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New Queen of Hunting

Eva Shockey only second women to grace cover of Field & Stream

By: Mike Suchan,

Eva Shockey became only the second woman to grace the cover of Field & Stream in its 119-year history.

Eva Shockey could very well be the next queen of hunting. She’s certainly the princess of Outdoor Channel’s royal hunting family, and she just recently took her place next to the world’s best-known queen.

Eva is only the second woman ever to appear solo on the cover of Field & Stream magazine in its 119-year history. The first was Queen Elizabeth, who was featured with her hunting dogs in January 1976.

“It’s a huge, huge honor,” Eva said of the cover and being in company with the Queen Mum. “It’s really amazing. It doesn’t even really feel real. She’s a really important woman.”

While England’s Queen graced the cover leading into a short article on gun dogs, Shockey said she was chosen more as the face of hunting’s immediate future.

“I feel like I’m more of a representation of hunting,” Shockey said. “The whole theme is ‘What’s Next.’ They wanted to talk about what’s coming in the outdoors. The biggest thing they are pushing in the magazine is that women are getting more and more into hunting and fishing and the outdoors. I guess they wanted a face to represent that growth.”

Click image to see Eva Shockey photo gallery
Eva Shockey only second women to grace cover of Field & Stream

Getting that face wasn’t easy. When she got the call, Shockey was in Russia spending time with her boyfriend, who plays hockey in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League.) While Eva is used to traveling the world to shoot “Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures,” she had a hectic three-day, round-trip commute to the photo shoot.

“I flew 35 hours from Russia to New York, and flew right back,” she said.

The magazine told her they would do a simple shoot with gear she uses in the field. Eva had a bag packed for a hunting trip to Argentina at home and had it shipped to New York. Like her hunts with dad, she had another amazing experience on the shoot.

“It was all actually a pretty big deal,” she said. “I got there at a Chelsea studio, obviously jetlagged. They had 10, 15 people -- hair stylists, nails, makeup, lighting, a big-name professional photographer. It kind of felt like what you’d see in the movies.”

Eva was a bit concerned when they stripped off every bit of her makeup then only dusted her with some powder to prevent any shine.

“I basically wore one outfit and held my bow. They’d have me pose and I’d say, ‘this kind of looks silly,’ ” she said. “He’d turn the camera around and show me the photo he took, and it was just amazing.”

Eva just received a preview of her cover image days before the issue was to hit newsstands this week.

“I got an email this morning,” she said. “I love it. It’s great. It’s really natural looking. It looks great. I’m glad I trusted them.”

In the article, Eva offers her thoughts on what the future holds for hunting and women. There are 3.35 million women participating in the sport after their ranks grew 10 percent from 2008 to 2012, the NSSF reported.

“The article shows how women are becoming more involved. Outdoor Channel is having more women involved in hosting TV shows. Women are being more a part of the outdoors instead of it being solely a man’s venue,” she said.

She cites growth in sales to women at major retailers like Bass Pro Shops and the number of media outlets, like Outdoor Channel and Field & Stream, highlighting hunting and women in the outdoors as positive indicators. At 26, Eva said she still has a lot to learn about hunting, but she feels this honor is because others are like her.

“I don’t brag about how good of a hunter I am,” she said. “I’m just like a lot of hunters who are from the younger generation. I don’t have 40 years experience. I’m nervous to hunt because I don’t always know why we’re doing something. I don’t know what to do and what decisions to make. I think people can relate to that.”

She said a big part of the article is how hunting is about family and the time spent together traveling and in camp. It’s why she became involved and why she’s keeping it a part of her life.

Eva Shockey with her parents, Louise and Jim.
Eva Shockey with her parents, Louise and Jim.

“It’s not just about killing an animal; it’s much more,” Eva said. “On our show, we use it as a platform; to show all the good things, the ethics, teach the proper way, conservation. I find hunting amazing once you know that stuff.

“You want to show people what hunting’s about. It’s kind of cool how my dad and I play off each other. Now when I go and I don’t have my dad there, I wish he was.”

Eva predicts women’s numbers will continue to rise and believes that will lead to the first-ever hunting show hosted exclusively by a woman. That may or may not be her, but she’s comfortable helping spread the word now.

“I don’t claim to be an expert hunter, but what I do represent -- I’m a young women and proud to hunt,” she said. “If I can influence 10 young girls, and they tell 100 more, or 1,000, that’s kind of our ultimate goal.”

“It is so cool when somebody comes up to me and says, ‘If you can do it, I can do it.’ ”

Check out the Field & Stream article, "Eva Shockey on the Future of Hunting".

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