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From Hunter To Mother

By: Lindsey Davis 

When I was seven months pregnant, I took a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii to experience bowhunting for feral hogs, goats and sheep. Leading up to the trip, I got a lot of confused looks from people as they glanced down at my huge belly and questioned my decision-making. Was it really necessary?  

It was uncomfortable to say the least. My backpack barely fit. When I tried to bend over to stalk or crawl on the ground, my acid reflux would bubble up. The normal little sprints to close the distance were impossible and getting up and down from the ground with all of my gear often required help. But during those few days roaming the cliffs above the ocean, I finally understood why we see very pregnant women doing seemingly extreme things like run marathons. Like me, these women are determined to do the things they love and stay connected to what makes their soul light up during the massive transition in life that is motherhood.  

I couldn’t move like I used to, and my heart rate was blowing up, but I felt alive, connected to myself, and proud to be putting in the effort. Even with the watermelon on my front, my hunting instincts were solid, I shot true, and was successful on a wild pig and a goat. The sheep evaded me this time.  

I gave birth to a baby girl a few months later. Since she was born, we’ve taken her upland hunting, shed hunting, and on lots of hikes. For Mother’s Day this year, we are all going turkey hunting, and we are preparing for her first backpacking trip this summer into the backcountry of Yellowstone. If all goes according to plan, she will be with us in the mountains for the opening weekend of archery season here in Utah.  

As I’ve transitioned to motherhood, time has inevitably become more scarce. There are simply more tasks each day, coupled with a deep desire to spend my time with my little girl, which makes other things less possible. However, I’ve found that my drive for the things I truly care about for myself, the non-negotiables, has never been higher. When I get to my window to workout, I don’t pass it by – I attack it with vigor and gratitude. When I’m out in the field hunting, I pursue my environment as if there is no tomorrow – punching for the next ridgeline, braving any elements with joy and enthusiasm. Motherhood has chiseled and honed my values and made them clearer to me more than ever.  

I have no idea what my daughter will think of these experiences when she’s older, looking back on her childhood and her wild, pregnant, bowhunting mother. Regardless of whether she becomes a hunter or not, I hope these examples teach her that her drive in life and commitment to the things she loves is the most important – no matter what they are.  

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This venison lasagna features an easy meat sauce, layered with noodles and cheeses. The sweet Italian sausage complements the lean venison. It’s perfect for feeding a crowd at a potluck or family dinner.