Getting the Girls To Go
Tiffany offers advice on making women feel at home on hunt
(Steve Bowman photo)
MT. PLEASANT, Iowa – It’s a question Tiffany Lakosky gets on a regular basis: “How do I get my wife/girlfriend to hunt?”
That comes from the men hunters who have watched Lee and Tiffany Lakosky become one of the country’s top hunting teams, never mind they are married to each other.
Women are the fastest growing segment of the hunting world, due to no small measure of the line-up of husband/wife hunting teams on Outdoor Channel. The growth in numbers produces a lot of questions on just what to expect when a woman takes to the woods.
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“I always answer that question with a question,’’ Tiffany Lakosky said. “I’ll look at the wife and ask, ‘Do you want to hunt?’ Most of the time it is ‘yes,’ but then some of them are like ‘yeah.’ I ask ‘do you have kids?’
And answer ‘four under the age of five.’ I'm like well she’s probably not going to be hunting right now unless you can set up a babysitter.
“If you really want her out there, set up a babysitter so she can get out there and experience that with you. I can promise you, if you’ve got four kids at home you’re going to probably want to go out there and sit and enjoy the silence and the peace and quiet.”
The overall thing Lakosky says is you have to make it easy to do. You may be a died-in-the-wool, hunt-at-all-costs hunter, but your woman may need to grow into that.
“I'm pretty experienced and I don’t want to go sit in Canada for 12 hours in a tree stand and not see anything,’’ Tiffany said. “That’s not very fun. You want to set their experience up so it’s going to be positive and they’re going to want to do it. If they have fun they’re going to want to do it again.”
Lakosky believes you start with a hunt that can be fun and when possible the man should be accommodating.
“Do whatever you need to do to get them where they want to actually enjoy it,’’ she said. “If she wants to go out there and bring War and Peace to read while she keeps herself occupied, let her bring it. Normally once deer start showing up they’ll want to sit out there and appreciate it, and they’ll put the book down or the games or whatever else.
“I used to play Gameboy to keep myself still. I think the hardest thing for me even now is to sit up there and just stay still and enjoy the outdoors because I’m just naturally kind of ADD. I’m always moving, always doing stuff. I always say just do whatever you need to do. Let them do whatever they need to do just to get them out there. Then all of a sudden they’ll go ‘Oh, my gosh! I can see what I've been missing over the years.’”
She has some advice for the women as well.
“Be prepared for the emotional side of hunting,’’ Tiffany said. “A lot of us really don’t think about that. A doe comes out with her fawn and everybody associates that with Bambi and families and this and that, which is not the truth. If they don’t know if they want to start hunting, or want to be out there hunting, take her turkey hunting, take her duck hunting. Take her to do something where it’s not, ‘hey, there’s a pretty deer.’
“I think you’ve got to be prepared for the emotion that will come over you when you do harvest an animal. There’s not an animal I shoot I don’t feel a tinge of ‘Oh, my gosh!’ I just took that life.’ You feel that way because you take it seriously, but you have to be ready for that.”
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You also have to be ready to be a part of world that has for the most part been exclusive to men.
“I've always been so lucky because Lee has always wanted me around,’’ she said. “There’s not been a time where I haven’t been welcomed in any hunting area or been asked to come along. Things are changing. I think now people see us out there having so much fun all the time and they kind of want to emulate that a little bit.
“We’re going pheasant hunting with like nine guys and I’m like, ‘I'm the only girl up there?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, this is probably the first time anybody has brought a girl up here.’ And I’m like. ‘Welcome to my world, that’s always the way it is.’
“It doesn’t bother me the least bit. It surprises me that people who really, really enjoy hunting wouldn’t want to bring or share that with like their girlfriend, spouse, wife or whatever if they show some interest to be out there.”
If your significant other does take you, one of the most important pieces of advice: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
“Go out and have fun, I mean that’s the biggest thing. I would ask ‘why haven’t you tried hunting before if you want to do it?’ They say ‘I'm scared.’ Scared of what? And they don’t know. Go out and try it, you might like it. You might find something that you just absolutely love.
“Then again, hunting is not for everybody. There are lots of guys that don’t hunt and have no desire to hunt.
But I try to encourage everyone to at least get out sometime in the woods before the world has woken up, where you sit out in your tree stand.
“For me that is my favorite time of the entire day. When you’re sitting out there and it’s dark when you get in your stand and the world just wakes up around you. You hear the sounds and the sights and the things that you would never, ever have any idea even existed if you just didn’t sit out there one time and try it. I always say just get out there and try it, you might really like it.”
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