1. Outdoors

Meet Outdoor Channel star, avid bow hunter Eva Shockey at Big Buck Expo

Eva Shockey, a bow hunter, Outdoor Channel star and author will appear at the 14th annual Big Buck Expo next weekend.
Published Jul. 3, 2017

These days it seems we get further and further away from the outdoors with all the electronic distractions we face in lives. One thing that I have realized is it's easier to make a personal connection to our kids, spouse and friends when we unplug and take a step back into nature.

The 14th annual Big Buck Expo, coming to the Lakeland Center Friday to Sunday, is the state's premier expo for hunting and the great outdoors. It features more than 250 hunting exhibitors and outfitter booths, interactive activities, demonstrations and informative "how to seminars."

Don't let the name fool you: There is a lot of variety at this Expo — from 2018 Ford F-150 test drives, chainsaw carving demonstrations by Mike Brownfield and the Trophy Deer Display. To keep your passion for the outdoors going, a complimentary one-year subscription to Field & Stream or Outdoor Life is included with paid admission. All attendees will be entered into daily drawings and dozens of door prizes.

Among the outdoor personalities fans can meet with is Eva Shockey, avid bow hunter, Outdoor Channel star, author and daughter to the famous hunter and outdoorsman Jim Shockey.

Eva is a down-to-earth, funny and an easygoing new mom. She began hunting at age 21, after she finished college in Australia and realized that her family's way of life was missing in hers. For the Shockeys, harvesting their own food supply was more normal than going to the grocery store.

Eva spoke to her father and declared she wanted to be part of the family business, and from that day on she started climbing her way to the top of the outdoor world.

Of course I had to ask if being a woman in the industry made it any harder hunting and filming.

"You are still hiking 10 to 20 miles a day in the freezing cold, sleeping outside, hungry, and trying to get that one shot you have been working for like anybody else," she said.

Eva is juggling a lot these days: A TV show, new baby, husband and now she is a published author with her book Taking Aim to be released Aug. 29.

"The No. 1 thing to me is inspiring someone to have the courage to get out of their comfort zone and push their limits to try something new," she said.

Misty Wells is host of the national radio and television show Let's Take It Outside and an outdoor pro-writer and adventure guide for fishing and hunting trips. She is founder of "A Reel Future," a non-profit organization devoted to sharing the knowledge and passion of fishing and the outdoors to future generations and foster kids in need. Contact her at


  1. Robert Lee “Bo” Benac III, now 30, is the last man sentenced in the infamous 2017 case of the boaters dragging a shark that went viral. The video shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
    The 2017 video of men dragging a shark using a boat went viral. Now a second man will spend 10 days in jail because of it.
  2. Runners move across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during the Skyway 10K race in March. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times LUIS, SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The second annual race sold out within minutes, so now organizers take a different approach to registration.
  3. Goat yoga class in 2017 at Hat Trick Farm in Thonotosassa. Proceeds from the classes, open to the public, benefit the Grady Goat Foundation. On Sept. 14, the foundation will attempt to break the world record for largest goat yoga class. LENORA LAKE   |  Special to the Times
    Tickets are sold out but you can get on a waiting list for a Plant City goat farm’s charity fundraiser.
  4. Harrison Lipinoga, of Westchase, gets his face painted during the 2018 Tampa Bay Lightning Fan Fest at Amalie Arena in Tampa. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Bolts kick off the preseason with three days of fun.
  5. Cyclists make their way north at Main Street in Dunedin along the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The trail runs from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. There are several options for food and drinks along the trail. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    From the breweries of Dunedin to the Tampa Riverwalk, these rides show off Tampa Bay’s character
  6. Outdoor retailer REI Co-op will open its first store on the west coast of Florida in 22,500 square feet at the base of the Midtown One office tower in early 2021. Rendering courtesy Bromley Companies and REI
    It started more than 25 years ago with a smashed tent.
  7. Peggy Van Gorder, 53, of St. Petersburg redies herself prior to driving through a gate that will lead her and survey partner Beth Koehler, 60, onto a levy in the Everglades. CHRIS URSO   |   Times CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Gov. Ron DeSantis promised to double down on python removals but hunters sometimes can’t even find one.
  8. Florida's underwater Treasure Hunt produces lotd of delicious scallops.
  9. In this file photo from 2018, a scallop is shown from the first mini season in Pasco County in almost 25 years. (Times)
    The popular summer activity begins Monday on the North Suncoast.
  10. Keith Colburn lands his first gag grouper. [Photo courtesy of Misty Wells]