Taking Aim with Eva Shockey
In 2014, we had the opportunity to interview Eva Shockey. At that time, Eva was an absolute meteor in the outdoor industry. The famed daughter of Jim Shockey had burst onto the scene and we were excited to get the interview with Eva Shockey. Almost 3 years later Eva was ranked as one of the 10 most popular television personalities in North America. She is still a meteor in the industry and this month Eva dropped her first book TAKING AIM
We took the opportunity to interview Eva this month about her life, her book and her passion for the outdoors.
At the beginning of July, Hollywood Report’s Top 10 TV Personality list ranked you as the 10th most popular television personality in North America. What did you think when you heard that?
At first I thought someone was playing a joke on me, but once I realized it was a legitimate article, I was so proud to see that the hunting industry could make such a splash on such a huge mainstream platform. I was ranked top 10 because of all of the incredible tv viewers and social media followers that take the time to follow my adventures and share my life with me, so it’s exciting that, as a team, we are having such an impact!
Were you able to give your dad a little friendly ribbing about that honor?
He still jokes that it must’ve been a mistake but I make sure I bring it up whenever possible!
2017 has been an amazing year for you. In January, you got to add the best title ever to your resume. “MOM.” We had the opportunity to interview your dad as he was headed out the door from SHOT to come and see you and your daughter. He was beaming with excitement. How is your dad as a grandpa?
Yes! My daughter, Leni Bow, was born earlier this year and being a mom is humbling and challenging but it is the best thing to ever happen to me. I think my dad is still in shock that his baby has her own baby, but he’s getting used to it. He wants to be called “Big Papa” and is already talking to Leni about bringing her hunting and fishing in a few years. Him and my mom are definitely smitten for Leni Bow!
I know that both of your grandfathers were very influential in your own life. What is one lesson that each of your grandfathers taught you?
My grandfathers, Len and Hal, were best friends but their personalities were actually very opposite. Grandad Hal taught me to be straight, follow the rules and work hard, while my Grandpa Len (who was always a bit more mischievous) believed that you need to work a little, play a lot and getting into some trouble is fun sometimes. I like to think that I combined both pieces of advice and live my life right down the middle!
What one lesson do you hope that your own daughter learns from her grandpa?
“Big Papa” has so many amazing things to pass down to Leni Bow but if I had to choose, it would be for her to encourage her to follow her passions no matter what anyone says. My dad taught me this early on and I made a lot of good life decisions because of it.
2017 has also been the year that you get to add the title “Author” to your resume. Taking Aim, daring to be different, happier and Healthier in the great outdoors is just now hitting the shelves of bookstores around the country. What was the journey of writing a book like for you?
It was a lot harder than I ever imagined and took a lot more time than I expected but I am so proud of the entire process. I started writing it the week I found out that I was pregnant with Leni and finished the last chapter the week before her due date. I do well under pressure so the time crunch worked in my favor! Now that the book is finally here, I am so excited to share my stories and encourage others to reject stereotypes and expectations and find the courage to pursue their own unique dreams.
We had the opportunity to devour your book over the last week only because we begged your PR team for an advance copy. It is a fantastic read! Looking back at your younger years, your family really was focused on Farm and Field to Table. Did you know or realize at the time that your family was cutting edge and ahead of the current locavore and organic movement?
Honestly, I used to be embarrassed that my mom always sent me to school with homemade this, and handmade that. All of my friends had prepackaged fruit roll-ups and Oreos and I remember wishing that I could have those too. Of course, over the years I learned to appreciate the way of life that my parents worked so hard to live and now that I’m a mother myself, I have no idea how they found the time to do it. They were trendy way before the Field-to-Table movement was even popular!
You briefly touched on growing up with a family garden in the book. Can you expand a little bit on how big this garden was and what your family grew in the garden? Was working in the garden with your family a part of your youth?
I grew up on 17 acres and three acres of that was dedicated to our garden. Tomatoes, grapes, peas, garlic, potatoes, carrots, peppers, apples, squash, zucchini, pears… it had it all. We also had a chicken coop with 20 or so chickens and my brother and I had chores every day which included picking vegetables and collecting eggs. Our Field-to-Table lifestyle was a full-family affair.
Living in North Carolina now with your husband Tim, is a garden a part of your family life?
Not currently because we’ve spent our entire relationship moving from city-to-city depending where Tim’s job leads us (he was a professional hockey player until last summer), but now that he’s retired from hockey we are putting down roots in Raleigh and building our “forever home” so we will have a big garden by next year!
We saw that you served moose at your wedding specifically from one of your hunts. How did you have the moose prepared for your guests?
We had the dinner catered and the caterer that we stumbled upon, ironically had his own “field to table” cooking show in the UK, where he’s originally from. So he made a moose roast (from the moose I hunted in the Yukon the previous fall) and also grilled fresh salmon that was caught right off the coast of Vancouver Island, where the wedding was.
Hunting season this fall is going to be wildly different for you. What are your plans for this year’s hunting season?
It’s a lot more complicated to plan hunts when I have a 7 month old daughter in tow but I still love traveling and adventures and know that giving all of that up is definitely not the answer, so finding a balance is the key for us. I am heading to Oregon for Roosevelt Elk, Saskatchewan for Whitetail, hopefully the Yukon for Moose and then hunting whenever I can here in NC. I grew up traveling with my family so hopefully Leni will appreciate that lifestyle as much as I did.
We are handing your book over to our young daughter Eliza(13) to read here this week. What message would you like young girls to receive from your book?
I want young girls to find the bravery to pursue their own unique dreams and reject the stereotypes that society has put on us. Don’t be fearful, insecure or intimidated but have the confidence to accomplish whatever it is that you are passionate about. You may encounter speed bumps along the way, but pushing through them will only make you stronger.
When we first interviewed you in 2014, you were coming under an extreme amount of attacks from individuals via social media. What advice would you give to hunters and non-hunters who are being attacked online?
As hunters, we know what we are doing is a good thing. We raise the most money for conservation of any single group on earth. We hunt ethically and legally, we aid in wildlife management and habitat protection. We hunt, harvest, cook and eat the best lean, organic, pesticide-free meat in the world and we are proud to stand together and share what hunting is all about with anyone who will listen. I think the anti-hunters that spew hatred on social media are intimidated by us and want to quiet us for fear that we get stronger, but in the end we know that our voice is powerful when we ban together and stand up for what we believe in, so keep it up, keep being vocal and never apologize for being a hunter.
We continue to see big things in the outdoors for Eva and her family.
Buy Taking Aim at www.evashockey.com