How To Score A Deer

You just shot a nice whitetail buck. It looked huge when you were about to release the arrow, and it turns out that it is even bigger than you thought. You send a couple pictures of it to your friends and the questions instantly start rolling in. “What did it score? Is it going to be a Boone and Crockett award winner?” Before firing off another text that isn’t even close to accurate, take a few minutes and read. Scoring deer isn’t that complex of a process, and you can do it fairly quickly once you get the hang of it. All you need is a pen, flexible tape measure, and a Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young scoring sheet, easily downloaded from the Internet. Keep reading for a detailed process of how to score a deer. 

Grunt, Snort-Wheeze, and Rattle this to your buddies!

How To Score A Deer

Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young

Before you start scoring a deer, you might want to know whether you’re chasing a Boone and Crockett Award or a Pope and Young award. B and C awards can be won for any buck taken with a gun or a bow in a fair chase scenario. Boone and Crockett Award winners need to score between 160 and 170. This is for typical deer. Anything over 170 qualifies for the B and C All-Time Award. If the deer is non-typical, the minimum score is 195.

Pope and Young awards can be won for any buck taken down by archery in a fair chase hunting scenario. To have your buck qualify for a Pope and Young Award, your typical whitetail must score at least 125 points. A non-typical rack must score at least 155. Now that you’ve determined which club you’re wanting your buck to join, we can move on to the actual scoring of the deer. 


How To Score A Deer

To successfully score a deer, there are four different measurements that need to be taken into account: main beam lengths, inside spread, tine lengths, and antler circumferences. Every measurement should be rounded to the nearest eighth of an inch, as this is the way it is done for both award clubs. All measurements are done in inches, but are marked down as points. You also need to determine whether your whitetail is typical or non-typical, as this affects the scores needed for both Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young. Typical bucks have a symmetrical and normal pattern of points on their antlers. Non-typical bucks have points coming from the sides or the bottom of a main beam, or any points that are not symmetrical. Now let’s use that scoring sheet and get to work.

Measure The Inside Spread Of The Main Beams

The first step for this process is to take your tape measure and run it across the widest part of the inside antlers. Measure from the inside of one main beam to the other at the widest point possible. It has to run straight across and can’t be diagonal. Make sure to write this single measurement down for the inside spread of the main beams. This will be used as the spread credit, unless your inside spread is longer than the longest main beam. If this is the case, the longest main beam measurement will be used instead.

Measure The Main Beams

The second step to do when scoring a deer is to measure the length of the main beams. To take this measurement, run your tape measure from the base of the antler all the way up to the antler’s tip. Follow the center of the main beam on the outside of the antler. This will give you the most accurate measurement for main beam length. Make sure to do this with both antlers and mark down both measurements on the scoring sheet. 

Measure The Tines

Measuring the tines can be fairly tedious depending on how many points your buck has. On each antler, the points will be numbered. For example, the brow tine is called the G1. The G2 is the point after that, going farther away from the deer’s skull. This continues until you get to the last point before the tip of the antler. To measure the tines, mark a horizontal line where the main beam of the antler would meet the tine. Measure from that line you marked to the tip of the point. Make sure to write down each tine’s length on both antlers.

Measure The Circumference

            You’re almost done with how to score a deer. Now you have to start taking H measurements. Measure the smallest circumference between the antler burr and first tine. This is the “H1” measurement. H2 is the smallest circumference between the first and second points. Keep doing this until you have retrieved four measurements for each anter. If you don’t have a G4 point, then measure H4 as halfway between the G3 point and the tip of the antler. Once you’ve got all four H measurements for each antler, you’re done with measuring. Unless you brought down a non-typical that is. If your deer is a non-typical, that point will be added towards the gross score of the antler, but not the net. 

How To Score A Deer – Wrap Up

How To Score A Deer

Now that you’ve done all the measuring that is required, it’s time to add up the total score. You’ll add all of the measurements you took and this will be your gross score for your whitetail. This score is what most people brag about, and you’ll notice that the gross score is always going to be a bit exaggerated, as goes the nature of hunters and fishermen. If you are someone who would like to be in the Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young clubs, you’ll have to wait around 60 days until you can have an official score the rack, as the antlers have to dry. Hopefully you made the club! But, even if you didn’t you can still text back all of your friends asking for the score. 


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