Last Saturday marked 20 years since Saskatchewan hunter Milo Hanson bagged the world’s largest typical whitetail buck. On November 23, 1993, the grain and cattle farmer had the good fortune of hunting his own property. Snow had just fallen the night before and Hanson heard from his neighbors that a gigantic buck had taken shelter in a willow run.
Hanson and his neighbors had heard about the buck before. In fact, just before rifle season opened, mention of an extremely large buck moved from rumor to local attraction. Hanson told the Boone and Crockett Club that he had never seen the buck himself before rifle season, but local hunters were abuzz. It was not a surprise to see larger bucks move into the area. Farmers like Hanson had been moving away from cattle production in favor of grains, which benefited whitetail habitat. Hanson and his wife Olive had been seeing bigger deer near their property in the years leading up to his record harvest.
“In fact, most of our neighbors are avid hunters and during the season we hunt with all of our friends who farm near us,” Hanson stated in Boone and Crockett’s 22 Big Game Awards book. “Our farm is the gathering point for area hunters where we discuss past hunts and plan future hunts.”
Along with his neighbor John Yarosko and fellow hunters Walter Meger and Rene Igini, Hanson was soon tracking the largest deer any of them had ever seen.
“Rene stayed on its tracks, and eventually lost the buck in a maze of other deer tracks because its tracks weren’t large,” Hanson stated. “Just when we were getting frustrated and ready to move on, the big buck ran out of an aspen bluff and headed into a willow run on my land. We posted ourselves around the willows, and Rene walked the buck’s tracks. The buck ran flat out about 150 yards broadside form John and me.”
Hanson missed his first shot, but later downed the buck with his .308 Winchester Model 88.
“Shooting this buck gave me a feeling I will probably never experience again, even though I had no idea it would be declared the new Boone and Crockett Club World’s Record in Dallas Texas, at the 22nd Big Game Awards Program,” Hanson said. “I had never seen a bigger buck. The buck left me shaking.”
At the time Hanson only thought he was going to win a few local competitions, but then he had his neighbor Adam Evanshenko measure the rack. At an initial measurement of 214 to 215, it dawned on the hunter that he could very well take the world record.
Boone and Crockett Measurer Norm Parchewsky soon green-scored the rack at 214-4/8. It was then that the farm became an attraction for reporters, outdoor writers, promoters, and fans. Two months later in January 1994, a Boone and Crockett panel comprising Parchewsky and fellow measurers Robert Allemand and Allan Hotvogt confirmed the buck to be 213-1/8—all in front of a crowd of 400.
“My family turned this special day into a family reunion,” Hanson recalled. “Olive and I will always remember it and the happiness everyone felt.”
At the 22nd Big Game Awards, the buck’s score was again revised to 213-5/8 before it was declared the world record. It is a title Hanson’s deer continues to hold on to after more than 20 years.
Much like then, Hanson is still farming just outside Biggar, Saskatchewan. He hunts with his wife and raises crops such as wheat, barley, and alfalfa. Perhaps he is waiting for another hunter to break his record.
Image courtesy Boone and Crockett Club