When it comes to trophy deer hunting, size matters!
Deer antler scoring has become the standard for measuring trophy excellence.
Antler scoring offers a consistent way to compare racks for hunters who are competitive.
There are four generally accepted methods for scoring trophy bucks — Boone & Crockett (B & C), Pope and Young (P & Y), Longhunter and Buckmasters (BTR).
Boone and Crockett
The Boone and Crockett [B & C] Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt who’s inspired vision led sportsmen and conservationists to deal with issues affecting hunting, wildlife and wild habitat.
The B and C Club was the first to establish a standardized scoring system and so they have become the benchmark upon which most other records clubs set their deer antler scoring standards.
For whitetail deer to be eligible for the record book, they must have been killed ethically, according to the rules of “Fair Chase”. This means during legal hunting season, and in accordance with hunting regulations.
They must also meet the all-time minimum scoring standard of 170 inches for the typical category, and 195 inches for the non-typical category.
B and C acknowledge different minimum scores for their record book eligibility. With the whitetail deer, the minimum for record book eligibility is 160 inches for typical and 185 inches for non-typical antlers.
According to the club’s documentation ‘trophies that meets the Awards minimum but not the all-time minimum will be listed in the Big Game Awards Book.
Trophies meeting the all-time minimum will also be listed in Records of North American Big Game.
For more information visit Boone and Crockett
Pope and Young
The Pope & Young Club, founded in 1961, is the official record of bow-harvested North American big game.
To be eligible for the Bowhunting Big Game Records of North America, deer antler scoring must meet similar but lower standards than those for the B and C Club.
For a whitetail deer, the typical antler score needs to be 125 inches or better, and the non-typical antler score must be 155 inches or better.
Deer must be harvested using a bow and arrow, killed ethically and according to the rules of “Fair Chase”.
For more information visit Pope and Young
The Buckmasters Trophy Record (BTR) system, which is exclusively for whitetails, is the newest of the antler scoring methods and it is rapidly growing in popularity.
Founded by Jackie Bushman of Buckmasters in 1994, it is a full credit scoring system that will “record what nature produced, without making any assessment of its aesthetic value to the human eye’.
BTR is by far the simplest method of deer antler scoring and gives credit for every inch of antler that the deer grows.
There are some differences with the B and C and P and Y Club systems however.
It does not include the inside-spread measurement as it is a measure of air, not antler! It also does not deduct differences between lengths of opposing typical points.
Instead of using the two categories of typical and non-typical, the BTR system uses four antler scoring categories, which are perfect, typical, semi-irregular, and irregular.
To be eligible for the record book, a whitetail harvested with a firearm is 140 inches, and with a bow is 105 inches.
Another unique feature is the provision of categories for different types of firearms including centerfire rifles, shotguns, handguns and blackpowder guns.
The archery category acknowledges all compounds, recurves, and longbows, with a separate category for crossbows.
For more information visit Buckmasters
Longhunter is the official record-keeping system for North American big game taken with a muzzleloader.
It was founded in 1988 by the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association.
The system follows closely the B and C, and the P and Y Clubs and uses the same scoring system for measuring.
However for inclusion in the record books, a whitetail deer’s antlers must measure 130 inches to qualify for the typical category and 160 inches for the non-typical category.
For more information visit the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association
A deer’s antlers can be green scored at any time after the harvest.
With deer antler scoring, to determine eligibility for B & C, P & Y or Longhunter, antlers must first dry, at room temperature, under normal atmospheric humidity, in an unaltered state, for a period of at least 60 days after the date of harvest.
Only after this drying period can they be officially measured.
The Buckmasters BTR system does not require any drying period, therefore an official score can be recorded immediately following the harvest.
The tools for scoring process are very basic.
All measurements can be made with a 1/4-inch flexible steel tape measure [mandated by the rules] and a flexible steel cable along with an alligator clip for length measurements.
The key is it must be flexible enough to follow the curves of the antler, and strong enough not to stretch. Measurements are taken in 1/8-inch increments. For example, a half-inch is measured as 4/8, not 1/2.
You will also need a score sheet.
Please note that the Boone and Crockett Club score charts are protected by copyright laws. The score charts included here are for personal use only and not acceptable for entry in the Club’s Awards Program. Official score charts can be obtained from official measurers or the Club’s on-line store at Boone and Crockett
With the exception of the BTR system, there are two forms used for deer antler scoring for typical and non-typical.
Abnormalities are subtracted from the gross (total) score to provide the resultant net (final) score. These deductions are penalizing how asymmetrical the antlers are.
Eligibility is based on net score.
Understanding scoring terminology is necessary to ensure you put the correct score in the correct location on the score sheet.
The correct term for a brow tine is G1, the next typical point coming off the top of the main beam is the G2, the next is G3, and so on.
The letter H is used to refer to circumference of a buck’s antler. H1, H2, H3, and H4 refer to the locations on an antler where measurements are taken.
The H measurements are always the smallest circumference, so an H2 measurement is the smallest circumference between G1 and G2.
Regardless of the number of points, only 4 H (circumference) measurements are taken on any buck.
Any point coming off a point or growing from an abnormal location on the main beam is a non-typical point.
For a rack to be scored as typical, these abnormal points must be subtracted from the score, and added for a non-typical.
The measurements that are used are the:
- Tine lengths G1 through G7
- Tip to tip spread
- Greatest spread
- Inside spread of main beams
- Various circumference measurements H1 through H4 on the main beam