Lee and Tiffany divorce : In the world of whitetail deer hunting, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky are royalty. The hosts of Outdoor Channel’s Crush with Lee & Tiffany, the Lakoskis are avid hunters, which is saying something. Outside the walls of their home, they are usually surrounded by men, women and children dressed in camouflage, asking for advice on the upcoming season or eager to share the latest story. Those fans will find a willing and receptive audience in Lee and Tiffany, who love few things more than talking about the giant Midwest whitetail and the land management necessary to keep it healthy and abundant. Both honed their skills over nearly two decades of trial and error and eventually became experts. Along with their son Cameron and daughter Ragen, Lee and Tiffany live and work on a farm in Iowa that produces mature deer season after season.
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You two practically had a date at the bowshop, right?
Lee: I 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 consider dating at the time. While I returned to the University of Michigan to earn a second degree in chemical engineering, Tiffany started college on her own. Between classes, I worked at a local archery shop and she would come in and hang out with the team. Everyone is in love with her including me. Soon, he was shooting his own arrows along with mine!
Both of you have won the hunting game all over the world. What makes you go later and do all the work in the offseason?
Lee: For us it’s not about a specific trophy. Sure, it’s great that you’re raising a large animal, and it’s a great feeling to provide clean, organic meat to your family or the families of the less fortunate. But this is all part of the larger mission of nature conservation and management. The challenge we enjoy most when it comes to whitetails is helping deer reach their full potential through proper land management practices. Being strategic in choosing the deer we harvest can greatly benefit the overall health and livelihood of the entire population. It takes place throughout the year and there is always something new to do and learn. We love every minute!
What preparation is necessary for a successful hunt?
Tiffany: There’s a lot in a 30-minute TV show that viewers never see. For Western and international hunting, you have travel logistics, packing and transporting gear, communication challenges, rough terrain and high altitudes. The list goes on and on. At home we work in the field, shoot arrows, check our guns, install and check security cameras, hang and move booths, put up blinds, make sure our guests are seated, etc. We do many things every day to prepare for a hunt or trip and all of them are done together with camera crews and photographers. At the end of the day, you’re up against a wild animal and mother nature. It’s hard, so we do everything we can to succeed. When we fail, we learn something new and apply that knowledge the next time.
Any advice for hunters who are intimidated by the idea of getting started?
Tiffany: Great question and we’ll get to a lot more. For intrepid hunters, we recommend starting without hunting. Shoot your bow, go to the range, and start having fun and feeling confident early in the process. Then go out unarmed and experience the waking world of the tree stand. It really is magic. Watch and study the animals. Read about their behavior and patterns. Study the trail camera images. Then observe the experience through them with an experienced hunter. This is usually enough to convince someone to go out on their own. As soon as they did, they were hooked.