Forget cattle, the money's in the buck

  • Milo Hanson and the highest-scoring whitetail deer

    Ian McMurchy

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, Unarmed but dangerous critics close in on hunting.

Rancher and farmer Milo Hanson from Saskatchewan, Canada, never imagined that hunting would change his life. That was before judges from the Boone and Crockett Club scored a whitetail buck that he shot near his farm in 1993 at 213 points, eclipsing a Wisconsin buck that had held the world record since 1914. In a van gutted to make room for his trophy, Hanson now takes off winters to tour North America with the huge rack.

"He was seen that summer by the bus driver. It was right in the area where I live, eh? Four of us were hunting him. I got him the second day of the second week. We did a drive to push him out and he came my way.

"I don't feel like a celebrity, really. It's something I never expected after shooting a deer. I've been in 30 to 40 magazines and on several television shows. You're not used to it, and all of a sudden you're on TV. People recognize you when you go somewhere. I've been traveling all through the states, and three times to Dallas.

"The guys I hunt with, we're all friends yet. All the publicity was a hassle at first. I think they were glad it was me, not them.

"There's different guys who want to buy it. I tell everybody it's not for sale. But if I have a crop failure next year, you never know. Doing the sportsmen shows makes good money, though. I'm a drawing card. Everybody wants to see the world-record deer. People drive for 800 miles just to see it.

"I could still put it on a full body mount if I wanted to. But the horns are what count. The fur doesn't mean nothing. It would be too much of a hassle to carry it around like that. Right now, it takes up the whole van. I'd have to buy a different rig."

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