Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing the intriguing big buck-chasing and female hunter-recruiting couple so many love–the Lakoskys, better known as Lee and Tiffany or for their hit show The Crush. I interviewed them for my upcoming book as I wanted their success story to be a part of it. The Crush is a big deal and has boasted some of outdoor television’s best tune in numbers and also has upped female interest in archery and bowhunting. With the craze of The Hunger Games and a spike in interest from female adolescents it won’t be surprising to see their popularity grow.
Despite the fame and success that has come from The Crush, this couple seems unaffected. Lee and Tiffany are very much their own people with completely different strengths and personalities, yet they share a deep bond. Opposite as these two may be, they can finish each other’s sentences, they can sit together for hours on end in a tree stand without killing each other, and even spend a day hanging stands together getting their hands dirty. Lee and Tiffany are the definition of “opposites attract,” but it makes sense–the chemistry works. And just ask Lee–it’s all about the chemistry in everything, engineered to the point of perfection. This dude’s intensity and the attention to detail put forth into his work are truly admirable.
From word one of our conversation, it is obvious that Lee Lakosky is all business. With an impressive chemical engineering mind, he has broken down the pursuit of whitetail into an art and a science. Lee analyzes things down to the core in order to decide on the optimal plan to be implemented. Lee has no qualms with who he is.
“I don’t care about the fame. I just want to hunt everyday of season and be with the deer, watch the deer, put the pieces together,” he told me. “Year round it is my job and my privilege to protect the deer herd from disease, and to ensure a healthy herd by being in the field almost daily. I am a perfectionist about everything I do. I am who I am, it’s just how it is. I like to continue to find better ways to approach things, ways to know deer better and to put the perfect set ups In place. I just love to hunt, I could do it everyday of my life and never get enough of it.”
“And then there’s me, totally laid back,” Tiffany jumped in. “I just go with the flow. I always smile and have a carefree attitude in life. I never pretend to be anyone that I am not. I’m fun, easygoing, and I love to spend time with Lee–he’s my best friend and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t need to hunt everyday like Lee, and I just assume Lee shoots the big buck when he comes in and when we are together on-stand, I just like being there with him and I am so happy for him when he gets the deer he’s after.”
I asked Tiffany how it feels to know that she has become a star in the outdoor world that has real influence, especially amongst a growing younger audience that includes a nice female following.
“What I think is really neat is that I am helping to open up hunting for young girls that might otherwise never consider the sport,” she replied.
“I think it’s really cool when we hear from fans that their daughter has picked up hunting because of Tiff,” Lee added. “Knowing that we are helping to recruit hunters is pretty powerful”.
There is something about that Tiffany. Something intriguing, something lovable, relatable, and relevant. She rocks camo and pink as well as anyone can–except for my wife of course. Tiffany, who started out as a flight attendant before becoming a leading outdoor TV star, brings that energy and smile she developed flying around the world comforting passengers to how she hosts The Crush. You have to love that easygoing way, she is just so likable.
When looking at how and why they have been so successful, this is where there are clear similarities. Both Lee and Tiffany have leveraged who they are as their authentic selves and leveraged their past experience and skills and applied them into The Crush and promoting hunting. When we leverage our authenticity, regardless of whether it is a chemical engineering mind or a free-spirited lovable energy, the authentic self creates passion and trust, and with those comes an impressive following of loyal fans that is growing by the day.
I don’t know Lee and Tiffany that well, however now that I know so much more I am certain we will become good friends. I possess the ability to spot quality people and Lee and Tiffany definitely measure up. The question that I have is how much bigger might they may become?
With The Hunger Games having raised attention to archery, the rest of the trilogy should only keep growing archery and bowhunting. From my vantage point this bodes well for the industry and it should only boost Tiffany’s popularity as more teenage girls become interested in the sport.
The Crush has already achieved terrific success and they are living the dream, but I can’t help to wonder if Tiffany might not be able to make some serious moves as the sport of archery takes off and more “girl power” ensues. In the event it is something they want for Tiff as they would say in “the reaping” in The Hunger Games, “may the odds be ever in your favor.”
Images courtesy Lee and Tiffany Lakosky