In her home and at the table, this outdoorswoman finds a way to incorporate nature.
By Ayn-Monique Klahre | Photography by Brynn Gross
Eva Shockey has a reputation as an outdoorswoman — but it’s inside her home where she’s able to merge all the elements of her life.
Shockey first hit the public eye as the daughter of Jim Shockey, a renowned big-game hunter and television personality. She took her platform and ran with it, as an on-air host herself (including of the Facebook Watch series “Eva Shockey’s Outdoor 101”), author of the the memoir Taking Aim, and, most recently, curator of her own marketplace for home and fashion accessories, Eva & Co, which launched in August.
In each of her ventures, Shockey emphasizes that hunting and the outdoors are part of a balanced life, one where family, food, and comfort intertwine. And it explains why this Vancouver Island, Canada, native chose to make North Carolina her home in 2016. She was already familiar with the area from the time her husband, Tim Brent, spent playing for the Carolina Hurricanes. “We loved the Southern charm and that the people here are extremely friendly and generally active and outdoorsy,” she says. “We have such easy access to outdoor adventures either at the beach or in the mountains — it’s a beautiful place to call home.”
Here, she and Brent are raising their daughter Leni Bow, son Boone, and pups Piper and Crockett. “I’d describe it as beautiful chaos,” she laughs. “It’s always extremely busy but also full of love and family time.” They custom-built their Apex space to capture that intersection of indoors and outdoors. “My family always says that nature is our cathedral — it’s where we feel closest to God, where we can take a breath and relax and connect with what’s important,” Shockey says. Down a gravel path, the trees open onto a gracious, farmhouse-inspired home. In the woods on their property, there’s plenty of space to practice with a bow or walk with the kids. “It’s peaceful, it’s safe, and my kids can run outside and explore and get dirty and use their imagination without being under a roof or in front of a screen,” says Shockey.
Inside the home, the ode to nature continues with soaring ceilings and bright, open spaces for living and entertaining. “We used elements like the reclaimed 200-year-old beams, oak floors, and the natural stacked-stone fireplace to bring the outdoors in,” says Shockey. “My biggest goal was to make the indoor areas feel similar to being outdoors.” The crisp white palette serves this purpose, too, she says: “We kept the color scheme natural and neutral because the true beauty is the trees and wildlife outside the windows.”
The star of the home may be the wall of windows with a 21-foot vault that one encounters just through the front door. “We wanted to be able to see to the very tops of the trees while we’re in the living room,” says Shockey. The shelves are full of family photos, potted plants, and decorative items collected over time. The wide-open spaces are offset by lots of storage (including a dedicated playroom and a generous pantry with a second refrigerator) that work for the busy day-to-day of parenting, cooking, and keeping up with work. “I struggle to find a good balance between family and work and everything else, but my number one priority is being a good mama,” says Shockey. “I know I’ll miss this time when the kids are older, so I try not to wish it away and just embrace the crazy.”
Throughout the home, there are nods to the sporting life: from antler sheds arranged within a decorative bowl atop a table to the impressive moose skull showcased above the fireplace — one that Brent hunted in the Yukon with Shockey’s dad as his guide. “It was the biggest moose my dad has ever seen,” she says. “It always makes my dad slightly jealous when he comes over and sees it in person.” Speaking of, they ate “every piece” of meat that came off it, she says: “Moose steak, moose burgers, moose meatballs, moose everything!”
Wild-caught game seamlessly finds its way onto the table — for holidays, entertaining with friends, or everyday dinner. “The nice thing about North Carolina is that hunting is such a common activity — everyone I’ve met respects the field-to-table lifestyle,” says Shockey. “I’m often asked if I can give folks some wild game to try.” She counts herself lucky to have made some female friends who shared her passion right away. “I moved here when I was six months pregnant and knew no one, aside from my husband, and the first two girls I met here both happened to also be pregnant and both loved to hunt and shoot,” she says. “I felt like God was telling me that I had finally found my home base.”
Since Shockey and Brent are both Canadians (he grew up outside of Toronto), American Thanksgiving is a newer holiday to them — but one they embrace for its emphasis on eating well, gathering with family, and putting down roots in their adopted home state. “My mom created so many incredible memories for me and my family around the holidays, I love being the one to create those for my kids now,” she says. “We’re forging our own traditions and memories.”
This article originally appeared in the November 2021 issue of WALTER magazine.