antler scoring

Antler Scoring

Grant Woods |

There are gads of deer shows this time of year and most of them have an antler scoring/judging contest. Want an advantage of guessing the score over your buddies? The Boone and Crockett Club published a book titled Records of North American Whitetail Deer that’s full of great information and tips about antler scores. They also recently released the following quiz that I found interesting and think you will also. First the questions and then the answers.

Questions:

1. There are currently 8,568 typical whitetails listed in Boone and Crockett records. What percentage are 8-pointers (eastern count)?

2. Which antler characteristic factors most heavily into the score of a typical whitetail?

3. Continent-wide, what are the odds of a deer hunter collecting and entering a Boone and Crockett-qualifying whitetail?

Quiz answers: 

1. 2.6 percent. The World’s Record typical 8-pointer, taken in Mexico in 1985, boasts a final score of 184-5/8.

2. Main beam lengths account for 30 percent of the score. The average Boone and Crockett-class buck has main beams measuring 25.63 inches. For field judging purposes, it’s about 8 inches from a buck’s eye to the end of its nose, so look for main beams at least three times that length. The next-most important factor is mass. Circumference measurements taken between the burr and first point, and between other points along the main beam, together provide nearly 18 percent of the score. What’s a good way to field-judge mass? The circumference of a whitetail’s eye is about four inches, and antler circumference measurements on a standard Boone and Crockett qualifying rack average 4.45 inches. So, hunters should look for main beams thicker than the eyes, with that mass carried through the length of the beams. Other important characteristics for score, accounting for 12 percent each, are spread credit, length of second point and length of third point. The average Boone and Crockett trophy has a spread credit of 19.75 inches, second-points measuring 10.10 inches and third points measuring 10.12 inches.

3. Approximately 1 in 20,000. There are roughly 10 million deer hunters who now enter about 500 whitetails a year in Boone and Crockett records. By comparison, in Wisconsin, which now produces the most trophy whitetails with about 130 a year and has some 600,000 deer hunters, the odds are approximately 1 in 4,500.

If you enjoy learning about deer check out this book and many other publications by Boone and Crockett at www.boone-crockett.org.

Growing and hunting deer together,

Dr. Grant Woods, GrowingDeer.tv