He’s 36-years-old now, a married man, husband to Tiffany and the father of four children.
He hails from Oscoda.
A life-long hunter and outdoorsman, Jeremy LaCourse reports four local encounters with what he believes was a Bigfoot, and while he’s never seen the elusive creature, he is confident it exists.
First Encounter: A Family Camping Trip
The first-time run-in happened when he was around junior high age, 12 or 13, over two decades ago, with his Mother, Father, brother and cousin, camping along the AuSable River near Cooke Dam. His older sister was not with the family. It was post-Memorial Day Weekend, and the Huron National Forest was decked out in fresh green foliage just in time for summer. With the holiday weekend over, all other campers had left the area, but the LaCourse Family, camping alone now, stayed for a further week, enjoying being together and the solitude that the great outdoors can often bring.
The family had been fishing along the banks of the AuSable, and at the end of the day made their way back to camp, built a fire, and after enjoying time spent around the crackling orange flames, headed to bed. Jeremy’s parents’ tent was near the wood line. The three boys slept nearby in theirs, about 20-feet-away.
After everyone had settled down and drifted off to sleep, _“(My parents) kept hearing something walking back in the trees, and then later that night I remember Dad waking us up and saying something was going on –- that we had to get out of here, saying ‘It’s time to get out!,’”_ Jeremy said. He thinks it was about 3 a.m.
**_”Later on, I learned that something was trying to get in their tent. At first, they thought it might be my brother, sleepwalking.”_**
His parents’ eight-foot-tall blue tent had a screened porch-like area on the front that closed with a zipper. Once entered, a second zipper would be opened to access the actual tent, but the inside zipper was broken and held shut as best they could. His parents heard something rifling through their bags outside on the picnic table, and then heard the outside zipper slide up. Then from inside the screen area, something poked along the length of the tent’s inside zipper, the one loosely held closed.
Jeremy’s dad Roy LaCourse said the couple were really scared – and he yelled forcefully, at the top of his lungs, “Get the f*** out of here!”
Then the whole entire tent just shook, he said.
Roy had an old 12-gauge side-by-side shotgun, the barrel of which he carefully slid through the tent opening, barrel and muzzle now inside the “porch” area.
The couple left the tent and stood outside, listening. In the distance across from the tent they could hear something shuffling back and forth, “like it was watching us,” Roy said.
“I told my wife – it’s going to come back. We need to get the kids and get out of here!”
When they returned the next day after fleeing with the boys and leaving everything behind, the food was still out and a loaf of bread that had been on a card table next to the tent, had been taken off the table and tossed across the campsite, unopened.
“Like a reminder, like they were saying, ‘Hey – I came back.’” said Roy.
Second Encounter: Camping at the Old Boy Scout Camp
The second encounter took place in about 2007, when he and four buddies were going to go camping at the old Boy Scout Camp, now gone, on the AuSable River.
“We were down by the river to set up our camp site, there was no one around. It was already dark when we got there. We started to set up for fire, started walking around to get some fire wood – we didn’t have to go very far – and I started breaking sticks.”
Jeremy picked up a stick too large to break with his hands, and smacked a nearby tree, breaking the stick down to a manageable size.
“Something across from me let out a scream that I had never heard in my life. I’m an outdoors guy. I told my buddies to take me home.”
They did, and returned without him to the site, and nothing happened.
“I never went back there again.”
Third Encounter: Hunting Near Mikado
The third encounter was about 2014, and Jeremy was hunting up in a tree stand about three miles off the main road, near Mikado, in an area thick with woods, and striped by a creek, ridge and river.
It was about a half-hour to dark, and there were noises in the woods, birds chirping and birds flying, he said, when a deer came walking through a trail to the site where he was hidden in the stand.
“I hear a coyote going crazy with a howl, like it had killed something, and in the middle of that a howl echoed like the one I’d heard once before by the river (camping with my buddies.) The deer turned took off running, the woods got silent, the birds fled – and a huge tree came crashing down. Then things got really quiet.”
Jeremy said he climbed down, and quietly left the area.
Any time he went back to the area to hunt, he said, “I’ve noticed that trees were broken off at the eight-foot tall (mark) – a clean break.”
Fourth Encounter: A Disturbing Camping Experience with His Wife
In the fourth encounter, Jeremy was with his wife Tiffany and his first child – their other children had not yet been born – camping in the Huron National Forest, not all that far from Oscoda.
The couple set up camp, went swimming that afternoon, ate dinner, and prepared to sit around a fire. Every time he broke a branch for firewood, Jeremy said, he’d hear another branch – what he said sounded like a tree knock – break way off in the distance.
Later that night, sitting with Tiffany at the fire, he tossed four empty beer bottles over the top of a ridge to see if anything would happen, thinking perhaps something startled would take off running. Nothing did.
Later, Jeremy and his wife climbed into the tent onto a Queen-size Air Mattress, along with their son. The mattress was nested in a corner of the tent, with tent material on two sides. Their son slept on the outside of the mattress, nearest the tent wall. Jeremy fell fast asleep – but Tiffany did not. She kept hearing walking near the tent. Unable to sleep, she sat watch, and listened. In the early morning hours, something from the outside of the tent pushed into the tent wall, reached their sleeping son and rolled him toward the edge of the mattress, on to the tent floor, down into a crack-like area between the mattress and the tent wall.
“I was too scared to scream,” Tiffany said. “I was too scared to do anything. I didn’t know how to react to it.”
Tiffany said she remained awake all night, and at daylight, awoke Jeremy and filled him in.
Jeremy said he went outside and the only thing out of place were all the clothes that had been hung up on the clothesline – they had been taken down.
The couple immediately left camp, and went to his parents’ home.
With a quick turnaround – they all returned back to camp.
Next to the fire were the four beer bottles Jeremy had tossed over the ridge the night before – and one he said, had claw-like scrape marks on the label.
Tiffany has never gone camping again.
“I’m not going back out there. I don’t know if it’s a bigfoot – but there’s something out there,” she said.