January 01, 2016

I believe in monsters and so does Sandi LaFountain. Sandi is a big buck hunting huntress who had a great season in the deer woods, or in her case, swamp. She lives and hunts on a 30-cre parcel that has a thick swamp filled with briars and dense vegetation. Ideal habitat for Sandi and her husband Rick, who like to target big Allegan County bucks.

On October 25, 2015, Sandi decided to hunt in an elevated box blind closest to the house because she just wasn’t feeling very well. Sandi said, “I haven’t hunted that blind for over 10 years but since I wasn’t feeling well it was close to our house. We live in the woods and hunt the swamp.”

The first deer she saw during the evening hunt were three does that came in from behind her. They walked out in front of the blind and bedded down. Incredibly, they were only ten yards away. A few minutes later, another three does walked over to the bedded deer. Soon thereafter, the six deer turned their heads to the north. Sandi said, “They all cupped their ears forward. The three bedded deer stood up and all six deer looked like soldiers standing at attention. I looked to see what they were looking at and saw the biggest buck that I have ever seen come into view. He stopped and raked a pine tree, kicked up dirt; it looked like to me, was just showing off. After that he walked toward the does and they all jumped out of the way except for the smallest deer. That little deer stood face to face with the big buck. At that point, I aimed my crossbow at the broadside deer and shot.”

Sandi’s second record book buck came on opening day of firearm season on the same private property swamp as her big 11-point. This buck was a 14-pointer.

The shot was good. The buck only went 80 yards. When Sandi found the deer she said, “I couldn’t breathe. I dropped to my knees completely excited. I just couldn’t believe it.”

The swamp monster is an 11-pointer that has a green gross score of 166 3/8 B&C points and a green net score of 163 2/8 B&C points. If the score holds up after the 60-day dry period it could potentially be a new state record in the women’s crossbow category which is currently 160 5/8 B&C points.

As if shooting the biggest buck of her life wasn’t enough during archery season. Sandi turned around and shot another big swamp monster on the first day of gun season.

At 6 a.m., LaFountain returned to the swamp. She said, “I like to get out there early so that the deer don’t see me. It wasn’t long and I could hear branches breaking in the dark and was picturing a big buck. About 8 a.m. I saw a big deer approaching me. He had his head down, but when he lifted his head I could see that he had a big rack. He put his nose up and smelled the scent that I placed out in front of my blind. He was 80 yards away when I shot him with my Remington 1187, 20 gauge. I took out both lungs and yet somehow he managed to run for 200 yards before expiring.”

This swamp monster had 14 points. As of this writing, Sandi has not measured the rack but states that her first buck is quite a bit bigger. Never-the-less, this monster would be a lot of people’s buck of a lifetime. Sandi has been hunting since 1989 and stated, “My husband got me into it and he taught me well.”

When I asked Sandi the secret to her success she simply answered, “Because we own the swamp.” I believe in monsters; Do you?