The final Boone & Crockett number of the Brewster buck: a staggering 337 1/8 inch gross and 327 7/8 inch net. (Courtesy photo)
For Virginia bowhunter Luke Brewster, his journey right into the sport of bowhunting whitetails began as a simple pursuit, one initially designed to put some wild in the freezer in addition to a possibility to spend some peaceful, soul-nourishing time in the woods.
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That might be the way Brewster’s journey began, yet it wouldn’t be long prior to the humble, quiet young male would find himself top top a collision course with the biggest non-typical whitetail the a bowhunter has ever seen.
A veteran who offered in the U.S. Naval Corps and also spent a pair of tours of duty in Afghanistan, the Virginian has actually long enjoyed being in the outdoors. “My dad (Jim) black-powder hunted for whitetails and I’ve gone fishing v him a lot over the years,” stated Brewster, who resides in Bristow, Va. Through his wife Krista and daughter Allison.
After his discharge from the service, Brewster received an invitation to go deer searching with a friend. While he didn’t get a chance to fill a sign that first morning, he did view a doe and also was easily hooked top top the sport. “Hunting is therapeutic to me,” claimed Brewster. “When I very first got out of the maritime Corps, i went fishing with a many my buddies. Then among those buddies invited me come go searching at his mom’s property, therefore I got my Dad’s rifle, go out, and also quickly fell in love with just how peaceful and also quiet it every was.”
Desiring an ext of that solitude, it wasn’t long prior to Brewster was experimenting a farming interest the he had actually in chasing whitetails through a contemporary stick-and-string. “After that (first) morning, I started looking in ~ bows, visited a few archery shops, shooting a few different brands, (and to buy one),” recalled Brewster. “Some the the workers were nice enough to teach me the fundamentals of shooting a bow, i beg your pardon I discovered to it is in very comparable to gift behind a rifle.”
On come Deer-Rich Illinois
After finding regular success ~ above the target selection with his Hoyt RX-1 compound, Brewster was ready to move that success right into the deer woods together he waited high up in a brand-new Lone wolf treestand v his bow in hand. It wouldn’t it is in long prior to he would carry out so. “That an initial season, i shot 2 does through my bow,” that said. “And climate (in 2017), I was able to shoot my first archery buck. The was only a 2 ½ year old 10-pointer, but I was pretty happy with him.”
If solid shoot is one part of Brewster’s trip to a world-record whitetail, another involves the ability to make annual treks right into the deer-rich Midwest, long a mecca for some of the country’s greatest bucks. Many thanks to family members ground in the region, the young Virginia bowhunter was shortly pointing his pickup van west towards Illinois. “The an initial year (2015) I visited Illinois was 3 years back when i went the end to mine dad’s family members farm,” claimed Brewster. “He’s got quite a couple of acres and also has a farmer the does the farming.”
As Brewster ventured west, that met Brent Cearlock, Justin Cearlock, and also Ron Waggoner, girlfriend of the family members who quickly ended up being Brewster’s deer-hunting mentors together he ongoing his journey toward a fateful encounter with the sport’s benchmark buck. “My dad gave the sons-in-law the this family members friend permission to hunt and also they enabled me come hunt the same land,” said Brewster. “They live over there in the area, run about all year placing trail cameras and also treestands up, stuff prefer that.
They speak to Him ‘Mufasa’
“After ns met this folks, they type of take it me under their wings,” that added. “They verified me just how to hunting deer in the Midwest, i beg your pardon is a lot various than hunting in the huge woods (of) Virginia.” The 4 hunters quickly became good friends that not only shared typical deer searching ground, but likewise the whereabouts that a large buck that started to frequently show up on that hallowed Midwestern turf. Nicknamed “Mufasa” by the group, a growing collection that information and trail cam photos helped them item together ideas concerning the progression of a buck the turned from gift a an excellent wallhanger into a whitetail that would certainly rewrite the deer hunting record books.
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“He was a typical with a kicker point back in 2016, yet he was absolutely a good-sized buck that year,” stated Brewster. “But (in 2017), he definitely ended up being a shooter.” and also then some, an extremely likely ending up being a actual B&C publication buck the year. “We don’t have any kind of trail camera photos of him in velvet due to the fact that he constantly popped increase in late October or at an early stage November after the local crops had been harvested,” stated Brewster. “But two years ago, he dropped his antlers early and we figured the he could have obtained injured in which method or maybe even hit by a car. (In 2017), that started turning into this big non-typical. We were really excited as soon as we started acquiring pictures of him (that) year.”
But that excitement pales when contrasted to the buzz that was created within the team of hunters once the first 2018 trail cam photos that Mufasa to be secured in late October. “I remember being at work and it was Ron, ns think, who sent some pictures in a team text,” claimed Brewster. “I turned my phone off and also started laughing because I was reasoning ‘Oh mine gosh, there’s no method he grew every one of that!’”
With a mind-boggling array of non-typical points going in lot of directions, the disbelief concerning Mufasa’s world-class dimension is understandable. So, v a significant level of excited fueling him, Brewster helped his pregnant wife pass out candy ~ above Halloween evening, then loaded up his bow and hunting gear and also pointed the van west to merganser Illinois.
