why…. We all love our children but time away for a few hours is much needed at the end of a busy week of preschool, play dates, T-ball games, doctors appointment’s, grocery shopping, diapers and the ever present boogers. It’s a chance to step away from it all and unwind. I often climb the ladder to my treestand completely overwhelmed by my day, and leave at the end of the night a new woman, ready to go home and hug my babies. It is a time where I’m not Mom, instead I’m just me again.
Not only do I believe it makes me a better, calmer, mother, and it makes my husband a better father as well. We take turns hunting so it gives each of us a chance to spend quality, one on one time with the kids. Which they love, because let’s face it, Mama is lame and Daddy is awesome! (Until someone needs something or falls down…but that’s beside the point.) After a tour in Kosovo, two tours of Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan, time with his children is very important to him, and honestly it is for everyone.
But, the biggest reason I feel being hunters makes us better parents, is because we get to teach this amazing sport, and a way of life to our babies. To raise them understanding the beauty in nature, a respect for the animals that they take, and the responsibility that goes with taking that life. That the harvest is to feed our family, for the conservation of the animals and habitat, not just for trophies on the wall. To show them how to survive off the land if the need ever arose, the sense of pride that comes with going out and bringing home your own meal. That there is a whole world outside of the television and the Xbox. That “if you teach your kids to hunt you won’t have to hunt for your kids”. I believe this will make them grow into better men and women with patience and love for the outdoors and beauty in the simple things. And that there is no way for me to sit here in my stand and watch this beautiful sunrise without feeling truly blessed.