At a panel-confirmed 327 7/8 net inches of score, the monster Illinois non-typical Luke Brewster shot with his compound bow last fall is now officially the world’s biggest buck in the long history of free-range whitetail hunting. He’s not only a new archery record by a whopping 33 7/8 inches over Mike Beatty’s former title holder from Ohio, he’s the planet’s top wild buck ever taken with any weapon.
The Illinois giant’s score was verified Friday by the Pope & Young Club and already has been accepted by the Boone & Crockett Club, whose copyrighted scoring system P&Y uses by permission. On Jan. 5 Luke’s trophy had been officially measured by Tim Walmsley at 320 5/8 net, but the P&Y panel found another 7 2/8 inches of length in the rack’s massive array of abnormal points.
Luke’s buck now will rank No. 3 all time in B&C, whose records include trophies taken not just by hunting but also found dead. The only two wild whitetails scoring higher are the so-called “Hole in the Horn” buck, which scores 328 2/8 net, and the world-record “Missouri Monarch,” which tops the list at 333 7/8 net. The former deer was found dead in Portage County, Ohio, in 1940, while the latter was found dead just north of St. Louis in 1981.
Officially, the world’s previous No. 1 non-typical taken by a hunter was the 312 0/8-inch Tennessee buck shot by muzzle-loader hunter Stephen Tucker in 2016. That huge deer remains the world’s best-ever firearms whitetail and ranks No. 4 overall in B&C’s record book. The previous P&Y non-typical record, Mike Beatty’s 294 0/8-incher from Ohio, was arrowed in 2000.
Illinois already could boast of one archery world record, with the late Mel Johnson’s 204 4/8-inch typical from 1965 still wear-ing the crown in that category. Acceptance of the Brewster buck’s score of 327 7/8 makes Illinois the only state to have held the No. 1 spots in each category simultaneously.
Illinois also is now the only state or province to have produced two wild whitetails officially netting in excess of 300 inches. The Jerry Bryant non-typical, shot with a crossbow in 2001, was the state’s previous overall No. 1 whitetail. That massive trophy remains the world record by crossbow.
Luke downed his new P&Y record last Nov. 2 in Edgar County, Illinois, which lies on the state’s eastern border with Indiana. The mighty deer was known primarily through trail camera photos, the last of which was taken only hours before Luke got his shot at the beast. An exclusive cover story in the Spring issue of North American Whitetail — now available on newsstands everywhere — details the exciting timeline of this historic bowhunt and contains a number of on-the-scene photos.
The Brewster buck’s antlers are scheduled to be on public display at P&Y’s 31st biennial convention in Omaha, Nebraska, April 10-13. Check back with us regularly for updates on the convention and further details on the Illinois buck’s final antler measurements as they become available.