After obtaining into city in eastern Illinois’ Edgar County, it wasn’t long prior to Brewster and also his searching pals were obtaining ready come head right into the woods on the morning that Nov. 2, 2018. However that an initial morning hunt showed uneventful and the group met in city for breakfast around 10 a.m. To draw up plans because that the afternoon hunt.
“We talked about some stand placement changes, got caught up top top what was going ~ above at each property, looked at maps of our ground top top onX, and also ordered breakfast,” said Brewster. “You know, I just realized what the breakfast I had actually that morning was dubbed by the regional café – it was dubbed ‘The enlarge One Breakfast’ with eggs, sausage, hash browns, two biscuits, and gravy.”
Deer of a Lifetime
After leave the café, Brewster obtained to his hunting ground, donned his Realtree ScentLok searching duds, and also found his method to a various stand than he had actually hunted a few hours earlier. ~ settling right into his Hunter Safety system harness, that made a pair of exercise draws v his bow, then pulled his Vortex rangefinder out of the load to examine potential shot distances.
“There to be a scrape 26 yards to my east and I remember thinking around that specifically, placing that street in the ago of my head,” stated Brewster. “I ranged a couple of other point out on the deer trails, one in ~ 30 yards and also another at 35 yards. Then I settled in for the hunt.”
For a while, all was quiet in the wet woods conserve for the sounds of a rain-swollen creek to run nearby. However that all readjusted later in the afternoon when the deer hunting opportunity the a lifetime presented itself.
“I turned to mine east and also I quickly as i did so, I observed a deer jumping v the thicket, sort of bounding away,” recalled Brewster.
Worried that the doe might have in which method smelled him, Brewster slowly raised his binoculars and saw two more does easing with the thicket. And then suddenly, there was one of the biggest bucks that background has ever before seen.
“I looked up and just 3 or 4 steps far from a scrape to be Mufasa,” claimed Brewster. “I was blown away as soon as I observed him, and my jaw simply dropped to the ground. Ns was just stunned that he was standing there. Ns sat there a 2nd and climate I assumed ‘I’ve obtained to snap the end of it.’”
After quiet bringing his bow to complete draw, Brewster take it aim in ~ the massive whitetail stand not even 30-yards away.
“He pawed the dirt 2 or three times and also licked in ~ a branch over him,” claimed the Virginia bowhunter. “I’ll it is in honest, he looked so large that I believed my arrow might just bounce best off of him. Ns tried not to emphasis on the rack, though, and just placed the pins on mine Spot Hogg sight best where ns wanted. Ns went v my mental checklist, made certain the bubble was level, hit mine anchor point, made sure there were no branches in the way, and prepared come shoot.”
Aiming with the gap between his 20- and also 30-yard pins, Brewster touch the trigger on his release and also let the black Eagle Spartan arrow and the 100-grain Grim reaper Whitetail special broadhead combination fly. As the arrow crashed home, the huge non-typical buck bolted off, disappeared indigenous sight, and produced a large crashing sound a 2nd or 2 later.
After waiting a half-hour complying with the shot, Brewster climbed down and was able to find his legendary buck just 40 yards away, securing a bowhunting big-buck tale that might never it is in topped. “I take it a snapshot of him, sent it come the guys, and sat down, simply in awe as I looked at him,” said Brewster. “I choose up his rack and I just couldn’t believe what ns was holding. It felt favor a dream.”
Dream Come True
The gigantic non-typical is a dreamy buck because that sure, sporting 39 scorable clues in a 14X25 configuration. At first receiving a 60-day entry score that 320 5/8 inches net, dashboard scoring by Pope and Young Club and Boone and Crockett society measurers on march 1, 2019 in Omaha, Neb. Upped the last numbers of the Brewster buck to a staggering 337 1/8 inches gross and 327 7/8 customs net.
Those final numbers put the Brewster buck more than 33 inches ahead of Mike Beatty’s vault Pope & Young Club civilization record non-typical buck, a 39-point Ohio archery death in 2000 that actions 294 0/8 inches. What’s more, the Brewster buck is likewise now the largest whitetail ever before killed by a hunter all over in the world, topping Stephen Tucker’s 47-point Tennessee king , a Nov. 2016 buck that scored 312 0/8 inches.
In the rarefied air in ~ the height of the Boone and Crockett Club record book, Brewster’s buck drops behind only the 333 7/8-inch B&C people record Missouri king buck, a 44-point non-typical pickup entry the was found dead close to St. Luigi in 1981, and also the 328 2/8-inch hole in the Hornnon-typical, a 45-point 1940 pickup entry native Ohio. That renders Brewster’s gigantic Illinois whitetail the third biggest buck that all-time.
What does Brewster do for one encore currently that he’s tagged history’s best bow buck? “I’ve still obtained some room to fill in the freezer,” he laughed, adding that he’ll be happy through a smaller, mature buck this autumn as opposed to his people record brute from Illinois critical autumn. “For me, I just enjoy being outdoors,” the added. “I just gained lucky having actually that deer come by my stand that night.”
Maybe so, yet in Brewster’s case, that seems like there was a great mixture the luck and skill that all came together on a job of eastern Illinois deer searching ground critical fall, Midwestern turf whereby a bowhunter made good on the archery shooting of a lifetime.
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Not bad for a humble male from Virginia beginning the deer woods to seek a small peace and quiet.