“Taking pot shots at goats on a cliff. What an absolutely disgusting human.”
The person being described is host of a hunting show aimed at women, though it appears she has a male following as well, Floridan Larysa Switlyk travels the world hunting trophies while hawking hunting gear from ammunition to rifles, as can be seen in her Instagram where she tags sponsors in nearly all her posts like the one for her camo leggings designed with an AR15 emblazoned on the side.
Popular, she has 150,000 social media followers and videos on her YouTube channel have been viewed nearly half a million times.
Her hunting trip to the Scottish highlands where she stalked and killed sheep and goats has Scotland furious.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Switlyk Tweeted & Took to Instagram to Pose With Her Goat & Sheep Trophy Kills & Scotts Took to Sharing Their Anger & Disgust
On her Instagram beginning Oct. 10, Switlyk shared posed images of her with her kills; two goats, one wild and one likely domestic, a domestic sheep and a Red deer stag.
Switlyk and three others stayed at a highlands castle on the Scottish island of Islay, where they stalked and killed grazing deer, wild goats and domestic farm animals. And the images, glam shots of Switlyk and her kills, are designed to entice others to come to Scotalnd and do the same. She’s selling tours.
“Beautiful wild goat here on the Island of Islay in Scotland. Such a fun hunt!! They live on the edge of the cliffs of the island and know how to hide well. We hunted hard for a big one for 2 days and finally got on this group. Made a perfect 200 yard shot and dropped him with the @gunwerks and @nightforce_optics ! ( Good thing too because he could have ran off the cliff into the water). Ever interested in hunting Scotland and doing some whisky tours, email email@example.com”
Switlyk posted images of her scoping out deer and lying in wait, with full makeup and sportswear she’s selling, namely leggings.
“Feeling like royalty staying in the Mingary Castle and glassing for Red Stags with my @nightforce_optics spotting scope ~ @wsisports AR15 leggings.”
She was also stalking deer and killed a stag that she posed in such a way if appears alive.
“Beautiful hunt resulting in a Royal Scottish Stag ~ Interested in Hunting Scotland ? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
2. Switlyk Says She Was ‘Big Game Hunting.’ Locals Say She Hunted Livestock
Switlyk posted trophy photos of four killed animals, albeit posed to appear alive. At least two described as domestic or farm animals.
She described (and hashtagged) her efforts as “big game hunting.”
Commenters on her social, many who say they live on Islay, were not having it.
“That’s someone’s prize livestock! We don’t have any wild sheep in Scotland. Just open grazing. Also the tups (rams) are usually tame because they need to be caught regularly for breeding,” one wrote.
“I did wonder. I have a friend who has blackies and he said that sheep’s horns have been worked with. Wonder if it has tags in its ears,” asked another.
A black-faced sheep such as the ram she stalked and killed are domestically bred sheep raised for wool and meat. The livestock graze on hills and mountains.
“I live on Islay and there’s a lot of people absolutely disgusted about this,” one local wrote.
“Those goats are so tame they can be walked up to and caught by hand. Those posts are cringeworthy trust me I live on Islay and this is just embarrassing,” wrote another.
According to Visit Scotland, the Ardnamurchan peninsula is a “wild, remote yet beautiful place full of wonderful scenery situated on the west coast of Scotland.” Described as unspolied, remote and teeming with wildlife including wild goats, deer, dolphins, whales and birds of prey, the terrain includes moors, forests, lochs and beaches on the Sanna Bay.
3. Scots Asked First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to Act. She Tweeted Wednesday & a Petition to Parliament Was Created
People wanted to know if trophy hunting is legal in Scotland and if is she alright with trophy hunting wild goats.
“Can’t believe how many animals she has murdered while on her holiday in Scotland. @NicolaSturgeon How can you let this happen?”
Sturgeon responded: “Totally understandable why the images from Islay of dead animals being held up as trophies is so upsetting and offensive to people. @scotgov will review the current situation and consider whether changes to the law are required.”
Scores of comments on her post from Scots describe Switlyk as “cruel” and “sick” and not welcome in Scotland.
