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A Crush on Bowfishing

Lee and Tiffany thrilled with huge turnout at Bass Pro Shops event

The Lakoskys stayed busy signing autographs at the U.S. Open Bowfishing Championships. (Mike Suchan photo) The Lakoskys stayed busy signing autographs at the U.S. Open Bowfishing Championships. (Mike Suchan photo)

By: Mike Suchan, OutdoorChannel.com

RIDGEDALE, Mo. – Lee and Tiffany Lakosky have bowfished -- even featuring the rapidly growing sport on “The Crush with Lee & Tiffany” -- but both were still amazed with the turnout at the Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open Bowfishing Championships.

Lee and Tiffany found a sea of bowfishing rigs lined up on the scenic hills of the new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Academy near the company’s Big Cedar Lodge resort.

“It’s great to see so many people turn out for this,” Lee told the field of more than 900 competitors. “It’s phenomenal. Even though Tiff and I aren’t shooting tonight, we wish we were.”

“We’re glad to be here,” Tiffany said of their guest appearance and participation in a celebrity shootoff. “It’s the first bowfishing tournament we’ve ever been at.”

Click the image to view "A Crush on Bowfishing" photo gallery
Lee, Tiffany and Travis look on as youth hotshot Gunnar Parker heads up to take on Lee. (Mike Suchan photo)

They knew the second annual U.S. Open would be big, considering Bass Pro Shops was running it. John Paul Morris, son of BPS founder Johnny Morris and a bowfishing fanatic, was pulling the strings and made it the largest such tournament.

“There’s a lot of bowfishing around,” Lee said. “Twenty years ago, we were shooting carp with recurves, but it takes someone like John Paul to put it all together. It’s awesome to see another sport like this.

“We’re obviously deer hunters and big game hunters, but bowfishing is just another thing for us. We got our bowfishing boat last year from Bass Pro Shop. We did a show with the Ironman (Bowfishing) guys. It’s just another way to keep shooting your bows and keep yourself sharp all year long.”

The Lakoskys also enjoyed visiting with friends Travis “T-Bone” Turner of “Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector and Brian “Pigman” Quaca, who all met with competitors then took part in the shootoff.

Click the image to view the "Bow Kings of Carp" photo gallery
Georgia archers bring in 376 pounds to top 235 teams in U.S. Open

They had a good time trying to put an arrow through a balloon sunk four to five feet under water in a tank, although Tiffany said she would have liked to use her own bow. Lee went against crowd favorite Gunnar Parker, a youth from Quinton, Okla., who was impressive during the event’s Top Shot competition.

“It was pretty nerve-racking,” Parker said of going against Lee.

Lee didn’t have any noticeable trouble walking after an incident changing a tire on his soil finisher left him with compound fractures on two toes about three weeks earlier in what they called a “group effort.”

“Broke two bones, pushed the bones right through the skin on the bottom,” said Lee, who needed seven stitches.

“It’s only the second day he’s had a boot on,” Tiffany said, “but it hasn’t really slowed him down.

Click the image to view the "Bowfishing Festival" photo gallery
Georgia archers bring in 376 pounds to top 235 teams in U.S. Open

“The first week he did it, his dad came down to turkey hunt. His dad’s 87 years old and you can’t bail on him. He was out there with a Croc just hobbling around.”

But Lee got him his first turkey. Besides the bowfishing event, Lee and Tiffany were in southern Missouri to turkey hunt with friends for an episode of their show. They planned to take a gobbler but that was altered when a youth arrived in camp.

“As soon as we saw this little girl, we’re like, ‘She can shoot.’ She was the sweetest thing,” Tiffany said, “although she’s smoking us -- she’s shot 9 turkeys so far and she’s like 9 years old.”

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