The Milo Hanson buck is what legends are made of. It is a buck so epic that it still defends the crown as the Boone and Crockett world record typical whitetail buck thirty years after it fell. The typical whitetail world record is the top dog, the king of the hill, the pinnacle of deer hunting records.
Farmer Milo Hanson took down the world-record typical whitetail buck in 1993 near Biggar, Saskatchewan and has proven nearly impossible to beat. The score of 213 5/8 inches for a wild typical buck has yet to be surpassed in the whitetail deer hunting record book. During its reign, it's fended off multiple world-class challengers. Many have tried. All have failed. Many dedicated hunters have scoured the wilderness to find a whitetail buck, either from Canada or anywhere else, with a rack frame large enough to qualify, but that doesn't also have some abnormality that classifies it as non-typical and thus disqualifying it from this record. Some failed upon panel scoring, and others were flat-out denied because of abnormal points that denoted a non-typical classification.
Get to know the story of the famous Milo Hanson buck, plus a few typical buck hunting record challengers that tried to claim the crown but missed the mark.
The Story of the Milo Hanson Hunt
In that corner of Canada, the Hanson buck of Saskatchewan was already a local celebrity a year before it met its maker during the 1993 rifle season. Local hunters first noticed it in 1992, and news of the massive whitetail spread quickly. Hunters from all corners of the region and beyond came to try to topple the beast. Neighbors reported sightings during afternoon gossip, and a school bus loaded with kids even caught a glimpse of him. At least one massive 5-point side shed was picked up that was believed to belong to him. This big buck had a target on his back.
And yet, somehow, he survived not only the archery season but also the muzzleloader seasons prior to the start of Saskatchewan's rifle season. Milo Hanson and his buddies hunted for this particular deer with no success several times leading up to that fateful November day. At one point Hanson and a friend both passed on a gorgeous, 160-inch buck because they knew the big one was still out there somewhere and deer season wasn't over yet. That ended up being a good decision, for Hanson at least.
The morning of the day that changed his life, Hanson was hunting his own property, doing a deer drive with some buddies. "On the night of November 22, we had fresh snow, and I called the guys to plan our hunt," Hanson told Boone and Crockett. "The next morning, I met my neighbor, John Yaroshko, and we drove to meet Walter Meger and Rene Igini. When we pulled up, I knew something was happening because they were excited. They said they spotted a monster buck entering a willow run and it hadn't come out."
With a fresh snow to help them track, the deer hunters set up a small deer drive with one man pushing and three standers on either side. Hanson took the north side while his buddies covered the other, and one walked up the middle following a fresh track. The first time Hanson spotted the buck standing broadside about 150 yards from his position, a huge rush of buck fever took over. We can only imagine what it would be like to be that close to the biggest typical whitetail of all time!
He fumbled the first shot and missed the deer completely. The hunters regrouped near where they saw the buck go into cover and jumped him out again. Hanson's second shot at the deer was a solid hit, dropping the buck down to his knees. The buck was still moving, though.
"Unfortunately, the buck got up and ran into a nearby aspen stand," Hanson Hanson said to B&C. "I ran up the hill to where it disappeared and saw it below me, standing still. I aimed through my four-power scope and fired another shot with my .308 Winchester Model 88 lever-action. Down it went. I saw its head over a clump of willows. To ensure it stayed down, I fired another shot, and the hunt ended."
Upon reaching the deer, the hunters discovered one of the .308 bullets had shattered and struck the back of the buck's right main beam. While the shot cracked the antlers, fortunately, it did not break them.
Once news got out that Hanson had taken down the local legend, his farm became a hotspot for curious onlookers, and the phone started ringing off the hook. Hanson knew then he had something special on his hands. North American Whitetail magazine was the first to spread the news of Hanson's harvest to hunters far and wide in the February 1994 issue.
What Was the Score of the Milo Hanson Buck?
The official Boone and Crockett net score of the current typical world record Milo Hanson buck was 213-5/8 inches. The 14-point buck had an inside spread that measures just over 27 inches. Its greatest spread was over 29 inches, and six of the 10 main points exceeded 11 inches.
What Did the Hanson Buck Weigh?
