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#1 Fossil


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Posted 12 January 2008 - 09:26 AM

Jim Lee column: Champion buck changed hunter's life

World-record whitetail turned Canadian farmer into celebrity

GREEN BAY Milo Hanson, a 62-year-old, non-assuming Canadian cattle farmer, is often treated like a superstar.

"People come up to me and they're just shaking," he said. "They can't believe it."

Hanson's celebrity stems from a hunt on his land in 1993 when at age 48 he shot the world-record typical whitetail deer a magnificent, massive buck whose antlers were scored at 213 5/8 on the Boone and Crockett scale.

"That day changed my life a bit," the resident of Biggar, Saskatchewan, readily admits. "We had television stations come out, radio people and other media. I wasn't used to all that activity."

Whitetail deer are present in nearly every region of the United States and Canada, a situation that attracts millions of hunters to the continent's woods and fields annually, all with the dream of returning home with the trophy of a lifetime.

Considering that a buck scoring 120 on the Boone and Crockett scale would be determined worthy of a visit to a taxidermist by most hunters, the immensity of Hanson's buck becomes easier to appreciate.

Deer hunters certainly realize its worth.

"After I shot it, my phone started ringing," Hanson said. "We didn't have an answering machine, but we had to get one. People were wanting to do stories about the deer ... and paying me to do it.

"There was kind of a bidding war as to who would get the story. North American Whitetail paid me $6,000 for first rights. Outdoor Life magazine paid me $5,000 for second rights. Bill Jordan gave me $6,000 for being in his video 'Monster Bucks 2.' "

To cash in on his good fortune, Hanson took a mount of the deer on the road to sporting shows throughout the U.S. and Canada. He found a ready audience, eager for a look at the dream deer sporting 14 points, a 28-inch main beam, 27-inch inside antler spread and five-inch beam circumference.

"I'm not much of a talker," Hanson said, "but I got used to it. I would be gone two months at a time. During the first few years, I made about $60,000 a year. Show sponsors would pay me $1,500 a day plus expenses.

"I still continued farming, but the extra money helped, that's for sure."

About six or seven years ago, he stopped making personal appearances on the sporting show circuit.

"Crossing the border became more complicated (after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City)," he said. "I had to get permits from the U.S. and Canada to take the mount across the border. I had to get a commercial broker to make sure all the paperwork was in order."

Slowly, Hanson began easing toward retirement.

"I went to selling replicas of the mount," he said. "I sell them for $3,500 U.S. I've sold 40-45 replicas to places like Cabela's and others. I don't go to the shows anymore. They just pay me to use the replica, eh?"

A replica will be on display during the All-Canada Show Jan. 24-26 at Shopko Hall in Green Bay. The original remains in the Hanson household, elevated to a place of honor in the owner's trophy room.

"A lot of people would like to buy it or trade me something for it, yet I still own the original," Hanson said.

Hanson's effort displaced a Wisconsin buck from the top spot in the whitetail record books a record that had stood from the day in 1914 when James Jordan dropped a deer in Burnett County with antlers that scored 206 1/3.

The "Jordan Buck" ruled the whitetail roost for nearly 80 years before the "Hanson Buck" came along. When will a buck come along to supplant the record?

"I used to worry about that every hunting season," Hanson said, "but not any longer. There's nothing I can do about it. It's been 14 years and the record hasn't been broken ... although I suppose some day it will."

Where is the next record whitetail likely to appear?

"It could be Alberta," Hanson replied. "It could be Iowa. It could be Illinois ... maybe back in Wisconsin. I don't know. It could be almost anywhere."

And the next record holder the next household name in the whitetail world could be almost anyone. <A name=correction>

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 03:37 PM

Thanks Foss Kinda interesting seeing what Milo Hanson went through after killing #1.
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