Hunting Tips: How to Score Whitetail Deer Antlers


Scoring White Tail Buck Antlers: Typical and Non-Typical

If you scored a large White Tail deer on your last hunting trip, you may be wondering if the antlers are large enough to be in the record books. Here's a guide you can use to decide whether or not to call in an official scorer.

Typical v. Non-Typical

First, you've got to decide whether your antlers are Typical or Non-Typical, because it changes the way you score them. On a Typical antler, you have your main beam and all your points rising off the main beam. Any abnormal or non-typical points on scoring a Typical deer are deducted from the final score. A deer must have at least fifteen inches of Non-Typical points in order to be scored as a Non-Typical deer.

On a Non-Typical, you may have a tine or a point coming out at a strange place on the antler. Those non-typical points are then added back into the final score. It takes a larger total score for a Non-Typical antler to make the record book than it would a Typical antler, due to the added length of the abnormal tines.

1. Score Tine Length

The total length of each tine gives it its score. To begin with, you measure the length of the main beam, starting at the animal's head (called the burr) and ending at the very tip - all measurements should be to 1/8 of an inch. Then, start measuring each point that rising from the main beam (called G Points). The first point above the head is also called the "brow tine," or "G1." Each point from there, working your way up the main beam, is called G2, G3 and so on until you've scored each one.  

You score each side against the other for symmetry. The more symmetrical, the better the score. The lengths of the measurements on the right side are compared to the measurements on the left side, and any differences should be registered in the "difference" column on the scoring sheet.

2. Circumference Measurements

You are allowed four circumference measurements. The first one should be the smallest circumference in between the burr and the first point (G1). The next measurement is the smallest circumference between G2 and G3, and again between G3 and G4. If the antler does not have a G4, you measure the distance between G3 and the very tip, divide that in half and take the circumference measurement at the very middle.

3. Inside Spread Length or Longest Tine

Another figure is the greatest length in the spread between the left and right main antler beams. However, the length of the longest tine (main beam measurement) may equal, but not exceed, the inside spread. 

Your Final Score

Add up all of your measurements, then subtract out the differences for lack of symmetry, and this will give you your Net Score. On the Non-Typical antlers, this is the point at which you add back in the Non-Typical tine measurements.

A Typical must score at least 170 inches in order to make the Boone & Crocket record books for a deer killed during rifle hunting. There are different records for deer shot in bow hunting or musket hunting.  A Non-Typical all-time record book score is 195 inches. If you think you might have a Boone & Crocket buck, locate an official scorer in your area to see if your buck belongs in the record books.

A special thank you to Steve Richards of Neosho, MO for his contributions to this article.


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