Where hunter Marti Davis gets the scoop from hunter Eva Shockey.
Rather than answering more questions this month, I’m going to turn the tables and ask some of Eva Shockey. You more than likely know Eva as one of the most recognizable hunters in the world. To be the second woman ever to grace the cover of Field and Stream is quite a feat to add to her growing list of accomplishments. When Eva is not busy traveling the globe on hunting adventures, being videoed for Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures on the Outdoor Channel or appearing at trade shows and events, she makes her home in Florida. You can try to keep up with the busy lady at her Eva Shockey fan Facebook page.
Marti: Like you, I grew up in a family that hunted. However, I didn’t start hunting until I was in my early 20s. When did you start hunting?
Eva: I was actually in a similar situation! I went on my first big game hunt when I was 21. I graduated university and came home and told my dad that I wanted to go on a hunt with him before I started working full-time. I can still remember the look of shock on his face – I thought he was about to fall off his chair because he’d been asking me to hunt with him since I was a child. It took me until I was 21, mainly because I didn’t know any other females who hunted. When I was younger, I simply thought that hunting was a boys-only scene. Once I got old enough to realize that hunting is for us girls too, I wanted to try it out – especially since it was something that I had always wanted to do.
Marti: What and where was your first big game hunt?
Eva: My first big game hunt was in South Africa with my dad, Jim Shockey of Outdoor Channel’s Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures and Jim Shockey’s UNCHARTED. I wasn’t sure if I would like harvesting an animal, so I started with a warthog … because, well, it’s not the most handsome of creatures. But from that point on, I was hooked!
Marti: Congrats on your recent cover of Field & Stream. How do you top that?
Eva: Being the second woman ever photographed for the cover of Field & Stream (Queen Elizabeth was the first in 1976) was a huge honour and something I will always treasure. It was a big step for them to be so bold and proclaim that women are “What’s Next” in the world of hunting. I’ve been part of the hunting industry since I was very young and it’s great to see women finally making such a splash! It’s going to be hard to top the cover of Field & Stream, but I’ll be happy if I just can keep the women in hunting trend going, and continue to drive exposure to our growing interest and involvement in hunting. That’s why media outlets like Women’s Outdoor News are so important, for instance.
Marti: When you are going to hunt in a new place, what are some of the steps you take before actually hunting?
Eva: One of the most important things to know when hunting in a new area is to get a solid understanding of the lay of the land. Whether hunting on public or private land, the best way to get a better grasp of the area is to talk to locals and ask about any good hunting opportunities. Also, it’s important to treat the hunting land with respect and leave it as you found it. Whether it’s public or private, the last thing we want is for hunting access to be shut down because hunters are leaving garbage behind in the woods.
Marti: What do you think is the best way to attract new hunters?
Eva: The future of hunting depends entirely on how many new hunters are entering the sport, followed by retention rates. Hunters pay for conservation and wildlife restoration, so the importance of growing the number of hunters is significant. Women are currently the fastest growing demographic in the hunting industry and youth are arguably the most important group of entrants, so we need to provide quality hunting education programs to make hunting exciting for these groups of enthusiasts. Programs to educate hunters and bring people together are great – everything from entry level programs that teach the importance of gun safety to wilderness adventure programs that combine groups of people with similar interests. For example, programs aimed at youth, such as NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program), are exactly what we need to get young kids interested in shooting, hunting and the great outdoors.
Marti: What does 2015 hold for you?
Eva: A wedding! I’m getting married to the greatest man [Tim Brent – her professional hockey player fiancé] in June at my parents’ home. Family is my #1 priority, so I’m very excited to extend my family and have yet another hunting partner in my life. I’m also in the midst of booking some pretty amazing hunts with my dad. Hopefully, those hunts will include a hunting trip to Tanzania in the spring and an archery elk hunt in the fall, among other exciting adventures!
Marti Davis is a staff member for Browning Trail Cameras, WoolX and Mossy Oak. She is an authority on most types of hunting in North America, and very active in mentoring the next generation of young hunters. View all posts by Marti Davis
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