Score Your Buck

Scoring your own buck isn't difficult once you know the process. On a typical buck, the inside spread counts on the score. Main beam lengths also count, as do all typical tine lengths. Also, there are four circumference measurements that count on each main beam. This is true whether the deer is a spike or a typical 14-point buck. On a spike, you go half way out the main beam length, take this measurement and multiply by four. On an 8-point, you take the smallest circumference measurement between the burr and brow tine (G1), one between the G1 and G2 tines, the third circumference measurement between the G2 and G3 tines, and the last measurement comes half way between the centerline of the G3 tine and the end of the main beam. On a 10-point and up typical the fourth circumference measurement comes between the G3 and G4 tines. Once this is done, the main beam lengths, tine lengths, circumference measurements and inside spread are added together to obtain the gross typical score. Difference in symmetry between the lengths of the main beams, length of each corresponding tine, and the difference in corresponding circumferences are then totaled and this figure is deducted from the gross typical score. This gives us the final net typical score if the rack is a clean typical. If the deer has a small number of split tines, drop tines, or stickers, the total lengths of all of these tines are totaled and they also are deducted from the gross typical score. In cases where the split tines, drop tines and sticker points are considerable, then you will want to total these measurements and add them to the net typical score of the buck's typical frame. This gives the deer its non-typical score. Remember that a deer can be scored either way. Tools of the trade: A telescoping radio antenna, a bicycle cable, official 1/4 inch measuring tape (available from The Pope & Young Club or The Boone & Crockett Club), a lead pencil and the score sheet for a typical deer.
This is the deer we are going to score, a good clean 4 ½ year old, 8-point buck. By the way, this buck's net score is 137 inches even. Remember when scoring your buck that all measurements are to the nearest 1/8 inch.
A telescoping radio antenna is perfect for determining the greatest inside spread of the rack. Keep the antenna at a right angle to the centerline of the deer's skull.
Once you've used the telescoping antenna to obtain the inside spread, simply use a tape measure to see what this measurement turns out to be. This buck's inside spread is 17 4/8 inches. It's hard to kill a buck that has greater than a 20-inch inside spread.
Use the bicycle cable to mark where the top of the main beam would follow across each typical tine on the main beam.
Using the ¼" measuring tape, measure the length of each typical point as shown, from the top of the main beam line to the end of the tine. This is the G3, or third, tine.
Starting on the outside center of the bottom of the burr, tape the bicycle cable along the outer centerline of the main beam. Mark where it ends at the end of the main beam and then measure this length. Do the same for the other main beam.
Once you have the cable attached to the main beam, simply put tape or a clip at the end of the main beam, remove the cable and measure the main beam length.
Use the official tape to determine each circumference measurement. You are looking for the smallest circumference measurement between the burr and G1, between G1 and G2, G2 and G3, and halfway between the centerline of the G3 tine and the end of the main beam on a typical 8-point rack.
A measuring tape with the "zero" reading inset from the end is handy for determining circumference measurements. Both the Pope & Young Club and the Boone & Crockett Club sell these tapes.
The most accurate method of measuring the greatest spread is to place the rack on the floor with one side against a wall, then use a square and tape to get the exact distance.
The tip to tip spread of the rack is recorded, even though it doesn't enter into the score. This measurement helps a reader visualize what a rack looks like if a picture isn't available.
When scoring a non-typical rack, tape all sticker points, drop tines and forks. Ignoring these non-typical points, score the typical frame of the rack and obtain the net typical score. Finally, tally up the total of all non-typical points and add them to the net typical score and you have the rack's non-typical score. So now that he's scored, you want to get your trophy mounted. Here's a simple way to mount your own deer rack.