Lee and Tiffany LakoskyHunt
In the world of whitetail deer-hunting, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky are royalty. Hosts of Outdoor Channel’s top-rated Crush with Lee & Tiffany, the Lakoskys are as skilled at hunting as they are popular, which is saying something. Outside the walls of their home, they’re commonly surrounded by a crowd of camo-clad men, women, and children looking for advice on the upcoming season, or anxious to share a story from the last. These fans find an eager and receptive audience in Lee and Tiffany, who love few things more than talking about giant midwest whitetail and the land management necessary to keep them healthy and plentiful. The couple have become experts in the latter, sharpening their skills over nearly two decades of trial and error. Along with their son, Cameron, and daughter, Raygen, Lee and Tiffany live and work on the Iowa farm that’s yielded mature deer season after season.
You two practically dated at a bowshop, right?
Lee: We did! We knew each other as kids in Minnesota. I have ﬁve sisters and one brother. Tiffany was friends with one of my sisters, but we were too young to even think about dating at the time. When I went back to the University of Michigan to earn my second degree in chemical engineering, Tiffany was starting college there herself. Between classes, I was working at a local archery shop and she’d come in and hang out with the team. Everyone just fell in love with her, including me. Pretty soon, she was ﬂetching her own arrows right along with me!
You’ve both had a lion’s share of success, hunting game all over the world. What keeps you chasing the next one, and doing all that work in the offseason?
Lee: To us, it’s not about one speciﬁc trophy. Sure, it’s incredible in the moment when you harvest a big animal, and it’s an awesome feeling to provide your family or less fortunate families with pure, organic meat. But it’s all part of a bigger mission of conservation and wildlife management. The challenge we enjoy the most when it comes to whitetail is getting the deer to reach their full potential through proper land management methods. There’s a tremendous amount of good done for the entire population’s overall health and livelihood when we’re strategic in choosing which deer we harvest. It’s a year-round pursuit and there’s always something new to do and learn. We love every minute of it!
What sort of preparation goes into a successful hunt?
Tiffany: There’s a lot that goes into a 30 minute tv show that viewers never see. For western and international hunts, you’ve got travel logistics, gear packing and transport, communication challenges, tough terrain, and high altitudes that require you to be in top physical shape. The list goes on and on. At home, it’s working the farm, shooting our bows, sighting in ﬁrearms, putting up and checking trail cams, hanging and moving stands, setting ground blinds, making sure our guests are set up, etc. That’s just to name a few of the many things we do each day to prepare for a hunt or trip, and they’re all done with ﬁlm crews and photographers close by. At the end of the day, it’s you vs. a wild animal and mother nature. That’s tough enough, so we do everything we can to put ourselves in a position to achieve success. When we’re not successful, we learn something new and apply that knowledge the next time around.
Any advice to would-be hunters who are intimidated by the idea of getting started?
Tiffany: Great question and one that we get a lot. For would-be hunters that are intimidated, we’d recommend starting off not hunting. Shoot your bow, go to the range, and start by enjoying and being conﬁdent in that process ﬁrst. Then maybe go out without a weapon and just experience the world waking up from a tree stand. It’s truly magical. Watch and study the wildlife. Read about their behavior and patterns. Study trail cam pics. Then go out with a seasoned hunter to observe the experience through them. That’s typically enough to convince someone to go out on their own. Once they do, they’re hooked.