Larysa Switlyk, grew up with three older brothers and a fear of guns. Yet, her upbringing taught her to be strong, courageous and not afraid to try anything. A mixture of a tomboy and model, Larysa is competitive, engaging and adventurous. She earned her bachelor’s and master‘s degrees in accounting in just four years, and promptly landed a CPA job in New York City. However, she quickly realized she wasn’t a city girl. A gut feeling told her something was missing in her life
Larysa’s passion for travel, meeting new people, discovering new places and experiences, led her to find that thing when she booked a hunt in New Zealand. Even though she had never shot a rifle before, she instantly fell in love with the hunting lifestyle. She realized she had a natural talent for shooting and hunting. She has always liked the outdoors but it was not until later in life that she found true love and zeal for hunting. Larysa discovered her calling and booked her second hunting adventure in South Africa! Larysa is the only one who hunts and fishes in her family and has added the bow to her arsenal, continuing to hunt when she can. Recently she’s been fortunate to experience hunts in Argentina, Europe, Canada, and all over the United States.
1. How were you introduced to hunting?
I actually got myself into hunting. Hunting was something I’ve always wanted to try, never had the opportunity to try it until I booked myself a hunt after college while I was traveling abroad and that’s when I fell in love with the sport of hunting.
2. Tell us about your first hunt.
My first big game hunt was in New Zealand at Four Seasons Safari. I was backpacking taking a break from my job as a Certified Public Accountant in NYC where I booked myself a 2 day hunt, never had shot a rifle before. After a successful hunt, harvesting a female fallow deer and wild ram, that was the moment I found my passion and fell in love with hunting.
3. Were your family and friends very supportive?
Not from the start. I grew up with three older brothers and my parent’s are probably the least outdoorsy people you would ever meet. After returning home from New Zealand, I was proud of my hunt and showed my family and friends photos thinking they would also be proud of my new found passion. I instantly got criticized and put down which confused me until I found other hunters who accepted me. That is when I realized there is a whole different world out there that accepts hunting and the people who are so quick to criticize it, it’s due to a lack of education.
4. What advice would you give someone just getting into hunting?
If you are interested in hunting, then find someone you know who can go with you and teach you the safety of the weapon you are using first. If you don’t have anyone to go with you can do what I did and book a guide and go to an outfitter. You can’t really understand hunting unless you try it, and trust me; it’s an adrenaline rush like you have never felt before. You might never know you love it until you try it and its never too late to start!
5. Why did you start a television show?
I started my television show with the mission of educating the non-hunters and sharing my passion to influence other females and children to get involved in the outdoors. I figured if I can change my family’s viewpoint on hunting, explain to them why I hunt and get them eating the meat I bring home, then there is a lot more people out there like them I can also change. Now my family is my biggest fans and I’m glad I could introduce them to the outdoor lifestyle, but trust me, it didn’t happen over night! My TV show is a great vehicle to teach other about the outdoors, let them experience it and learn along with me as well as follow my adventures!
6. Where and when can folks tune in to catch your show?
Larysa Unleashed will be airing on Sportsman Channel starting April 6th, 2014 – June,
Sundays: 12:30 pm
Wednesdays: 4 pm
Fridays: 9:30 am
Larysa Unleashed airs on Destination America starting in July on Saturdays at 7 am.
I will also be appearing on the Outdoor Channel as Team Bass Pro Shops during the Madfin Shark Series starting in April for 7 straight weeks!
Thursdays: 6 am
Saturdays: 6 am & 1pm
Sundays: 5:30 pm
7. Why do you want to help more children get involved in the outdoors?
I want to see kids away from the computers and video games and enjoy the outdoors. I’m not telling them they need to go out and hunt. I just want to get more families outside, spend time together and teach their children the safety behind guns. Kid’s cell phones should be replaced with a bow or a fishing rod. This world is too consumed and dependent on technology these days that they are spending less time with their families. It is a great way to make memories with your loved ones and enjoy God’s creations.
8. Do you feel any need to overcompensate or overachieve in the hunting/shooting industry because you are a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field?
I hunt to my ability and I respect the animals I hunt. I can’t help it if I outshoot or out hunt most of the males out there. 😉 I’m not out to prove anything to anyone but myself. Each hunt to me is an accomplishment and learning experience. That is how it should be; it shouldn’t be a constant competition or having to prove yourself. It’s a lifestyle and I choose to live it. The males will just have to get use to the fact that woman are the fastest growing segment in the hunting industry and we are statistically a better shot than males!
9. What species would you most like to hunt?
I enjoy hunting a species I have not hunted before, to learn about it and how to hunt it. I like new challenges and want to learn as much as possible. I would like to return to New Zealand and chase a Tahr with my Limbsaver Bow because I know it will be difficult but a huge accomplishment!
10. What is your most memorable hunt?
Most memorable hunt was actually while I was taking a kid from Hunt of a Life Time on a ram hunt in Florida. Being able to share my passion with a child who unfortunately has a life threatening illness means a lot more to me than me in the hunting seat.
His mother told me a story how she was on a deer hunt with him in a box blind. His illness attacked his nervous system and he was forced to a wheelchair and couldn’t walk. A deer came out, he stood up, shot the deer, sat down and was so excited because he just shot a great deer. His mother said she started crying because she was excited he stood up on his own! He wanted to call his Dr. right then because he said he found the cure for his illness…..HUNTING!
That right there is why I share my passion for the outdoors! That is what it is all about!
11. What is your favorite archery and arrow set up?
Limbsaver Muddy Girl Pink Proton Bow with Nemesis Easton arrows and Muzzy Trocar Braodheads
12. How can our readers follow you on social media?
Facebook: Larysa Unleashed