There are many factors that go into determining a deer’s score, including its antler size and shape. Using a scale of one to three points, the score is based on a deer’s overall size, as well as its tine length and width. Some measurements are difficult to estimate due to the fact that they are far from a reference point and are often skewed by view angles or extra points on the tine. Regardless of these factors, it is important to have at least a one-inch-long rack. The easiest reference point to use is the measurement from the base of the ear to the tip of the tine. By estimating the length of the tines in relation to this measurement, it is easy to get an idea of how large or small the rack is.
Typically, a deer’s antlers are measured using a pliable cable. It is then marked on the antlers using masking tape. The score for a typical buck is 145 points; a non-typical buck is one with more points, but the difference is only six.
Another factor in whitetail deer scoring is the symmetry between the left and right side. The difference between one side of a buck’s rack and the other will be subtracted from the final gross score. Additionally, abnormal points will be deducted from the score as well. After a 60-day drying period, the official measurement is used for P&Y. To be considered a typical whitetail, a buck must have a rack measurement of 125 inches, while a non-typical buck needs a minimum of 155 inches.
While scoring a deer’s antlers is important, it is also important to know the terminology associated with each measurement. Without proper terminology, you and your fellow hunters will not be able to communicate effectively. By knowing what to expect, you’ll feel more confident in the process.
Before examining a deer’s rack, take a few minutes to estimate its score. Frame length, mass, and tine length will help you make a rough estimate. You can later add points and spread, but for now, try to focus on these three primary components of the rack. Using a scoring sheet can make the process much simpler. You can find these sheets online or download them from record-keeping organizations, such as Boone and Crockett, or the Pope and Young Club.
To get a more accurate idea of what the score should be, you should measure the buck several times. Although it isn’t always possible to practice with a deer decoy, you can practice on a deer by green-scoring it so you’ll have a good idea of what the official score should be.
The second point of the antlers, called G-2, is seven to eight inches long. Outstanding bucks may have G-2s of nine or even 11 inches in length. The third point should be eight to ten inches in length. A good way to estimate tine length in the field is by comparing the point length to the ear length.