The big one became official in June. The white-tailed deer taken in 1993 by a Saskatchewan farmer officially ousted the world record buck that had claimed the title for 80 years.
The Boone and Crockett Club’s panel of judges, which meets every three years to measure an re-write the record books, scored Milo Hanson’s typical whitetail at 213-1/8 points during the awards ceremony in Dallas.
The score eclipses the 206 points of the Wisconsin 10-pointer shot by James Jordan in 1914.
Hanson bagged the record buck on Nov. 23, 1993, near his Biggar-area farm after a week of tireless effort. The monster buck had caused a local hunting frenzy by playing peek-a-boo with numerous area hunters.
Owning the record has changed Hanson’s life.
“I’m doing things I never dreamed of doing,” he said. After leaving Dallas, for example, he made paid appearances at sportsmen’s shows in several cities and spent two days with artist Ron Van Gilder signing prints that feature his buck.
“Ron can sign about 900 an hour,” Hanson said. “The best I could do was about 600. It was hard work, even with someone pulling the prints for us.”
Since whitetails have the largest following of any North American big-game animal, the interest in the Hanson buck is enormous. The value of the world-record trophy, estimated by insiders at the Boone and Crockett awards program in Dallas, ranged from $100,000 to $1 million.
“I was pretty nervous traveling with the head at first,” Hanson said. “But I guess you get used to anything.”
Hanson bought a van, had the rear seats removed, and built a steel roll-bar cage just big enough to handle a custom display case that holds the head mount. If the van gets in a wreck, the antlers would be protected.
“I never fly with it,” he added.
The story of Hanson’s hunt has been featured in at least 20 magazines, and he’s earning income from shows, art and speaking engagements.
But life isn’t any easier.
“Actually, I’m working harder than ever,” he said. “I’m still a farmer.”
Last fall, in his first hunt since he’d bagged the record whitetail, Hanson shot a young three-point mule deer.
“Everyone said, ‘Why did you shoot that?’ ” Hanson chuckled. ‘Simple. I like venison.”
Later last fall, however, he bagged yet another record-book whitetail that scored 171-3/8 points.
Publicity about the area near Biggar that produced the world record whitetail has definitely attracted more deer hunters.
“We were really worried that the area was going to get a lot more pressure,” he said. “But it wasn’t too bad. We see a little more land being posted.”
The Hanson buck is encouraging to whitetail trophy hunters, many of whom thought the Jordan record could never be topped.
“We’ve had 3,239 record-book big-game entries in the past three years,” said Jack Reneau, Boone and Crockett director in Missoula. “That’s the most ever and also the most impressive overall entries.”
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