Born to Be a Huntress: Embracing My Calling

June 28, 2023

K. Floerke

K. Floerke

I never thought that at 29 I would be a full blown huntress chasing deer, exotic trophies, and huge hogs across the countryside. I crave the meat from an Axis buck like you would crave water in the morning after a long night of fireball whiskey and crappy beer. I get anxious when I can’t get out to the ranch and feel the excitement and rush from a hunt. Thanks to my dad, those feelings were instilled in me at a very young age.

At 8 years old, people were calling me the “Hog Slayer”. I was stacking wild hogs like pancakes in South Texas, and even as a kid I loved it every minute. It felt so amazing, at a young age, to gather around the campfire with your cousins and watch a pig, that I shot, roast over the flames. This accomplishment would feed my family and friends. Looking back, I think I truly found my sole purpose for hunting in those fireside moments. I knew then that I would be a huntress forever.


I was raised as a very conservative hunter because my dad did everything by the book. He never broke one rule or law in front of me and gun safety was the very first thing I learned. As I was growing up, he would clean the guns in the living room of our log cabin which was located in the Texas Hill Country. I used to watch him closely and loved to watch the end of the cotton pop out of the barrel. This cleaning ritual was a frequent and natural occurrence in our home. Our house was pleasantly infused with the fragrance of Hoppe’s No.9 Gun Cleaner.

My mother passed away unexpectedly when I was 19 years old and my world changed. I began to struggle with identity. It wasn’t easy telling people I loved to hunt when I left home and moved to Austin, TX. For those of you that do not know, Austin is a very progressive forward thinking community in comparison to other areas of Texas. I wanted to fit in with the “eclectic” crowd, but my new hippie friends were not impressed. I was genuinely interested in learning about different cultures, art, and music because I wanted to feel worldly. So I did learned and absorb. I became part of the eclectic crowd, which turned out to be not everything I am as a person….If that makes sense.


I shadowed my hunting passion for a few years. I would sneak away for a hunt on a weekend and not tell anyone about it because I didn’t want to be judged by anyone. I went out and had a few tattoos done, a few turned into many, and at one point I stopped counting the new tattoos. I eventually discarded hunting. I would only think about my roots from time to time after a few cocktails and a viewing of Tombstone. I would get over the self-reflection quickly. None of it changed the fact that I constantly felt like I was missing something, which was mostly my mother. I went through many different phases from that point. These transformations were so far removed from my roots that I married a man who thought no longhorn deer existed. Needless to say, we soon divorced: true story.


Four years ago, my father was diagnosed with cancer. He had been living in a small town in South Texas near the coast and it was no surprise that he had never given up on hunting. I had every reason to move near him, especially with that very saddening news and the fact that I just wanted to be near him. Once again I found myself moving to a new place. It had taken so long to get comfortable in Austin. There I was, having to tap back in to those country roots that I left in the dust so long ago. You wouldn’t believe it, but I found myself having trouble fitting in once I was back in that rural setting.

When I returned, my dad followed suit and took me hunting, what a blast! I shot seven wild hogs in a week, peed outside on a bush, and ate nothing but steak and potatoes. I hadn’t felt that happy in what seemed like my whole life. Fast forward to present time. Here I am, four years later, living back in this tiny Texas town where Cotton Gins are the sight to see and tractors back up traffic for miles. I turn heads here with my tattoos, but I don’t let it bother me because of my experience.

The world is a humbling place when you give up yourself or try to change who you are destined to be. I have now returned to my roots, and have made hunting my life and my career. I wish I had been honest with myself and embraced being a huntress long ago. The success, happiness, and love for myself I have now is indescribable.

Article and photo courtesy of Harvesting Nature. Click here to subscribe to the quarterly Harvesting Nature magazine, And Click here to enjoy the latest episode of the wild fish and game podcast.

Read Amy Siewe, a python huntress in Flordia, on iSportsmanUSA.


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