Lee and Tiffany Lakosky: Dear couple

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 11, 2009 - 9:31 AM

Lee and Tiffany Lakosky parlayed a passion for hunting into a TV career.


Tiffany Lakosky

Lee and Tiffany Lakosky have the world by the tail.

A whitetail.

The couple, who grew up in the Twin Cities and now live on a farm in southeastern Iowa, have become superstars in the world of TV deer hunting shows. They spun their passion for deer hunting -- and each other -- into fame, if not fortune.

And a lifestyle that pays them to hunt virtually every day six months a year, and live on lands where monster bucks roam.

"We're so, so lucky and grateful to be where we're at," Tiffany said. "We never anticipated this. It's unbelievable."

Their show, "Getting Close with Lee and Tiffany,'' is among the top-watched programs on the Outdoor Channel. Renamed this year to "The Crush with Lee and Tiffany,'' the couple run their TV production company from their farm, employ eight, endorse and advertise for an assortment of hunting gear manufacturers and make celebrity appearances at sports shows, such as the Minnesota Deer Classic, where they will appear this weekend.

How popular are they?

"We can't even walk through a sports show, we need security guards," Tiffany said, because they draw a crowd. "It's kind of weird."

The good life

It's an unlikely path for a former flight attendant and a former chemical engineer, both of whom grew up in Columbia Heights.

But what sets them apart from other TV buck slayers is that they are a young couple, articulate and photogenic. Lee credits three main reasons for their success.

"I have just a huge passion for whitetail hunting, I'm just nuts about it," he said. "The farm we have produces great deer every year. We get whitetail footage that no one else gets."

And Lee says he's a perfectionist. "I want every show perfect. There's no 'That's good enough.'"

Also, he says, it's his wife. Having a woman -- particularly such an attractive one -- starring in a hunting show broke ground.

"People have taken to her," Lee said. "They see how much fun we have. It's amazing how many women and kids and young girls call and e-mail and come to these shows. And how many young girls want to take up hunting because they see Tiffany.

"We really hit on a tone that no one else has hit on. We appeal to the hard-core hunters, but it's also just good entertainment. It's fun to watch."

Added Lee: "We don't try to pretend we're professionals. We're just out there, a couple of rednecks from Iowa, having a good time."

Said Tiffany: "I don't consider us experts. Shoot, I just hunt a lot."

It doesn't hurt that their show routinely also stars eye-poppin' trophy animals.

A long shot

The road to the good life in Iowa began in Minnesota. Lee, 42, comes from a hunting family. "My parents and relatives are from the Iron Range, and I grew up hunting in northern Minnesota."

Tiffany, 33, also grew up in Columbia Heights, and didn't hunt, but fished and spent time at her family's lake home. They first met when Tiffany was a teenager and was friends with one of Lee's sisters.

"I knew of her for many years before we started dating," Lee said. They met again while both were in college. He worked at Bwana Archery in Little Canada then, and she would visit him there. Soon, they were target shooting together. Then he invited her to go hunting.

They were both in a tree stand when Tiffany coolly shot her first whitetail with a bow.

"I was immediately hooked," she said. "From that day on, my world has been totally different."

The romance?

"We dated for five years," she said. "He proposed to me in a food plot in Iowa."

Starting over in Iowa

The marriage of video and hunting started early for Lee. As a teenager, he and a buddy recorded their hunts for fun. "Even when I started filming Tiffany, it was never with the thought we'd do a TV show," Lee said.

In 2003, two weeks after they were married, Lee quit his job as a chemical engineer. "I wasn't doing what I love to do," he said.

Said Tiffany: "He called me and said, 'Do you want to move to Iowa?' I said 'OK, we'll give it a shot.'"

Lee had written for some outdoor magazines while in college, met people who were on the pro staff for Realtree outdoor products and he and Tiffany had begun to appear in some videos they produced. Then, just two weeks after they moved to Iowa, Scent-Lok clothing called and asked if they would star in a TV show, which became "Getting Close with Lee and Tiffany."

"Within two years, it was the No. 1-rated show on the Outdoor Channel," Lee said. "We had no idea it would take off like it did."

Tiffany gave up her flight attendant job two years ago.

Now life is pretty good.

They live in a pole barn converted to a home. They own or manage 5,000 acres for trophy whitetails. They rub elbows with county western stars, NASCAR drivers and retired Major League ballplayers, all of whom make their way to Iowa to hunt big deer.

"We'll just ride this as long as we have fun," Lee said.

Said Tiffany: "You couldn't do what we do if you didn't love it.''

Doug Smith • dsmith@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Minnesota Deer Classic

    Tuesday March 10, 2009

    • Runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the State Fair Coliseum.• There are seminars, deer antlers and more than 250...

  • Turkey-calling competition at Sportshow

    Tuesday March 10, 2009

    The Northwest Sportshow and National Wild Turkey Federation are sponsoring a state turkey- calling competition at 1 p.m. Sunday at the show.

  • Weigh in on new critical habitat plates

    Wednesday March 11, 2009

    The Minnesota DNR will issue four out of eight possible new designs for Critical Habitat license plates..

  • Lee Lakosky

  • Lee and Tiffany Lakosky.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta - WP: D. Hale 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Parra 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 3
Detroit - LP: R. Ray 6 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 20
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 5
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 5
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 5
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 6
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
Washington 6:30 PM
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Houston 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 72 FINAL
Phoenix 75
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question