“If that is what you want to do then don’t come anywhere near Scotland. People like you are not wanted,” one wrote.
“You should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves you abhorrent people. Leave here, you’re not welcome,” wrote another.
A petition to Parliament to ban trophy hunting based on Switlyk’s actions is gaining traction. Her hunting and profiting off of it are called “senseless acts which are at odds with the peaceful surroundings of the island, and the nation.”
“Scotland is internationally renowned for its untouched nature and progressive social climate. Hunting defenceless animals with high tech weapons for the sake of boasting is entirely at odds with the values of Scottish people. It disturbs an ecosystem, and enforces human dominance on species that have coexisted symbiotically with locals for centuries.”
“Ms Switlyk has used her photos to advertise hunting experience tours to an American and international audience. Trophy Hunting taints the image of our valued tourist industry, and puts the beauty of our long established natural habitat at risk.”
The petition on Change.org reads, “While we appreciate that certain types of stalking/hunting are frequently up for debate in parliament due to population control, this petition hopes that the Scottish government will recognise there is never justification for hunting native, peaceful species with high tech equipment for some absurd ego boost. For these reasons, Trophy Hunting must be made a punishable crime throughout Scotland.”
4. While Scots Are Angry About Switlyk’s Trophy Hunting, a Scottish ‘Sporting Manager’ in Ardnamurchan Guides Hunts There
The last time Niall Rowantree tweeted was a year ago, and with just around 100 followers, he and the ‘West Highland Hunting’ group may not be well-known. Indeed, a click on the link that’s supposed to bring people to the Ardnamurchan Estates and Mingary Castle site, the location Switlyk tagged in her photos, has not yet launched and is “under construction. That said, there’s an email address to contact for “sporting bookings.”
In an article from FieldSports magazine, its shared that British primitive goats are rare and number less than 1,200 to 1,500; they are considered a domesticated goat.
But, the author, Simon Barr, wrote that “despite their relatively low number, the fact that wild goats browse rather than graze means they cause huge damage” to vegetation they can reach. He writes that on his hunt, which he describes as among the most memorable of his life, the goats owing to their agility can “scale steep areas of hillside to feed, leading to increased soil and land erosion, while their ability to eat shoots and strip bark from trees poses problems for forestry and woodland management and biodiversity in these areas.” A “controversial goat cull” followed.
The Scottish highland goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by people.
“Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Ardnamurchan is home to a variety of fauna including golden and white-tailed eagles, otters, red deer, wildcats, pine martens and the reason for my visit – a healthy and sustainable population of wild goats,” he wrote.
Wednesday, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham tweeted that it’s not only not illegal to hunt, populations need to be culled. She said though that there was an understanding of the “concerns raised by these images” and the agency will be looking into it.
5. A ‘Hardcore Huntress,’ Switlyk Says She Has a Mission to Encourage People, Especially Kids & Women to Trophy Hunt. She Sells Calendars, Jewelry, Sports Gear & Now, Trophy Trips
Her website and other bios explain that 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.”
She describes herself as a “mixture of a tomboy and model” with an adventurous and competitive streak. A certified public accountant in New York, she says she wasn’t cut out for the city life and the job: “A gut feeling told her something was missing in her life.”
She began to hunt: “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.”
Now she has a show called Larysa Unleashed that appears on Wild Tv, Pursuit Channel, Tuff TV, Action Channel, & Women’s Outdoor Network on Roku! The Action Channel, the Untamed Sports TV, and Tuff TV.
“Viewers will follow Larysa as she promotes the outdoor lifestyle, offering a taste of the adventure as she blossoms into a hardcore huntress. Along the way Larysa wants to encourage the public, especially kids and females, to go hunting and experience the great outdoors,” her site explains. “Whether it’s teaching them to shoot a gun for the first time, or hunting alongside her for an amazing trophy, it will be nothing less than an extreme adventure!”
Her sponsors include gun and knife manufacturers, taxidermists, a rifle scope company, recoil products from ‘Limbsaver,’ and a jewelry line of metal and leather bracelets, her own clothing line of leggings for women to wear while hunting in collaboration with a U.S. sportswear manufacturer. She even sells calendars.
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