The Stories Behind the Biggest Typical Whitetail Deer


NUMBER ONE — Hunter: Milo Hansen

Score: 213-5/8 points Location: Saskatchewan Year: 1993

It all started with a school bus driver. On the last day of Saskatchewan’s 1992 deer season, the driver told some locals that a monster whitetail was feeding in Milo Hansen’s alfalfa field. Once word got around, the buck was spotted on farms, in pea fields, and then near a highway just north of Biggar in the southwestern portion of the province.

On opening day of the 1993 season, friends and family gathered at the Hansen house as they always had since Milo and his wife Olive moved to the farm in the early 1970s. There was a lot of talk about the big buck. The opener proved a bust as the snow was already a week old, but on November 22, new snow arrived and the posse devised a plan.

Neighbors spotted the buck and watched him go into the willows. No one saw him come out. One hunter went into the willows while everyone else posted themselves around the escape route. The buck flushed but several shots missed their mark.

Milo watched the buck run, leveled his four-power scope and took two shots from his .308 Winchester, bringing the buck down. One more shot and the deer was dead. Milo hadn’t had a cigarette in three years, but he wanted one that day. Friends measured the buck, and then re-measured the buck. Milo realized he might just have a world’s record. Later, Boone and Crockett Official Measurers confirmed everyone’s suspicions; Milo had killed the world’s finest typical whitetail.

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NUMBER TWO — Hunter: James Jordan

Score: 206-1/8 points Location: Wisconsin Year: 1914

They say if you shoot a world’s record whitetail and drop it off at the taxidermist who moves to Florida and never returns your deer, but then the deer finds its way back to you after nearly 60 years…well, the deer was meant to be with you.

Maybe the original saying is a little different, but check this out. Jim Jordan shot this beautiful buck in early November of 1914. He turned the head over to his taxidermist and thought he would see it on his wall in less than half a century. Jordan checked in on his buck, only to find the taxidermist moved to Minnesota, then to Florida. Jordan thought his buck was gone for good.

Jordan’s family eventually moved to Hinkley, Minnesota, where his taxidermist had moved prior to moving to Florida. Enter Robert Ludwig forty-four years after Jordan shot that buck. At a garage sale in Sandstone, Minnesota, he paid $3 for a giant deer rack. In 1971, he had it scored by Boone and Crockett Club measurers who dubbed it a world’s record at the time. James Jordan happened to be Bob’s uncle, and he recognized the buck immediately when Bob showed it to him. Sadly, James Jordan passed away only two months before the Boone and Crockett Club officially attached Jordan’s name to the buck.

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NUMBER THREE — Hunter: Larry W. Gibson

Score: 205 points Location: Missouri Year: 1971

Ten yards. That’s how far Larry Gibson was from this buck back in 1971 before he shot it with his .308. Taken in Randolph County Missouri, the number three buck happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time as Gibson was just hoping to fill the freezer. He likely would have shot a fork buck given the chance. Instead, he took this bruiser and sold the antlers to the Missouri Show-Me Big Bucks Club for $200.

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NUMBER FOUR – Hunter: Melvin J. Johnson

Score: 204-4/8 points Location: Illinois Year: 1965

The year was 1965, and guys either sported a crew-cut or long hair. Melvin Johnson had the former and a recurve. He also had a couple of treestands hung around an Illinois soybean field where he knew this bruiser liked to cruise. One day, though, he decided to build a rudimentary ground blind. With the wind in his face, he saw this stud at 300 yards, and it was moving toward him.

When the buck was close, it stared right at Johnson. After a moment, the buck turned and continued slowly on his way. Johnson rose slightly and shot. The buck took off, but turned back to look briefly. The arrow had passed through both lungs, and the deer piled up a short distance away.

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NUMBER FIVE (TIE) — Hunter: Stephen Jansen

Score: 204-2/8 points Location: Alberta Year: 1967

A nice place to hang the V-belts. That’s what this deer rack was used for before the hunter’s nephew decided to put a tape to it. Yet rancher and hunter Stephen Jansen didn’t necessarily care for the antlers as they weren’t perfectly balanced, though the mice appreciated the dried head in Jansen’s shop.

Even if Jansen didn’t care for it, this buck was a doozy no one had ever seen before in the ranch country northwest of Calgary. The buck was 150 yards away when Jansen shot him with his Husqvarna .270. He writes, “It was the easiest whitetail I’ve ever shot.” And most certainly the biggest.

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NUMBER FIVE (TIE) — Hunter: Robert W. Smith

Score: 204-2/8 points Location: Kentucky Year: 2000

Robert Smith knew this buck prowled a two-acre thicket of brush so thick no one would ever go in there. So, he waited on the edge of it. He was up in his treestand when a doe came out. Robert was about to shoot her until this buck came out of the bushes behind the doe. The buck was 10 yards away and never knew what hit him.

The locals weren’t exactly pleased. One even took Smith to court for supposedly trespassing. Luckily, the young man who helped Smith extract the big buck was the county sheriff’s son. Smith eventually sold the rack to Bass Pro Shops and used the money to take a church youth group to Jamaica to fix up an orphanage.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>