How to Score Whitetail Buck

by Jeremy Hoefs
Measure the antlers to enter your trophy into the record books.

Measure the antlers to enter your trophy into the record books.

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Deer hunting was a traditional method of gathering food for the family, with very little attention given to the antler size on the bucks. With the widespread growth of trophy deer hunting, several conservation groups, such as the Boone and Crockett Club, Pope and Young Club and Safari Club International, were created through the 20th century. These conservation groups set various standards for scoring the antlers on whitetail bucks. Every measurement is taken to the closest 1/8 inch and then entered into the scoring sheet for a final score.

Items you will need

  • Score sheet
  • Seamstress tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Pen and paper
Step 1

Count the number of points on each antler and enter the number in the appropriate area on the score sheet. A point must be 1 inch or more in length from the nearest edge of the beam to be counted.

Step 2

Take the spread measurements, including the inside spread, tip-to-tip spread and greatest spread. The inside spread is measured inside the antler beams at the widest place at a right angle to the skull. The tip-to-tip spread is measured from the distal points on both main beams. The greatest spread is also measured at a right angle to the center line of the skull and to the outside of both main beams or points.

Step 3

Measure the length of both main beams starting from the base and extending to the tip of the main beam. The measurement should be taken on the outside of the antlers, with the seamstress tape remaining in contact with the antlers at all times.

Step 4

Measure the length of every tine from the main beam to the tip of the tine. The number of measurements depends on the number of tines on the individual deer.

Step 5

Measure all non-typical tines. These tines are the points that aren't symmetrical to the opposite side and are subtracted from the final score.

Step 6

Take the circumference measurements between each tine. Every whitetail deer will have four circumference measurements. The first circumference is taken between the base of the antler and first tine, with the following circumference measurements taken between each tine.

Step 7

Add all of the measurements for both antlers to calculate the gross score. You can calculate the net score by subtracting the difference for each measurement.

Step 8

Fill out the entry affidavit form and submit it to the appropriate record-keeping organization. Some organizations require that your deer is measured by an official measurer, with the results signed by a witness. There is also a small fee.

About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images