June 26, 2014
For Eva Shockey, life is a magical ride right now even if it's just a little bit off the charts.
Uncharted, you might say.
Yes, the pun is intended as Shockey and her well-known dad, Jim, prepare to unveil the new Jim Shockey's Uncharted show on Outdoor Channel next Wednesday, July 2, at 7 p.m. ET.
Already this year, the 26-year-old has seen her already famous smile become even more so after she graced the cover of the May issue of Field & Stream magazine.
Big deal, you might say? Indeed it is; Shockey became the first woman in 30 years to be a cover girl for Field & Stream. Not to mention becoming only the second woman ever in the 119-year history of the magazine to do so.
The only other woman to make the Field & Stream cover was England's Queen Elizabeth back in 1976.
Since the Canadian-born Shockey is in many ways the current queen of the outdoors world, part glamorous and part backwoods all at once, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that she was chosen.
Click image to see photos of Eva Shockey
Daughter of Jim and Louise Shockey, Eva has become as comfortable in the woods with a TC muzzleloader or BowTech bow in her hands as she is smiling in front of a TV camera, co-hosting one of her dad's show, or elegantly interviewing someone on the red carpet of OC's Golden Moose Awards.
But don't for a second think of Shockey as some sort of camouflaged diva, because she isn't.
Instead, she's a humble, thoughtful and respectful young woman who grins a thousand-watt smile as she stoops down to take photos with young children at a recent personal appearance at Dale Bonner's auto dealership in Denison, Texas.
By afternoon's end, when she was done signing several hundred autographs for enthusiastic Lone Star State fans, Shockey graciously agreed to visit with yours truly about her life in recent weeks.
As we talked, I could only think what a magical ride she has been on. Shockey agreed, noting that there was really only one downside to her recent uptick in outdoors fame and even busier travel schedule.
What was that?
That she didn't get to do much bear hunting this spring with her dad, Jim, the award-winning writer, videographer, guide, outfitter and television personality who has hosted television shows for a number of years on Outdoor Channel.
"It was short lived," said Shockey. "I only had two actual days of bear hunting and I was using my bow. That makes it a lot harder on top of it. We had tons of chances and if I had been using a gun, I could probably have shot four, five or six different times.
"We just didn't quite connect. I drew back on one at 25 yards, but it didn't stop for me to shoot. We got close (but not close enough)."
Since the F&S magazine cover shot came out, Shockey has been a busy young woman, answering a deluge of social media inquiries, doing numerous interviews, and being featured in plenty of website and newspaper stories.
Oh, and she also got engaged to her boyfriend, Tim Brent, a professional hockey player for the Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.
Editor's note: Yes, as you might expect, Brent also is an avid hunter and fisherman. In fact, he announced the couple's engagement on Twitter with a photo and the following tweet: "@brenter37 - As you all know I LOVE to fish!!! But, @EvaShockey is by far my best catch yet! #nocatchandrelease #keeper."
Hanging with dad, Eva has traveled the world and especially enjoys the Yukon, saying “Life in the Yukon. Doesn't get much better!”
"It's been busy for a few years now," said Shockey of her co-hosting role on dad's OC television show. "I don't know how it could get busier, but since that happened (the F&S cover), it has."
Part of that increase in business is due to the fact that the Field & Stream cover and story has given Shockey additional exposure in corners of the world that she had not received it in before.
"It's more mainstream than some of the things I've done in the past so now people that aren't necessarily hunters and weren't aware of me, my family , our show, Outdoor Channel, or any of those elements that are related to hunting, now they are more open to that," she said.
"That's really the whole reason that we do this, is to open people's eyes that hunting is a good thing, hunting is great, that we're doing it for good reasons," she added.
Those reasons include having healthy organic meat to eat, providing nourishing food for the needy in various portions of the world, helping to control excess herd numbers and contributing to wildlife conservation efforts through license purchases and the payment of excise taxes on gear and trip expenditures.
"When anyone mainstream can see that and think that it's a good thing, that's better for us (as hunters)," said Shockey. "We want more people (to support hunting). They don't necessarily have to hunt, but we like that they understand hunting and respect it."
Shockey is very comfortable in her role as an ambassadress for hunting, even if she never aspired to go into the outdoors industry by following in her dad's footsteps.
"My mom doesn't hunt and I didn't start hunting myself until I was older," said Shockey. "When I was going to the university, I started actually pulling the trigger. I grew up with it and going on hunts and being with my dad, but I never actually shot an animal until I was 20."
Shockey says that ever since that late beginning in the sport, neither she nor her dad saw this journey as potential career path. Instead, it's just something that she says naturally happened.
"There's a huge niche in the market for young women that are hunting but are still girls," she smiled. "Like I still love being dressed up, I love wearing make-up and doing my nails, but I also love being in the woods, shooting guns and shooting my bow."
Over the last several years, Jim Shockey's daughter has fallen head over heels in love with hunting and the great outdoors and has been able to turn what started as a hobby into a viable career.
"Just because I didn't see it coming doesn't mean I'm not happy I'm doing it," she laughed.
While most people are happy with what Shockey is doing, she admits that not everyone is. In fact, in the aftermath of the Field & Stream cover shot, she became somewhat of a lightning rod in anti-hunting circles.
"Happy daughter. Proud Daddy. The world needs more daughters that hunt!!!" - Jim Shockey
"My dad and I, we both have a lot of social media stuff going on and I get a lot more worse comments than he does, which is I guess surprising," said Shockey.
"I would think that they would see him as more of a target, but I guess because people see me out there hunting, (some) are not happy having some girl that smiles and wears make-up out in the woods killing an animal.
"They can't put those two things together and it gets (some) people mad. I guess since I've been a little more in the mainstream lately, people are seeing it more easily and they are attacking me."
Having grown up around her dad and his television show, Eva is like the rest of her family, a gracious person even when others are not.
"I've grown up with it (negative comments) and I don't take it personally because these people are behind a computer screen and they won't say it to my face," she smiled.
"They'll say it behind a computer screen so you can only take it with a grain of salt."
Which is exactly what Shockey does by going on cheerfully about the business of being an ambassadress for hunting and being a part of her dad's television programs.
That includes the upcoming Outdoor Channel show that is titled Uncharted.
"It actually airs for the first time starting in July," said Shockey. "I actually haven't even seen an episode, yet, though it's being heavily promoted."
While Shockey has been busy traveling between hunts, sponsor commitments, getting engaged, and in many ways being the current face of the hunting industry, she is nonetheless very excited for the unveiling of her dad's latest project.
While she hasn't seen a finished episode yet, that's ok since she laughs and says that she was there for much of the filming.
"It's going to be amazing," said Shockey. "I've heard a lot about what the episodes will be like.
"My brother Branlin, who produces the show, is the most modest person in the world and will never say anything great about his own work. But this Uncharted season, he thought it was going to be good.
"When you hear someone who will never brag about themselves say it's going to be good, then you know it's going to be amazing."
Amazing just like the magic-carpet ride that Eva Shockey has been enjoying over the past few months. It's been nothing short of amazing for her, her family and in many ways, for the sport of hunting and the industry that surrounds it.
Watch Outdoor Channel on July 2 for the premier episode of Jim Shockey’s Uncharted.