If you’d consider yourself just a novice viewer of outdoor television, chances are still quite high that you’d recognize the name Kisky. That’s because Don and Kandi — co-hosts of Whitetail Freaks TV on The Outdoor Channel — have created a loyal fanbase while sharing their adventures in the field over the years.
They’ve done so by doing things the right way, and never venturing from the path that makes up a true sportsman. Through the success and notoriety that comes with having one of the most popular hunting programs on television, Kisky says she’ll never take it for granted.
“Never in a million years would I have guessed that I’d be where I’m at today,” Kisky said. “Meeting the kinds of people that I meet today, and getting to be an influence to a lot of people. We just stick to our roots and grow big deer. That’s helped us get to the level of where we’re at, and we were very fortunate to get in at the right time and meet the right people.”
Her stature also comes with a responsibility — particularly to the younger generation of female hunters that are coming up through the ranks.
“Be who you are,” Kisky explained. “Don’t think you’ve got to be something that you’re not. If you love hunting, you’re going to succeed if you do it the right way. We’re all moms and hunting is a family tradition. We have a responsibility to set an example.”
Kisky — whose best whitetail to date was scored at 181 inches — has her own female influences in the industry. Some of those names, among others, are Brenda Valentine, Brenda Potts, Vicki Cianciarulo and Tiffany Lakosky. In fact, when asked to recall a bowhunting memory that stands out above all the rest, it turns out that Lakosky was at the focal point.
“She and Lee came to hunt with us — she hunted and I used the camera,” Kisky said, noting that the two women and the two men went their separate ways for this particular hunt. “We heard the gurgling sound, so we turned and here came this giant 180-inch buck. She made a smoking shot.”
The duo was waiting back at the truck when Don and Lee came in hours later.
“We’ve got something to show you!” Kisky laughed. “At the time that was her biggest buck. But there’s so much pressure with the TV shows to make perfect shots, so this was just a great time — two women having success together.”
To no surprise, Kisky says there are a lot of differences in today’s industry from when she met Don and began her own hunting endeavors.
“It’s great in some ways, as today there are companies that have developed into making equipment and clothing specifically for women,” she said.
Another huge change is the level of accessibility that the general public now has.
“Everybody sees the hunts, so you have to be perfect on the game laws and be careful on social media, because you’re representing yourselves and your (product) sponsors,” she explained. “Everything is easily accessible, and one mistake is seen by everyone.”