Hanson has stated many times that the most frequent question he gets from other hunters is about the buck's weight. However, we will never know, because Hanson never weighed the deer, field-dressed or otherwise. He estimated in a 2010 interview with Outdoor Life that the live weight was probably around 200 pounds.
While that's a heavy deer, it's not exactly a large-bodied deer for Saskatchewan, where big whitetails pack on the excess body weight to get through the long winters. Hanson is a farmer in the Biggar area, which is known for agriculture, so there was no lack of food for the record deer. However, considering the fact the deer was not taken until November 23, it seems extremely likely he'd lost quite a bit of weight during the rut.
The most amazing fact about this buck, other than the 213 5/8-inch score, is the fact that it was aged at only three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years old. There's almost no question the world record whitetail had not even hit his prime yet when Hanson dropped him. It makes us wonder if it would have netted over 220 or even 230 inches with another year of growth—although no hunter would be crazy enough to pass up a buck like this!
It speaks to the quality of deer hunting in the area that a hear after harvesting his world record, Hanson shot a 171-inch buck, which no one knows or talks about because the "Hanson Buck" takes up all the headlines. After hearing that, there's no doubt Biggar was the right place at the right time with the right genetics to produce a true monster.
How Big is the Milo Hanson Buck?
It's hard to appreciate just how large the Hanson buck is unless you see it or one of the many replicas for yourself. At the time of the deer's downing, the James Jordan buck from Wisconsin was the typical world record. The Jordan buck is no slouch, but the Hanson buck has it beat, thanks to a 29-inch greatest spread and a 27-2/8-inch inside spread. The G2s and G3s are also ridiculously long with a few of them reaching nearly 14 inches in length.
However, the Jordan buck has the Hanson buck beat on main beam length. Still, the Hanson buck's 28-4/8-inch main beams are nothing to sneeze at. The right side of this great deer scores 95-4/8 inches while the left scores 98 inches. The gross score is 223-7/8 inches. There are only 7-1/8 inches of deductions. It helps that the buck only had 3-1/8 inches of abnormal points, all on the right side. The left has zero, which is an equally impressive tidbit that's hardly mentioned.
What are the Hanson Buck's Main Challengers?
As for the Hanson buck's challengers, there have been many. Most infamous is the Rompola buck, allegedly taken in Michigan back in 1998. Hunters are still divided if the 218-5/8-inch deer was a hoax, or a hunter who simply did not like the limelight. We may never know the truth.
In 2006, it looked like Wisconsin would regain its crown as the holder of the typical world record with the Johnny King buck. That deer initially grossed over 220 inches and netted around 218 as a typical. That was until a Boone and Crockett scoring panel determined the buck's G3 and G2 points shared a common base, causing massive deductions that resulted in a score around 180 inches net. The Johnny King buck still inspires passionate opinions among hunters, though.
In 2021, an Indiana musician named Dustin Hoff came close when he set a new second-largest typical whitetail deer of all-time record. The monster buck, which surpassed the Jordan Buck for the number two spot, is still the largest whitetail ever killed in the United States, according to the record books. The buck's official B&C score is 211-4/8 points.
Then there was "The General," a massive whitetail that roamed Nebraska back in 1958 and didn't resurface until the 1990s. This buck had massive 32-inch main beams, 14-inch G2s, and 7-inch mass measurements. The antlers gross nearly 240 inches and net in the 220s. There's just one problem: It's a set of sheds, and no other antlers from the deer are known to exist. Because of this, the exact inside spread is unknown, and B&C do not recognize sheds in the record books.
What is the Hanson Buck Worth?
While the once-in-a-lifetime buck made Hanson some money in licensing, he also said it made his life more hectic. Suddenly, he was in demand for sportsmen's show appearances and spent a lot of time traveling with his mounted buck.
In the 2010 interview with Outdoor Life, Hanson pulled back the curtain behind what it's like to be the hunter of a world-record buck. He estimated he made $60,000 a year off his record buck for almost a decade—or at least $600,000. While many world-class whitetails have found their way into private collections over the years, the Hanson buck remains in the hunter's possession. That said, in that same interview, he noted he's never received an offer close to what he has made on the deer.
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