Milo Hansen's Story of the Hunt
I was born in 1945 in southwestern Saskatchewan near the town of Eastend. In 1964, I met Olive, and we were married within a year. Four years later we moved to Olive's family farm near Biggar, where our son, Bradley, was born.
Olive and I operate a grain and cattle farm, where we raise wheat, barley, oats, canola and alfalfa. We farm five sections and maintain about 100 cows. I mention this to show I'm not a man who has the time or money to hunt all over the continent. Farming is a full-time job for Olive and me. And Brad, who now works in Alberta, comes home to help us as much as possible.
The area where I shot the new World's Record typical whitetail is a mixture of farmlands and aspen bluffs. About 20 percent to 30 percent of the land has low areas that we didn't clear for crops. These low areas contain a lot of willows and aspens.
When Olive and I moved to the farm in the early 1970s, deer were scarce. The few whitetails that lived there moved out each winter and migrated into nearby hills and pasture land. In recent years, with milder winters and easy access to plentiful crops, the whitetail deer population has steadily increased. As a result, we now see and shoot large bucks in this area.
Another factor that helped increase deer numbers was the cattle market's decline in the late 1970's. Many local farmers, including us, backed away from cattle and turned more of our efforts and land towards grain production. When cattle herds declined, undergrowth in wooded areas increased. This improved the habitat for wildlife, especially whitetail deer.
Since Olive and I moved to the farm, we have always hunted together. Each fall we take two to three weeks as a holiday so we can hunt our province for whitetail, mule deer, moose and, occasionally, elk. Brad regularly hunts with us. Our friend Walter Meger has become our constant hunting partner. Olive and I have hunted together since we were married. In fact, most of our neighbors are avid hunters and during the season we hunt with all of our friends who farm near us. Our farm is the gathering point for area hunters where we discuss past hunts and plan future hunts. We look for deer and deer sign in the morning, compare notes and form drives to flush the deer.
On the final day of the 1992 season our school bus driver saw a monster whitetail buck feeding in the alfalfa field. News of the buck's presence soon made the rounds at our local coffee shops. Then in summer 1993, a neighbor spotted the big buck near his farm yard. The buck was next seen in a pea field near that neighbor's home. Then, just before rifle season opened November 15, 1993, the buck was seen near a highway several miles north of Biggar. I heard about this monster buck from neighbors and the bus driver, but none of our hunting party saw the deer before rifle season opened.
On opening day we gathered at my farm to plan how we would hunt this buck. We didn't have ideal conditions during the season's first week. The snow was a week old, and the deer tracks were everywhere. Two members of our group saw the buck on the first week, but had no success getting close to it. On the night of November 22, we had fresh snow, and I called the guys to plan our hunt.
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 the monster buck entering a willow run and not coming out. Rene walked the track while the rest of us surrounded the willows. I took a position that would keep the buck from running south onto nearby posted land. The buck bolted, giving me my first look at it. Believe me, my heart was pumping! We shot but missed it.
Rene stayed on its tracks, and eventually lost the buck in a maze of other deer tracks because its tracks weren't large. 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. I think we both got buck fever this time! We fired several shots, but missed the racing buck.
We moved up to the next willow run, and when the buck ran out it turned straight away from me. I fired and the buck went down to its knees. "You got him!" John hollered.
The buck got up and ran into a nearby aspen bluff. I ran up the hill to where it disappeared, and saw it below me, standing still. I aimed through my 4-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.
As I left the bluff, the other guys were waiting. They asked if I got him. "You bet!" I said, and then I asked for a cigarette. I had not smoked for three years, but I needed one badly.
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. I had never seen a bigger buck. The buck left me shaking.
During the next week I realized I had shot the largest deer anyone around Biggar had ever seen. I also knew I would win the trophy at the big buck night in a nearby town of Sonningdale. I was also confident of winning the trophy at our local wildlife federation branch competition in Biggar.
On November 29, 1993, a neighbor, Adam Evashenko, came over and measured the rack. When he finished, he asked me to go over the numbers because he thought he might have made a mistake. He said if his figures were right, I had the new World's Record typical whitetail. The next day, two other fellows measured it, and they came up with almost identical measurements between 214 and 215 points. I suddenly believed I was in the running for the World's Record.
On December 1, 1993, Norm Parchewsky, an official measurer for the Boone and Crockett Club, green scored the rack at 214-4/8 for Saskatchewan's Henry Kelsey records book. Soon after, I was interviewed by a national television network, and then our home was under siege. Phone calls came in by the hundreds, and magazine representatives showed up at my door wanting first exclusive rights to my story. In addition, artists, sculptors, promoters, antler collectors, photographers and well-wishers called. Life began to change on the farm.
After the 60-day drying period, Norm Parchewshy, Robert Allemand and Allan Holtvogt, all B&C official measurers, scored the buck at 213-1/8 in a scoring ceremony attended by more than 400 people. That was January 22, 1994. My family turned this special day into a family reunion. Olive and I will always remember it and the happiness everyone felt.
Olive and I have met many nice people since I shot my buck. We admit there have been moments when we wondered about all the hassles. Our lives have changed some, but we treasure our farm life and friendships with our family and neighbors.
After the official scoring ceremony, another important event took place. I had offered the taxidermy job to Bub Hill of Briercrest, Saskatchewan, and he immediately began the job. Everyone who has seen the mount agrees Bub did a wonderful job. The Boone and Crockett Club Judges' Panel at the 22nd Big Game Awards Program declared my buck the new World's Record typical whitetail with a final and official score of 213-5/8 points.
"This article is reprinted from Boone and Crockett Club's 22nd Big Game Awards book with permission of the Boone and Crockett Club, 250 Station Dr., Missoula, MT 59801 (406/542-1888)" www.boone-crockett.org