Once again, Eva Shockey has given the outdoor community more great insights to a life best lived "out from underneath a roof."
It's pretty much indisputable by this point. No woman is creating more watchable, relatable, and useful entertainment in the outdoor industry than Eva Shockey.
How could you argue? What started as a co-hosting gig to her dad's standard-setting hunting TV show has turned into a humble-but-fast rise to outdoor author, lifestyle maven, social media influencer, and star of multiple video series, including last year's Eva Shockey's Outdoor 101 on Facebook Watch.
This past November, a new TV series on Outdoor Channel brought Shockey back into the spotlight, and we had a chance to speak with her shortly after the first episode of My Outdoor Family aired.
She was excited to talk about the series that, in her words, "shows ways to get your family outside, to open them up to nature, to bring your kids into the outdoors and find adventures without having to go 2,000 miles away from your house."
The natural, healthy lifestyle, plus the bonus of organic meat via hunting and fishing, is a world she's always known. She keeps finding more ways to share it with North American outdoor audiences, too.
The new series, airing Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern, spans an eventful year for Eva and her husband, former NHL star Tim Brent. Their 3-year-old daughter Leni was joined by a younger brother, Boone, born in August.
"The whole season was actually filmed before I was pregnant, during, and then after he was born," Eva said.
She admitted to the difficulties of doing these sorts of things, bringing cameras along to "see it all." But she acknowledged that it maintained relatability for outdoor-minded audiences. That was a big part of her goal with My Outdoor Family, to show the balance of the investment and the return.
"You try to make it look seamless on the outside, and that's probably what most people see," Eva said, "but there's so much in the behind the scenes that goes into it. If people think 'Oh, it just comes easily, I can't do that with my family,' you have to be like, 'No! It doesn't come easily! There's actually a lot of work, and there's tears, and there's laughter, and there are struggles!' At the end of the day, if you care about something like we care about raising our family in the outdoors, you make it happen. And sometimes the hard parts are all worth it, because you get to live that life."
It can't be stressed enough; talking to Shockey proves how closely tied she is to the person you see on her outdoor television shows. She's a proud mother making the most of living in a time and place where the great outdoors are accessible and worthy of her family's time. She's genuine, and you can tell.
Plus, she wants everyone to understand the value of being outside, enjoying recreational pursuits.
"You can look like anybody, feel like anybody, be male or female or young or old, and you can always get out there and hunt and fish and be with your family," she said. "A lot of times, the mom is the hub of those activities, the ones that actually get your kids out to do something. When a mom gets out there, the whole family generally joins, so that's what I try to do. It's important to lead by example, and show them, your kids and your family, that the outdoors are fun."
With a baby born just as hunting season was about to begin, her time afield has been understandably diminished this year. But she keeps it all in stride, knowing that the life she's living at the moment is exactly what she wants.
That life can be filled with hassles, but only if you allow it. Otherwise, you view the hassles as challenges, overcome them one at a time, and put them behind you with time spent doing the things you like with the people love.
When we asked Shockey where she goes to get away from it all, when she needs some time to herself, we should have known how she would respond. You can probably guess.
"I literally just get out from underneath a roof," she said. "We moved out to the country, we barely have Wi-Fi, we can't get cable up here, we're surrounded by trees, you can't see any neighbors... and you step outside and immediately just feel at peace."
Throughout our talk, and during each of our previous interviews, Shockey remained positive and encouraging, especially when it comes to the future of our outdoor pastimes. She knows how to leave you feeling good about the way things are going, and maybe even forget about some of the problems life throws at you, or at least the way you handle them.
"If we all protect our wildlife and all support conservation, hunting isn't going anywhere. It's nice to know that, right this second, there are days that I struggle because I know I'm in a season of my life that's just very busy. I'm a mom to a newborn and a toddler, and as much as I'd love to be in the Yukon Mountains, sometimes you have to pass on things. But nature's not going anywhere, and hunting's not going anywhere. I'm happy and I'm right where I'm supposed to be right now. This year and next year and the year after that, we're going to teach our kids to love the outdoors and bring them along with us as much as we can," she said.
That message rings true throughout everything Shockey is doing.
There's "all kinds of stuff" coming from her on the horizon, and of course she isn't allowed to talk about any of it yet, but we'll be keeping an ear out for when she can.
In the meantime, you can catch new episodes of My Outdoor Family on Outdoor Channel Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern, plus re-airs at 11 p.m. Mondays and 4 p.m. Saturdays.