Editor’s Note: Mossy Oak’s national Pro Staffer, Jim Shockey, officially began hunting when he was 2-years old. “I started off hunting bugs and collecting them,” Shockey says. Next he graduated to hunting mice, gophers, rabbits, squirrels and then coyotes. By the time he was 14, he’d started hunting whitetails and has been hunting them ever since. Shockey now travels the world hunting exotic game species on every continent. “According to my wife, Louisa, who keeps up with this kind of thing, I was on the road 305 days this past year.”
Question: Jim, yesterday you told us about your son Branlin producing your TV shows, but in the last year or two, your daughter, Eva Shockey, has stepped into the spotlight. She has become an outdoor celebrity in her own right. How did that happen?
Shockey: Eva was always a very feminine girly-girl. She was a ballerina like her mother, and she competed in salsa dancing all over the world. She wasn’t really interested in hunting at all, but she would go with me from time-to-time. Primarily, I believe she went to have alone Daddy time with me. She graduated from college with a business degree. When she came home after graduation, she came to where I was working and said, “Dad, I want to learn to hunt.” I just about had a heart attack. I said, “Eva, you’ve hardly talked to me since you were 14, and now you want to go on a hunt with me?” She said, “Yes, Dad, that’s what I want to do. I'm finally old enough that you and I can be friends.” Since that day, Eva and I have been hunting buddies. Having Eva as a hunting buddy has been a wonderful experience for me.
I was really surprised when Eva told me she wanted to hunt. I believe she was as surprised as I was. Eva always was the quintessential lady. She was so much like my wife, Louisa, who was a true lady. I was a tramp. When this professionally-trained ballerina and competitive salsa dancer came and told me she wanted to be a hunter, her mother was as shocked as I was. Louisa said, “Eva has such a gentle spirit and such fragile emotions. I don’t think this idea of hunting will last. When she takes an animal, she’ll probably start crying. I don’t think this will be a long-term sport for her.” But I told Louisa, “Eva was born a hunter. She’s been hunting with me before. She has hunting in her blood. I think she may hang in there. She’s 21-years old now. So, if this is what she wants to do, I'm all for it.”
Question: What was your concern on the first hunt that you and Eva went on after she was 21?
Shockey: I was really afraid that after she took an animal, she’d get really upset, and that might be the end of her hunting career. However, I know that when a true hunter takes an animal, when they walk up to that animal, and go inside their being, they can’t help but be somewhat sad. After Eva took her first animal, I knew she and I would have some very-emotional moments together.
We were hunting in Africa, and Eva had the opportunity to take a wart hog. Fortunately, both her mother and I were on the hunt to share the experience with her. When she shot the wart hog, we had a very-emotional time together. When we found the wart hog, Eva had made a perfect shot. She walked up, looked at that ugly wart hog that had scraggly, mangy-looking hair and then looked at me and said with a straight face, “That wart hog kinda reminds me of you, Dad.” Luckily, she recovered from the deeply spiritual moment that we had and quickly returned back to the typical Eva - beating up on her long suffering daddy. (grin) Since that time, Eva has embraced hunting, the hunting industry and the television industry. She’s totally committed to being an adventure hunter and co-host of my TV show.