For the last seventeen years we have followed Jim Shockey around the world on "Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures" as he has hunted animals on nearly every continent. It's through this show that viewers have come to know and respect Jim and his passion for the outdoors, hunting, different cultures and ways of life. After nearly two decades and four hundred episodes, the show has come to an end, but viewers certainly haven't seen the last of Jim. In his all new show, "Jim Shockey's Shock Therapy'' on Outdoor Channel, Jim relives these hunts through a different perspective, inviting cameramen, guides, outfitters and others to tell the behind the scenes stories that never made it to the screen. If you think about it, Jim says, there are forty hours of film on a hunt and that has to be condensed down to only fourteen and half minutes. As a result, there is so much film over seventeen years that has never been seen and so many stories that have never been told. With his new program, "Jim Shockey's Shock Therapy", he can finally go back and talk candidly about all of the stories that never made it into an episode.
Although Jim makes most hunts look effortless from the screen, he talks about a particular hunt for Dall sheep that pushed him in every way. This particular hunt had him placed in the Yukon in the early 1990's with a great guide who was also very tough. During the hunt, the elements battered him with rain, snow, and wind which made the conditions cold, wet and miserable. Midway through the hunt, Jim says he had a moment where he had to lay it all on the table and make a decision. He had to choose if he wanted to continue or quit, if he wanted to take a mediocre ram and take the easy way out or keep pushing through until he found a ram he was proud of. Determined to see it through properly, it was in this moment that Jim says he had the epiphany that he could actually "do this" as a career. He realized that he was good enough and tough enough physically and mentally to succeed at this career he had chosen, and that he wouldn't quit. After that epiphany, Jim says he slowly got physically and mentally tougher and by the end of the hunt he had found a magnificent ram up on a mountain. It was a very poignant hunt, and to this day, he says, it was also one of the greatest big game hunts that he has ever experienced.
Although viewers have seen Jim take dream-worthy, incredible world record animals, his passion for hunting isn't centered solely on filling a tag. Jim says his motivations surrounding hunting have evolved through the years with age and the different experiences that he's had. There are different stages: "what you get", "how you get it" and "why you hunt". When he started hunting, he says, it was all about "what you get" and the focus was on the caliber of the animal itself. Later on with more time and wisdom, Jim says the hunt became more about "how you get it" which is focusing on the challenge aspect whether it's with a bow or a muzzleloader or in tough country, etc. Now, with decades under his belt, Jim says he has arrived at the "why you hunt" stage. It's no longer about the allure of taking a trophy animal or tackling a great physical feat to make it happen. At this stage it's about appreciating all of the other things hunting provides. The fresh air, the smell of rain, the wind and sun on your face, the sound of birds - these factors and many others become far more important and relevant the longer you are alive, Jim says. The parameters for defining the success of a hunt change over time. I don't have to get an animal, Jim says, it's not that important anymore.
With the end of "Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures", Jim says his travel schedule has been greatly truncated. With the studio format of his new show "Jim Shockey's Shock Therapy", the days of spending 305 days of the year on the road are no longer necessary. Jim says it was merely coincidence that his travel schedule lightened up just prior to the onset of COVID restrictions. However, the ability to freely travel and its impact on the hunting and fishing industry is something that is on his mind. As a guide and outfitter in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, Jim has watched the outfitting industry be put on life support, struggling to stay alive as they contend with debilitating COVID restrictions. In 2020, hunters weren't able to cross the border into Canada at all, unless they were there hunting mountain lions before restrictions were implemented. Since then, Jim says, his fellow Canadian outfitters have been in limbo trying to keep their businesses alive on a month-to-month basis, incurring costs with the hope that restrictions would be lifted, only to find out that they would be shut down for another month. With the same uncertainty looming in 2021, Jim says he hopes the outfitting industry still exists after this year. While he's confident that North America will be able to resolve these travel issues relatively soon, Jim says he doesn't expect the same for international travel. Because of vaccine availability, Jim says it's likely that international travel will take 4 to 5 years to resume as normal, until then, international travel will likely be greatly curtailed for the foreseeable future. Jim also opines on the impact that COVID will have on price increases for North American hunts.
Finally, Jim briefly highlights his annual charitable fundraiser, the Jim Shockey Classic happening March 28-29. The event is centered around honoring the nation's military heroes and their families while enjoying the camaraderie of others that love the outdoors. The two-day event kicks off with an evening full of food and drink, auction bidding, and military presentations then continues the next day with a scramble golf tournament and BBQ.
Be sure to watch "Jim Shockey's Shock Therapy" on Outdoor Channel, Sundays at 6:30 pm ET. You can also find the complete season of "Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures" and watch any of the 400 episodes, anytime, with MyOutdoorTV. While you're there you can also find other Jim Shockey shows like "UNCHARTED" and "The Professionals".