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Does Boone and Crockett Only Accept Game Taken with a Rifle?

Luke Brewster with the impressive non-typical whitetail he harvested with a bow during the 2018 season with an official score of 327-7/8 points. The buck is the biggest whitetail buck killed by a hunter in the Boone and Crockett record book and ranks No. 3 All-time. Pope and Young Club presented Brewster and buck with the Ishi Award. Brewster harvested the buck in Edgar County, Illinois, which as a total of 23 entries in the record book. Illinois' top county is Pike with 57 total entries.

The locals called him Mufasa. If you have kids, then you recognize Mufasa as Simba’s father from Disney’s The Lion King. Now he’s called the Brewster Buck, aka the largest, hunter-killed, non-typical whitetail in the Boone and Crockett records. This eastern Illinois farm buck was a well-known behemoth that happened to walk in front of Luke Brewster’s arrow at 26 yards back in early-November 2018. It scored 327-7/8.

Butcher provided this portrait photo of his archery buck when it was submitted to Boone and Crockett for trophy entry.

Official B&C score: 321-3/8 Points
Date Taken: October 11, 2019
Location: Chase County, Kansas

Then came the Butcher Buck. Brian Butcher’s trail camera had snapped a photo of the buck in April 2019. In fall of that year, Butcher was hunting in his treestand on the edge of a CRP field when this brute came into 25 yards. One lung shot later and Butcher was looking at his buck, which scored 321-3/8.

Both the Brewster and Butcher Buck have been invited to be displayed at the Boone and Crockett Club’s 31st Awards

While these two deer are beyond impressive, they are not the largest non-typical whitetails in the Boone and Crockett records. The top two spots fall under the “picked up” category. “The pick up classification is a catch-all term we use for animals entered that were not taken by a hunter in Fair Chase. This includes found trophies, vehicle collisions, confiscated animals owned by a state fish and game agency, etc.,” says Justin Spring, director of Boone and Crockett Records. 

At the top spot for non-typical whitetails sits the Missouri Monarch, measuring in at 333-7/8. On November 15, 1981, hunter David Beckman saw a dead buck just inside a fence on private property. He contacted the local game warden who dressed out the buck, which was estimated to weigh around 250 pounds. The cause of death was unknown on this 5-1/2-year old whitetail. It’s been number one for 30 years. Check out that monster here.

In addition to pick-ups, archery-killed trophies and animals taken with a rifle, the Boone and Crockett Club also accepts hunter-killed entries taken with crossbows, recurves, handguns and shotguns—as long as they were taken in fair chase. Why record them all, even the animals that were killed by a vehicle? “The cumulative results recorded in the record books help indicate trends in big game management,” adds Spring. 

Examples of B&C Entries taken by various methods


Bryce Schweitzer with his picked-up bighorn sheep. The ram scores 175-6/8 points and was found in Elko Co., Nevada. Click here for details. 


Jerry Bryant with his incredible non-typical whitetail harvested with a crossbow. His story is featured in Records of North American Whitetail Deer, 6th Edition.


Seeing an Atlantic walrus in the record book is interesting. One harvested with a muzzleloader, even more so. Jim Shockey's bull scores 95-4/8 points.


Loren W. Scheie used a .44 Magnum pistol to harvest this black bear scoring 20-2/16 points.


No stranger to archery equipment! Mark Wayne Smith has several musk ox, plus a grizzly bear, in the record book taken by recurve bow.

.30-06 Springfield

The most popular caliber used to take a B&C trophy..... the .30-06 Springfield! Charles L. Cardell's non-typical whitetail has a final B&C score of 195-1/8 points.

Interestingly, the Club has recorded means of take, meaning the weapon used by the hunter (including caliber), since 2010—and the results will have you scratching your head. Using the new “Method Visualizer” tool, you will find that 66 book-worthy black bears have been killed with crossbows and 237 black bears have been killed with compounds. Three pronghorn and two musk ox were taken with recurves. Want to know how many Alaskan brown bears and grizzlies have been taken with a bow? Check out Big Game Records LIVE, which includes the Method Visualizer as part of its annual subscription, and take a look for yourself.


Method Visualizer

PJ DelHomme is a writer for Crazy Canyon Media in Missoula, Montana. He regularly contributes content to the Boone and Crockett Club as well as national and regional publications.

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