Christopher Scott "Shep" Sheppard
1974 - 2021
Christopher Scott "Shep" Sheppard

The cobia and whitetail deer can rest easy. Captain Christopher Scott Sheppard "Shep", age 47, was surrounded by family as he went home to heaven on July 19, 2021, following a brief stay in hospice.

Chris was born on March 5, 1974, in Charleston, South Carolina. At 4-months-old his parents moved to the Niceville area where he was a Boggy Bayou resident until his death. He graduated from Niceville Senior High School in 1992, though skipping many school days to fish the Choctawhatchee Bay and Okaloosa Island Pier.

Chris had a deep spiritual connection with the lord and the outdoors. He prayed every morning while crossing the Bay at sunrise and while sitting in a South Texas deer stand watching the sunset over the mountains of Monterrey, Mexico. He dedicated his life to hunting, fishing, and teaching others to experience the outdoors.

In 1997 Chris joined the Destin Fishing Fleet, working on the Mother Lode, the SS Enterprise, and the Wynsong. In 2007 he purchased his first boat and started his own inshore/offshore charter fishing business, Shikari ("The Hunter") Charters, and operated the business until his death. His friends and fellow fishermen will tell you he was one of the best fishermen in the country. No stage was too big, especially at tournament time. Deep sea fishing offshore in the Gulf, Chris helped his crew win numerous cobia and marlin tournaments throughout the years.

Chris was a premier whitetail deer hunter. For almost 20 years, he worked as a professional hunter and guide at Harpoles' Heartland Lodge in Illinois and Tecomate, El Cazador, and Campos Viejos Ranches in South Texas. He guided numerous celebrities, professional athletes, men, women, and children of all ages. At age 7, he taught himself to bow hunt by hunting squirrels and rabbits in the family's backyard off Spring Acres Cove in Niceville. Chris became a very accomplished bow hunter, harvesting numerous "Pope and Young" whitetails in Kansas and Illinois.

Chris was an exceptional cook, which he learned as a boy helping his mother in the kitchen. He perfected bacon-wrapped cobia and soy marinated grilled venison tenderloin—always rare. He loved music and 80's movies. He could skin a deer and clean fish at record speed. He never wore shoes and was either barefoot or in flip-flops. He kept a permanent sunglasses tan line.

He sincerely loved his sons Cayden and Zayne, teaching them about the outdoors, discipline, respect, and work-ethic—teaching them to be men. He was proud of Cayden's fishing abilities as his 1st mate deckhand and Zayne's athleticism as a quarterback on the football field.

He was a beloved father, husband, son, and brother. He was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Rodgers Sheppard, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Vanessa Lee Sheppard, and his sons, Cayden Scott Sheppard and Zayne Daniel-Rodgers Sheppard of Niceville, Florida; his mother Tiffany Ann Sheppard of Lafayette, Louisiana; his brother, Brian Payne Sheppard (daughter Zoe Rose) of Pine Mountain, Georgia; and his sister, Whitney Sheppard Ikerd (husband Chad and son Benjamin) of Lafayette, Louisiana.

He will be remembered as a loyal and dedicated friend. A listener, always willing to help you make the hard life decisions. Brutally honest, telling everyone—no matter their importance—exactly how it was. The life of the party and the best storyteller, entertainer, and comedian. His legacy lives through the relationships he built and the people whose lives he touched.

Our family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from all of Chris' friends who took the time to visit him, call, and text. Our memories will be everlasting in the stories told by his dear friends. The family extends their sincere gratitude to all the nurses at West Florida Hospital's Covenant Inpatient Hospice Care who provided dignity and comfort in death.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Covenant Care Center for Hospice Care at West Florida Hospital. A memorial and celebration of life will be held on July 29, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. at Niceville Community Center. A reception will follow at The Wharf 850 Restaurant on Bayshore Drive in Niceville.

Published by Northwest Florida Daily News from Jul. 22 to Jul. 23, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial Gathering
The Wharf 850 Restaurant
Bayshore Drive, Niceville, FL
Memorial service
Niceville Community Center
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6 Entries
Our heartfelt sympathy to Vanessa and those awesome lil guys , your certainly in our prayers. Remember Chris so well from working at South Side a short time,he was liked by all . RIPCHRIS
Jr n Carol Hardwick
July 25, 2021
Very thankful for all the memories we have from times spent together. We´ll certainly miss him
Wright Family
July 24, 2021
Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy.
The Zampieri´s
July 23, 2021
The Sheppard family has our deepest sympathy and prayers over the loss of Chris! May you be comforted by the memories of his wonderful life!! Love, Tom and Annette
Tom and Annette Linn
July 22, 2021
My deepest sympathy to the family. Taffy, I'm so sorry for your loss. Love, Sue
Sue Larson
July 22, 2021
Just a all around terrific guy...gonna miss him.
Ted Barnett Barnett
July 22, 2021
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