After Queen Elizabeth, Eva Shockey was the second woman ever to appear on the cover of Field and Stream. Today, the co-host (with her dad) of "Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures" is helping to make hunting a lifestyle for women around the country.
FOX411: You’ve changed gender stereotypes for the world of hunting. Did you know that when you started that you were a pioneer?
Eva Shockey: When I started, I just started because I wanted to go hunting with my dad. I didn’t think it would turn into the lifestyle and the career that it’s turned into now, which I’m so grateful for. For us, hunting is all about family, that was a great way to begin and now I’m very excited that I can, kind of little bit, be on the forefront of the women’s movement in the hunting industry, which is absolutely amazing how many women have become involved with hunting since I started.
FOX411: Yeah, why do you think that is? Why are more women into the hunting hobby?
Shockey: There’s a lot of reasons. I would say a very, very large portion of the reason women are involved now is because there’s actually clothing and gear that is available to us as women that is for us. So to kind of paint a picture for you when I first started I would go hunting, and this was only maybe say 10 years ago, and there were no options for what I wanted to wear. I would buy a men’s size small and we both know men’s bodies a size small does not fit, and they kind of fit…
FOX411: They’re very boxy. Very uncomfortable.
Shockey: Exactly. Just use your imagination. It’s not the same body shape, so now companies like Under Armour for example, in 2010 I believe they started their women’s hunting line. So, it was a hunting line for women, only a couple items and now six years later they have over 100 items, apparel and footwear that are incredible for performance and…
FOX411: And you rep them as well, right?
Shockey: I do. I’m officially signed with them as a partner but I wore their clothing and footwear way before I was officially with them.
FOX411: And your dad, Jim, is a noted outdoorsmen when you decided this is going to be my thing, my career was there any resistance from your parents because I did a little Googling on you and you were into dance, and many different things before hunting became your main gig.
Shockey: Yes, well, my dad and I currently host our TV show, ‘Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures,’ on the Outdoor Channel. It’s actually in its 15th season right now.
Shockey: It’s been amazing. It’s been half my life, over half my life but you’re right. My mom was a dancer, is a dancer, and I grew up dancing part time, and hunting part time, and I was always confused on what…
FOX411: Yeah, it’s an unusual hybrid of things.
Shockey: Exactly. I was never really sure which path I wanted to take and I didn’t really necessarily choose one I think it sort of chose me because there was such potential for women in the outdoors, and I still love dancing but hunting to me is my true passion. My mom was a little wary at first thinking I was just doing it just to show off to my dad, but she realized really quickly I love it just as much as he does. It’s been a really great way to bring our family all together.
FOX411: And she might have been a little worried…I’m not sure if your familiar with the country singer Craig Strickland who went missing and his friend was found dead during a duck hunting expedition. Is there danger? Is there any kinds of precautions you should take when hunting?
Shockey: Umm, there’s always dangers when you’re going out, and that particular story I’m not really familiar with, and obviously I hope they found him. It’s a very sad thing regardless but for us there’s always danger when you’re out in the woods. It’s just part of being… I mean it’s the same as crossing the street. You’re just careful when you do it. For us being in the woods is like people in New York City crossing the street, you just know how to do it. You take care to look both ways and my dad has always said the five rules of hunting are safety, safety, safety, safety and safety. And he literally will say that to all of us growing up and he still says it because you can never take it for granted what you’re doing, and I mean we know what we’re doing has the potential to go wrong if we don’t have respect for what we’re doing so we take that seriously.
FOX411: Was there ever an incident in your hunting experience where you got scared for your safety?
Shockey: I wouldn’t say that I’ve gotten scared from something. There’s things that you know when you’re in a certain position and you’re pushing yourself it’s something that instead of backing down and saying “I’m too scared to do this” you just have to push through because you know you’re capable of more, and that’s sort of incorporates what I believe a hunter is anyway, because it’s a lifestyle and we prepare for that by being in shape, being athletic, eating right, working out before, getting ready for a hunt before you go on a hunt and that’s just part of the responsibility of being a hunter which I take seriously, which I think is pretty cool thing to have. You have to take the responsibility when you go out there in the woods by yourself.
FOX411: You’re a very responsible hunter but there’s also always the flipside of things where you have critics who say that you are hunting defenseless animals as a hobby. What do you say to those critics?
Shockey: First of all, it’s not a hobby. Like I said it’s a lifestyle. It’s what we do as a hunters is a good thing because we essentially, the bottom line is we are trying to fill our freezers with meat to feed ourselves or feed our family or whoever it is that the meat is going to, and a lot of these critics I don’t think are necessarily coming from the wrong place, their heart is in the right place, but they don’t quite understand what it is that we do and why we do it. First of all, conservation. Hunters are the biggest conservationists on the planet, which I mean, is something I’m very proud of because we raise the most money as a single group for wildlife management. That’s an incredible thing when you think about it. We get our meat directly from the source so we know where that comes from and when people go, it’s sort of a new trend these days where people try to get organic meat from the grocery stores. It’s really expensive. They go to the highest grocery store that they can find and go, “I’m eating healthy,” and that’s great, I have no problem with that, but we’re as hunters essentially doing the exactly same thing we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time so we’re kind of like the trendiest people on Earth. So we started the trend as cavemen.
FOX411: That’s a tagline… "Hunters the trendiest people on Earth.”
Shockey: Yeah depending upon how you look at it. And so it’s just something we believe in and were proud of what we do.We know what we do is a good thing and the thing about people who talk badly about it if you let those people sit in a room with us and let us actually explain, inform them about what it is about hunting that they don’t understand I would say that most of them would probably change their minds.
FOX411: And finally what is the experience when you make a kill? Is that hunting terminology?
Shockey: Umm, yeah when you harvest an animal that’s obviously part of it because your freezer is obviously not going to get filled otherwise, but there’s so much more than just harvesting the animal like I was saying earlier it’s about family, that’s a big thing, so you’re out in the outdoors, you’re breathing the fresh air, you’re either with your friends or your family or may be by yourself…
FOX411: What happens when you strike that animal and they’re down? Is there a moment of victory, is there a moment of sadness, is it a combination?
Shockey: I would say it’s…I wouldn’t use the word victory so much. There’s sort of a moment or a long moment of reverence because this animal that was living has given its life and as a hunter you know that you are going to go forward from that moment on and you’re going to butcher it, you’re going to pack it and put it in your freezer, and you will appreciate it. Every time I cook dinner at my house I’ll cook elk or moose or deer or whatever it is I’m cooking and it’s really incredible meat first of all it tastes great but I appreciate that animal. I remember when I was hunting this. Oh what a cool thing to go right to the source and not be disconnected from what you’re putting into your body.