“Jim Shockey’s UNCHARTED” has aired for the last 5 years on Outdoor Channel showcasing incredible hunts in faraway places, highlighting not only the wildlife but also the people and culture of those regions. Although the show is an hour long, Jim says he never felt like there was enough time really give an in-depth look at each place they visited, noting they were barely able to scratch the surface. Because they always had so much footage, more stories and more narrative than they could showcase, Jim says they decided to spend an entire season focusing on just one place, instead of traveling the globe. Focusing on just one place allows them to dive deeper and give a more complete look at the region and all it offers. They chose one of the only remote wilderness areas left in the world, the Yukon, to explore and give viewers a first-hand look at. The Yukon itself is huge, Jim says, roughly two-thirds the size of Alaska. Despite its enormous size, the Yukon is only home to about 35,000 people, and those people will have their stories told on “Jim Shockey’s Uncharted Yukon”. There is a very strong native and indigenous culture component to the show, Jim says, and viewers will get to meet many of the characters there. Something they have always tried to show on “Uncharted” is the full circle of what hunting is really about, and this season hammers that home. Jim explains that you don’t have to travel to the other side of the globe to little known places to find indigenous cultures where hunting is still a big part of their lives, it can be found in Canada.
Demonstrating the Yukon’s enormous size, Jim says his outfitting territory there is 15,000 square miles or 8-9 million square acres. Not a single house or road exists on that land, it is just pure wilderness. With great big country comes great big challenges, says Jim. There are a lot of huntable species in the Yukon – moose, dall sheep, grizzlies, wolves and more – however, success is far from a guarantee. Moose outnumber people by more than 2 to 1 in the Yukon and the population of grizzly bears is virtually equivalent to the number of residents. While large numbers of animals may sound like a recipe for success to some hunters, Jim says the reality is, it’s hunting. If a hunter wants a 100% chance at success in bringing home the meat, he better go to the grocery store. Hunting the Yukon requires a person to tackle the challenges that come with exploring such an expansive territory – weather, travel and more. It’s as much about the experience of the place as it is the hunt. Jim says he is excited about the season of “Jim Shockey’s Uncharted Yukon” and thinks it’s their finest production to date.
“Uncharted” isn’t one specific location and doesn’t have to mean traveling to the most remote wilderness on earth to experience something unique. Many people dream of hunting a place like the Yukon, however it’s not feasible for everyone. That doesn’t mean you can’t adjust your dreams a bit and chase other animals, Jim says. Those experiences can be just as challenging and interesting as pursuits elsewhere in the world. The key is keeping an open mind. Making his point, Jim highlights some time he spent in Louisiana in pursuit of alligator snapping turtles. Alligator snapping turtles are essentially dinosaurs, living right here in North America, and that is the kind of unique experience anyone can have that doesn’t break the bank. He also talks about the opportunity to hunt for monster alligator gar and snag the ancient paddlefish. It’s all about keeping a positive attitude about what you can do and enjoying it.
Switching gears, Jim talks about a family vacation the Shockey’s took to Hawaii this spring. They didn’t spend all of their time on the beach, rather they hunted feral hogs, axis deer and mouflon sheep. Jim was surprised by the hogs in Hawaii. They have a good population he says, but when you are hunting in the rainforest, spot and stalk only with no dogs, it can be tough. Pigs are mostly nocturnal and they tend to bed in the nastiest thick cover there is during the day and as a result it makes the hunt very challenging. Following that hunt, the hog he killed was then prepared traditionally, cooked underground in an imu pit wrapped in banana leaves, stalks and Ti leaves. This method of cooking, Jim says, is as much of a science as it is an art and tradition. It’s not about the size of the hog, rather the meat itself. Hunting Hawaii is yet another example, Jim says, that you don’t have to go to the most remote corners of the world to find indigenous cultures that are still carrying on indigenous traditions. Jim also talks about hunting Axis deer on the island of Lanai and how although they aren’t a native species, they play a big role in the life of the people that call Lanai home.
Listen in as Jim Shockey gives a closer look at the brand new season of “Jim Shockey’s Uncharted Yukon” premiering on Outdoor Channel, Monday July 1st at 7:00 pm ET. Go back and check out previous seasons of “Jim Shockey’s UNCHARTED”, anytime with the MyOutdoorTV app.