Scoring Your Trophy Whitetail

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dropped3.jpgThe Pope and Young club was founded in 1961 in honor of pioneer
bowhunters Dr. Saxton Pope and Arthur Young . The club advocates and
encourages responsible bowhunting by promoting quality fair chase
hunting on all species of game. Pope and Young records are officially
updated every 2 years, with the highest scoring animals being judged by
a panel of official scorers.

The following information is how to rough score
a rack. It by no means makes the criteria to be used in making
difficult scoring judgments. The official score must be obtained from
an official Pope and Young scorer.

A rack must be air dried
for sixty days before it can be officially scored and entered into the
Pope and Young records, but a rough score as we will do in this article
can be done at any time. This contest will be using rough gross scores
as a means of judgement.

Here is how the scoring system works:

In simple terms measurements are taken of the typical frame of the
antlers first. These include the length of tines, length of main beams,
and circumferences along the main beam as well as the greatest inside
spread between the antlers. Once the typical frame has been accounted
for, any and all non-typical points are measured and added into this rough total.

From this subtotal, or “gross
score” as it is commonly referred to, discrepencies in tine length, beam length, and length of abnomal
points are deducted to achieve a net score.

Typical antlers: There are two categories within the scoring system for
whitetail deer: Typical and Non–typical. Typical scoring gives high
priority to symmetry. On a typical buck both side-to-side discrepancies
and abnormal points count against the final score.

Non-typical antlers: If a buck has at least one abnormal point Pope
& Young permits it to be scored as either a typical or non-typical
at the discretion of the hunter. An abnormal point is any point that
doesn’t originate off the top of the main beam or any point off the top
of the main beam that appears to be out of place, not matching the
normal spacing of the tines of the other antler.  When
sticker points are long, whether or not it is considered a typical
point comes down to it’s spacing along the beam and becomes a judgment
call best left to an experienced trained official scorer.

Official scorers use a ¼ inch wide steel tape measure to make all
measurements. While this may be the most consistent way to get exact
readings you can get by with using a cloth tape measure similar to
those used by a seamstress.

*SCORES ARE MEASURED TO THE NEAREST 1/8TH INCH*

Measuring tines:

BM129.jpgBM128.jpg

The first step in measuring a tine is to determine where it begins.
You’ll need a pencil to mark this location. On points that come off the
main beam you first have to make a mark across the base of the tine
that approximates the top of the beam. This is generally done by using
a straightedge to span from the low points along the top of the beam on
either side of the point. This is done on the outside of the rack. Make
a mark on the tine and go to the next one. Measure from here to the tip
of the tine, following the centerline of the tine along the outside of
the rack.

When measuring abnormal points that come off
other points you follow a very similar procedure. First determine where
the edge of the primary point would be if the point were not there.
Make a mark here and measure from this point along the centerline of
the abnormal point out to it’s end.

Measuring circumferences:

BM130.jpg

Regardless of the number of points the buck has, you get four
circumference measurements on each beam. Circumference is often
referred to as mass because it indicates the bulkiness of the rack. All
circumferences are taken at the smallest point between two tines or at
designated locations along the main beam if the buck has eight or fewer
typical points. The first circumference is taken at the smallest point
between the base and the brow tine. The second is taken at the smallest
point between the brow tine (called the G1) and first primary typical
point (called G2). If the beam has only two points (three total) the
next measurement is taken 1/3 of the way from the lst point to the end
of the main beam and the fourth is taken 2/3 of the way out. If the
beam only has three points (four points total) the fourth circumference
is taken half way between the last point and the end of the main beam.

BM127.jpgMeasuring the Main Beams

The main beams are measured along their centerline from the base all
the way to the tip. Measure the length along the outside of the rack.

Measuring inside spread:

Inside spread is the greatest distance between the beams when measured
parallel to the base. In other words, you can’t angle the tape in hopes
of making the rack wider. The inside spread cannot be larger than the
measurment of the longest main beam. In other words, if your inside
spread is less than the length of the longest main beam, you use that
measurement. If the inside spread is larger than the longest main beam,
you would use the measurement of the main beam and not the spread.

When you’re all finished with your measurements, you total them up and
that is your gross score. Just to make sure you have everything, you
should have the following measurements:

  • Inside Spread
  • Main Beam x 2 (1 for each side)
  • Typical Tines x however many your deer has
  • Non-Typical Tines x however many your deer has
  • Circumference Measurements x 8 (4 for each side)

By following these instructions and looking at the diagrams on the Pope
and Young score sheets you should be able to come up with a rough score
on your own using the information above and on the score sheet.


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