November 14, 2022
Saskatchewan is on every trophy deer hunter’s radar. Some of the biggest whitetails on the planet live there, and the world record typical (the Milo Hanson buck) was taken there in 1992. For most of us, it is a bucket list hunt in a faraway place.
For Dane Hildebrand, however, it is his home. He farms the land until fall, and he guides and deer hunts through winter.
During the 2021 season, while scouting for mule deer with a friend, they spotted a pair of large whitetail bucks. The deer were way out across the prairie in a canola field, but they could plainly see the antlers on one of them.
Dane set up a spotting scope to take a closer look. When he peered through the glass, he saw a giant rack of antlers. The rack was a massive wall of tines with brow tines as long as the G2s! Even for Saskatchewan, this was an above average buck! Dane marked their location and left the area. But he was far from done.
When he returned, he was carrying a .270 Win., which is bad medicine on deer over long distances. After hiking for a while, he located the smaller deer that had been with the giant. But he never found the big one. It was getting late in the morning, and he was hungry, so he left again to go have lunch.
On the next outing, he ran into two younger deer. So, he stopped to watch them for a bit. Suddenly, both turned to look away, and Dane spotted the monster buck hot on the heels of a doe. They were still over 200 yards away, but Dane figured it was then or never. He knelt down, braced the rifle and sent a fatal shot through the big deer’s heart.
The big deer collapsed, and then the work began!
The buck was so big, and so far from the road, the only way to get it out was by quartering it and carrying it in a backpack.
Dane enlisted the help of a friend, and then he put a tape to the head. The rack is very symmetrical, with over 40 inches of mass, pushing the gross score to 193 4/8. The deer was not weighed, but Dane estimates it at over 350 pounds on the hoof.