Earlier this month on March 1, the Pope and Young Club convened a Special Panel of Judges in Omaha, Nebraska to review Luke Brewster’s massive Illinois non-typical whitetail as a potential world record.

Taken by Brewster as he bowhunted in eastern Illinois in early November 2018, the buck had already received a 60-day entry score of 320 5/8 inches, figures that were announced by Brewster and North American Whitetail editor Gordon Whittington at the 2019 Archery Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

After panel scoring by a group that included official Boone and Crockett Club measurer Ken Witt (of Fort Worth), B&C’s Kyle Lehr, retired B&C big game records director Jack Reneau, and P&Y Panel Chairman Ed Fanchin, the final numbers were nothing short of staggering as an official tally of 327 7/8 inches net was declared.

That means that the Brewster buck is now confirmed as the new Pope and Young Club world record non-typical whitetail, beating out Michael Beatty’s 2000 Ohio buck by more than 33 inches.

It also means that Brewster’s buck is the largest whitetail ever tagged by a hunter, falling behind only two pick-up entries (the No. 1 Missouri Monarch B&C world record of 333 7/8 inches and the No. 2 B&C Ohio Hole in the Horn Buck at 328 2/8 inches).

For full details on the Brewster buck’s amazing story, visit NorthAmericanWhitetail.com or buy the Spring 2019 issue of North American Whitetail magazine currently found on local newsstands.

Texas Spring Turkey Season Starts — Spring turkey season starts its March 16-April 28 run this weekend in South Texas as hunters begin the annual chase for lovesick Rio Grande gobblers strutting about.

The North Texas Rio Grande season begins later this month, running from March 30-May 12, while the Eastern Turkey season runs April 22-May 14 in several East Texas counties (including Grayson and Fannin Counties).

In general, TPWD biologists predict a good spring turkey season across the state with a fair number of mature gobblers. Look for a full spring turkey hunting forecast in next week’s Herald Democrat Outdoors section.

Bassmaster Classic Begins — Today marks the opening round of the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, the 49th time that the Super Bowl of bass fishing has been contested.

This year’s event is taking place on lakes in the Tennessee River system near the Knoxville area, a place where hometown favorite Ott DeFoe is the trendy pick to win.

My prediction for this weekend’s Classic? While I expect Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers and Jason Christie to have good showings, along with the Alabama trio of back-to-back champ Jordan Lee, Gerald Swindle and Aaron Martens, I’m going with the Michigan man Kevin VanDam.

Why KVD? Since this is likely his final Classic appearance (after moving to the new Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour), I’d bet that VanDam is even more motivated than usual.

And since he should have plenty of room to move around and seek active fish with his power fishing techniques this weekend, look for KVD to climb to the top of the Classic mountain by Sunday evening, winning his fifth Classic championship and 26th B.A.S.S. title overall.

After all, what else would you expect from the sport’s G.O.A.T. (greatest of all-time) in what is likely his final Classic at-bat?