Eva Shockey knew she was placing herself in the crosshairs of anti-hunters before she posted a photo of herself posing with a 510-pound bear she killed last week to her Facebook page.
The famous co-host of "Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures" told Field and Stream:
"My dad warned me before I even got involved with the show that I was going to have to deal with anti-hunters. I’m a huge target for them because I’m a smiley young woman, and I’m different than who they’re used to dealing with.”
But Shockey, 26, had no idea the flood of venomous comments would be so extensive, or that the story of her hunt and its aftermath would gain national attention in the mainstream news.
She killed the bear, the largest she had ever harvested, on the fifth day of a hunt with her father in Hyde County, North Carolina. Bears are responsible for extensive crop damage in the region, she explained on Facebook, and hunting helps control the bear population.
But this was such an impressive animal, and the photo was bound to attract lots of attention. Critics found their way onto Shockey’s fan page by the hundreds, and opened with both barrels. She spent most of the day removing the harshest comments “so other people don’t have to read them.”
Shockey told The Blaze that one commenter, in reference to a Facebook photo of her posing with her dog, stated that she "should kill that worthless dog you have instead."
The hunter’s response: "Apparently hunting a bear, eating/donating all of the meat, and putting money towards conservation is a bad thing, but killing my puppy is OK. If this logic isn't totally insane, I don't know what is."
The story—the dog comment in particular—caught the attention of mainstream news networks, such as ABC News and Fox News.
During an interview with Fox News on Monday, the anchor described the dog comment as "pretty sick stuff."
Said Shockey: "It is sick, I agree with you, but unfortunately we actually have to deal with that quite a lot. … I've never had someone tell me to kill my puppy before, but comments like this … they definitely happen to us."
Shockey has been posting the news reports to her fan page, which has more than 657,000 likes.
Part of the bio on her page reads: "With a combined passion for conservation and adventure, I try to balance hunting, femininity, and family into what I consider to be the best lifestyle in the world."
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