Aiming to Inspire: Eva Shockey Hits the Mark

DSC_0463.JPG

It didn't take me long to finish reading Eva Shockey's new book, "Taking Aim". That's because I couldn't put it down. If you haven't heard of Eva, she is the daughter of famed hunter, Jim Shockey and cohost of Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures. She was also the second woman ever to be featured on the cover of Field and Stream magazine, nearly thirty years after Queen Elizabeth (yes, the Queen) who appeared with her hunting dogs in 1976.

So as you could guess, there was a lot of hype within the hunting community around this book, and it did not disappoint. At a point in my own life where I am trying to aim my career in a direction that is much different than others around me, Eva's words were truly inspiring. Exactly the inspiration I needed to keep going.

In Eva's words, it is about discovering your dream.

...following your personal passion, mastering your skills, taking aim no matter who thinks you’re crazy...and then letting the arrow fly. If you’ve done all you can, I can tell you from my own experience that you’re almost certain to hit your mark.
— Taking Aim by Eva Shockey

So why is my dream to write about the outdoors, specifically about hunting? What do I know, after all, this is only my sixth year really hunting.  

I know enough. I know enough to be able to share my passion with the growing number of women and girls looking to get into the sport. According to the 2011 U.S. Census, of the 13.7 million participants who hunted in the United States, 89 percent (12.2 million) were male and 11 percent (1.5 million) were female. By 2014, the number of women involved in the sport surpassed 3.3 million (Real Tree Business Blog), thanks to Eva and other trailblazers in the industry. 

 The graphs above are courtesy of the 2011 U.S Census: National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.

The graphs above are courtesy of the 2011 U.S Census: National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.

I have been following Eva's journey through social media for the past five years or so, and have watched some of her dreams described in her book come to life for her. She is one of the women who have inspired me to keep hunting, even through adversity. In her book, she wrote a chapter titled, "Haters Hate", which describes the terrible things directed at her by anti-hunters. I've also had some horrendous things said to me on Instagram. For instance, last year I had commented on a photo in support of a girl who had hunted a bear with her bow and was about 15 years old at the time. There were nearly 1,500 comments on her photo, the majority were bashing and bullying her.  See for yourself...

Screenshot_20160927-061928.png

So why am I doing this, again? Because I am inspired. Because I love it, and could share hundreds of reasons WHY I hunt, but I'll save that for another post. In Eva's words,

Hunting encompasses every single moment leading up to the one in which you take the shot. Like the training, the hours upon hours spent practicing your craft. Like the time and money that go into pulling off a successful hunt. Like the incredible memories made. Like the fresh air of the great outdoors that invigorates you and forces you to breathe, really breathe.
— Eva Shockey

Breathe. For me, hunting is the only true time that I am completely present, completely mindful of the glorious world around me. The time alone with nature keeps me focused, keeps my aim true to my goals, giving me confidence to get there. 

-Ali


I would love to know which female hunters inspire you! Please take a moment to nominate up to three female hunters who inspire you.