You do not have to be born into a hunting family to be a successful hunter these days. With the acceptance levels growing rapidly for women hunting and becoming more active in the outdoors, you can start out with ambition today and be harvesting your animal of choice tomorrow. With time spent dedicated to researching and learning your equipment, and time spent asking questions and learning from anyone around you who will help and encourage you, you can learn and grow just as Tiffany Lakosky has. Tiffany may look like she has been hunting since childhood with her confidence and natural ability to harvest numerous whitetail, but Tiffany did not grow up hunting.
“My dad did not hunt at all, I was not raised hunting. I started hunting when I started dating Lee. I used to fish with my dad all the time, but he did not hunt. So once I started dating Lee he was like,” you wanna learn how to shoot a bow?” and I was like,”ok.” So I started shooting a bow and it just really escalated from there…I just really took to it.”
It may seem overwhelming at first, but everyone has to start somewhere. Every woman has her own story on how she got hooked with the “hunting bug.”
Tiffany Lakosky is no different from any other woman who is out in the hunting woods. It may be hard to believe with the opportunities Tiffany has now, but just starting out this Minnesota gal never dreamed her life would surpass the hardworking days of being a flight attendant, to the early mornings and late evenings of hunting whitetail in the big buck state of Iowa and beyond. And to film one of the most popular hunting shows the Outdoor Channel has to offer its viewers, Tiffany would be the last person around to believe that all this would happen in her life.
In talking with Tiffany, it is easy to hear in her voice how shocked she still is about how her life has turned upside down over the past few years. She remains as humble as anyone you would ever meet on the street, all while being one of the most widely recognized faces in todays hunting and outdoor industry. She repeats herself numerous times in pure astonishment about the lines of people who wait to see her at the expos and tradeshows she attends;
“for us its surreal, it’s still surreal…like when we go to the Deerassic and people wait in line to meet us. We are like, oh my gosh can you believe that somebody would wait in line to meet us? We still cannot believe that it has gotten to this. I mean in reality we are just regular, normal rednecks that freaking live in a pole barn in Salem, Iowa!”
As any hunter or huntress knows a confident and supportive hunting partner is essential to the growth and development of their new skills. Mistakes and nerves build up in all of us, and it is how one handles those feelings is what separates the successful hunter from the unsuccessful one.
Being introduced to hunting by Lee, Tiffany does not recall a time where she was ever alone in her stand. With Lee by her side and talking her through her early hunts and keeping her calm, Tiffany claims she still gets excited when the big bucks walk in, but with Lee’s support and encouragement and alot of practice,she has harnessed her nerves and continues to make successful kill shots.
In the past, if women were not introduced to hunting in their younger years by their fathers, they soon accompanied an eager boyfriend or husband out due to his encouragement. Many times Tiffany is asked by the guys how to get their wives, children or girlfriends interested. Tiffany emphasizes that they should want to hunt in the first place, because sometimes the interest is just not there. Even some guys don’t want to hunt. But if they seem to be interested to head out into the woods for the first time, Tiffany says,
“the first thing I would say is to keep it fun and keep it real low pressure. Lee always was really good about that. The second most important thing is to make sure that you get them the right equipment. I don’t know how many times you hear, “well, I gave her my old bow,” and it’s like do you know the chances of her being able to pull back your bow? I mean, I couldn’t pull back Lee’s bow and I shoot all the time. And to have it the right draw length and everything else…you’re just setting them up for failure. You gotta give them their own stuff. First, keep it fun, secondly the right equipment makes a huge difference. And you know, start them out easy. Lee started me out in early season up in Minnesota where it was just pretty to sit out there whether I was hunting or not. It was just a pretty time of year…you just want to watch the look out at the wilderness and everything else. That made a huge difference. You never want to sit them out there when it’s pouring rain out. Of course I’ll sit out there in the rain now because I’ve shot some of my biggest bucks in the rain, but back then I’d be like this isn’t fun, why would anybody do this!”
Also being a turkey hunter, Tiffany thinks that spring turkey season is a wonderful time to introduce women or children into hunting if their interest is there.
“I think turkey season is a perfect time to really introduce somebody into hunting just because turkey season is so low impact. You don’t have to worry about scents, you don’t have to worry if you spook a turkey…you just get on to the next turkey. It’s not like if you spook a 170…that’s pretty heartbreaking. Turkey season is fun, its more active. Alot of people aren’t used to sitting still for that long a time so it’s nice during turkey hunting because you’re moving around, spot and stalking. So turkey season is always really a nice time to take kids and women out who have never hunted before.”
With her experience in the stand, and with her ability to field test any product she can get her hands on, Tiffany is the first to admit she loves testing out any new product that comes out on the market. When asked about what her essentials are she is eager to share her simple secrets such as the Scent-Lok ladies pants that have pockets on the legs to hold a few extra items, down to her must have Hunters Safety vest. When asked what is a definite for the trip to the stand Tiffany replies with;
“I always have my grunt call, I always have my rangefinder…my grunt call, my rangefinder, my binoc’s and my rattling horns. Anything else I could probably live without.”
With that I was quick to ask Tiffany of her opinion of a rattle bag versus rattling horns, and she replied;
“I feel that there is a difference. The deer that we are looking for, which I don’t even care about antler size, we are looking for mature deer. A rattle bag does not sound the same as rattling antlers. Thats just what we think, everybody always has their opinion, but I think they just sound better.”
Without being able to hunt until October 1st, Tiffany was packing to head out for their annual 40-day hunting trip. She said,
“we start out West, where you can hunt earlier, we head to Colorado then we go to Alberta…which is one of our favorite spots to hunt. Then we go up to New Mexico.”
Knowing I had to let Tiffany go to finish packing, I wanted to ask her one more question about being out in the woods. We have all spent so many hours in our stands and blinds that we often experience strange occurences in the woods, either from the surrounding wildlife or by people not knowing we are there. With Lee and Tiffany having the chance to be out more than the average hunter, I was quick to ask what the most unusual thing they had ever witnessed, human or animal.
”We really haven’t seen anything…but I have a Gary LaVox story that was kinda funny. He was hunting in Ohio and he all of the sudden looked up and he saw this naked man out there. He was in his treestand and he was like “oh my gosh, what in the world is going on?” Well it turns out the guy was an amish kid and he actually had just crossed the creek and he just didn’t want to get his clothes wet so he took all of his clothes off! He then put them back on once he got over it!”
To catch showtimes for “Scent-Lok’s Gettin’Close” visit WWW.GETTINCLOSE.COM , and for “Whitetail Freaks” stop by WWW.WHITETAILFREAKS.COM . You can also stop by the Outdoor Channel at WWW.OUTDOORCHANNEL.COM for more show information.
Special thanks to Tiffany’s mother, Linda Profant, whom I met at the Deerassic Classic in Cambridge, Ohio. I never would have dreamed that Tiffany or her mother would be as humble and as friendly as the day I introduced myself, as everyone else has so many times, in line. They are both a joy to talk with and I wish their family all the best in the years to come. Thank you Tiffany for taking the time to talk with me, it was nice to finally get alittle girl time in. Happy hunting ladies and I hope to see you again soon!