GIRL POWER! There are few industries more “male-dominated” than hunting and yet Eva Shockey has made a name for herself and found great success — but not without some doubt, backlash, and beyond.
Eva has created a brand that started in the outdoor industry and rapidly expanded into the mainstream media. Eva’s new book is a memoir of adventure, skill, healthy living and finding life’s true calling. She launched her own collection with Cabela’s AND she’s only the second woman ever the grace the cover of Field & Stream (the first was Queen Elizabeth… no big deal).
Today, she is going to teach us how to find your passion, chase what calls you (regardless of what people say), how to follow a family legacy while staying true to yourself, and how to be confident when you feel intimidated.
As the daughter of “the world’s best hunter”, Eva had a very unique upbringing. Eva’s dad is Jim Shockey and he’s known for traveling all over the world to hunt and raise money for conservation. Her mother was a gifted ballerina, model, and actress… And a vegetarian when she first met Eva’s dad. Eva was more like her mom through her childhood. She danced competitively and was very athletic. At the time, it wasn’t normal for a female to hunt, but Eva was raised to appreciate where her meat came from. As a kid, she didn’t realize you could buy meat at the grocery store because her father always kept their freezer full.
Eva was always fiercely independent, and decided to attend university in Australia so she could be far away from anyone she knew and forge her own path. After living at home and eating the meat her father hunted and the healthy foods they grew in their garden, Eva’s body was shocked by the unhealthy college diet. She returned home to Vancouver after graduating and took her dad up on an offer to learn how to hunt. Eva wanted to fill her own freezer with game so she knew where here meat was coming from.
First Hunt to Full Career
She pulled the trigger for the first time and 10 years later, she’s now a professional hunter, but a lot went down between that first hunt and her subsequent success in the male-dominated industry of hunting. Eva’s dad Jim has made a career in hunting, and expanded it to television, starring in and producing a number of programs such as Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures and Jim Shockey’s Uncharted. When Eva started showing up on the programs, ratings skyrocketed. Soon, companies and brands were reaching out to Eva, wanting her to use their gear or try their product… And they paid her for it. This was in the earliest days of brand ambassadors and influencer marketing on social media. Eva says she’s grateful for the business mentor she had in her father, because she learned early on that she had to say no to some things in order to say yes to the partnerships that made the most sense.
Not Just a Hobby
Eva was dancing competitively during the week, and going a totally different direction on the weekends as she jetted off for a hunt with her dad in a remote area of the world. She felt like she was straddling both worlds and hiding who she was on either side. “I missed a few years of being proud of [the things I loved] because I was scared of the feedback.” But hunting was more than just a hobby to her. Hunting was her passion and she was beginning to earn recognition for her efforts in the industry. Eva was invited to appear on the cover of Field & Stream. The last woman to appear alone on the cover was Queen Elizabeth, several decades ago, and she wasn’t considered a female hunter. When Eva’s cover was released, Eva realized that she was essentially representing a new and powerful category in the outdoor industry — strong females make big changes.
Handling the Controversy
Hunting is controversial — there’s no getting around it. Eva was raised in a household where it was the norm to have a full freezer of meat that her famous hunting father provided. In Eva’s view, hunting is misunderstood by many people. “I am out there hunting and putting meat in my freezer the same way as if someone were to go to the grocery store and buy meat to bring it home and eat it. I’m doing the same thing, I’m just removing the disconnect of where it came from.” Eva knows the animal wasn’t raised in a cage, which can sometimes be the case for industrial farms. While Eva recognizes that there are plenty of sustainable farms, not everyone knows where their meat comes from, and that’s really why she started hunting. Her goal is to educate people on the industry, the conservational efforts behind hunting, and to encourage her audience to view hunting as a way to experience and appreciate nature. In this episode, Eva talks about the death threats she and her father have received throughout their careers, and how they handle the very real and very scary criticism as they do what they love. Press play on the player above for the full episode.
More from This Episode
This episode is packed with stories and filled with tips on carving your path in a male-dominated industry, but also just pursuing what you’re passionate about despite negative feedback. Eva and I chatted about how you can educate your audience on what you do in the way you show up and share on social media. She also shares what it’s like to be judged at surface level as a woman in the industry (think she can’t rough it in the wilderness alongside the guys? Think again.) Dive into the episode with an open mind. Eva is so much fun to talk to, and I’m so excited for you to hear her whole story. Press play above for the full episode.