The Hanson Buck
Whitetail history is filled with landmark events, but perhaps none more noteworthy than the one occurring on the morning of November 23, 1993. That day, Saskatchewan rifle hunter Milo Hanson killed a tremendous 14-pointer that would be certified as a World’s Record in the typical category of the Boone and Crockett (B&C) record book. The monster received a final panel score of 213 5/8 net points. The record had previously been held by the James Jordan buck, shot in Wisconsin in 1914.
Not only did Milo’s trophy handily beat the whitetail that had been the world’s biggest typical for more than three-quarters of a century, but he’s still the buck to beat in the typical category. That fact surprises many whitetail experts who openly doubted the Canadian deer would hold onto the No. 1 ranking this long.
There’s an interesting side note to Hanson’s story. When he spotted the huge whitetail during a “bush push” — a term Saskatchewan hunters use to describe a deer drive — he almost shot off one antler, something that would have excluded the deer from the record books.
Hanson shot the deer twice — the killing second shot, and a first shot made while the deer was running about 100 yards away. Hanson’s opening volley ripped through the buck’s body and slammed into the rear of the left antler about four inches above the base. The lead slug became embedded in the antler, and the inside of the antler was split like a green sapling.
If Hanson had shot that antler off, it would have been the deer that almost was the world record.
Photo courtesy of Boone & Crockett Club
The Missouri Monarch
Hunter David Beckman was driving in St. Louis County, Mo., in November 1981 when he spotted an amazing non-typical whitetail. The deer was already dead, but its outstanding rack caught Beckman’s eye. There was one problem — the dead buck was lying inside a fence on private property, and he couldn’t legally retrieve it.
Beckman enlisted the help of conservation agent Michael Helland, who obtained permission from the landowner to recover the carcass. The deer apparently died of natural causes and had an amazing rack with 44 points.
The buck, now known as “The Missouri Monarch,” was officially scored at 333 7/8 points and was recognized as the new World’s Record non-typical whitetail at the Boone and Crockett Club’s 1983 Awards Program. It is truly a “one-in-a-million” animal, the biggest of the big. In fact, the antlers of this monster buck are so massive, some wonder if a whitetail scoring higher will ever surface in the wild.
Photo courtesy of Boone & Crockett Club
Biggest Whitetail Ever Killed By A Hunter
On September 29, 2003, in Monroe County, Iowa, 15-year-old Tony Lovstuen killed a monster whitetail with his muzzleloader. With a net non-typical Boone and Crockett score of 307 5/8, that deer had the biggest antlers of any whitetail ever shot by a hunter. (Two pick-up entries remain ahead of the Lovstuen Buck in the B&C record book: the 333 7/8 inch Missouri Monarch and the 328 2/8 inch “Hole in the Horn” buck from Ohio.)
Heaviest Whitetail Ever Killed
On a cold November day in 1926, Carl Lenander Jr. dropped a monstrous Minnesota buck with a single shot. Field-dressed, the deer weighed 402 pounds. The state Conservation Department calculated its live weight to be 511 pounds. No heavier whitetail has ever been recorded.
Biggest Deer Ever
The largest member of the deer family that ever lived, the Irish elk, became extinct around 7,700 years ago. A mature Irish elk stag stood up to 7 feet at the shoulders, could weigh in excess of 1,500 pounds and carried antlers weighing up to 95 pounds and spanning as much as 168 inches from tip to tip. That’s a spread of 14 feet. This outrageous headgear ranks as the most massive ever worn by any animal, extinct or living, almost doubling that of today’s champion, the Alaska-Yukon moose.
Photo credit: Charles R. Knight, art is in public domain