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Truth on Antler Scores.

Old 12-13-2007, 01:43 PM
Typical Buck
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Default Truth on Antler Scores.

My purpose in this post is to try to shed some light on the relevance of antler scores. I think there's a trend going on in the hunting community that goes overboard about what every buck scores, as if the number Boone and Crockett, or some other group, attaches to your buck is the sum of its worth. I think this process robs some people of the joy of the hunt, and they could be happier if they sort of eased up on the whole scoring thing.

Let me own right up that I love dabbling in B&C antler scores. I can rarely resist jumping on to one of those 'what will he score' threads and waxing wise. I've measured every buck of any size I've ever taken. I will continue to do so, but the experience of the last two years has taught me to keep those numbers in context. Let me tell you about it.

I've become obsessed with big buck hunting over the past several years. (It is a wonderful obsession when you keep your attitude right.) Over time, I've begun to kill some real veteran bucks. Each of the past two years I've killed bucks that were 6 1/2 years old. Had a genie revealed this to me two years ago I'd have been certain that I was on my way to legend status as a deer hunter. I'd have thought I would now be looking at 300+ inches of deer antler off those two bucks. Not even close as it turns out!

My two titans gross score only 115 and 130. I wouldn't have believed it had I not done it myself. I let magazines color my expectations, and have had to do some serious rethinking of my standards. What I have found has set me free. I have come to realize, completely, that the B&C score is just a number. It cannot in any way stand as the sum of the hunt.

The stories attached to my taking of these two bucks are dear to me. Both were taken with the rifle, but at bow ranges, after long difficult hunts. I can put myself back into those moments and still get a rush of ecstacy thinking about it.

It's about the story, people. That's my message. If you're "in to" scoring them, fine. So am I. But keep that number in its proper place. Don't let a "disappointing number" in any way devalue the joy in your heart.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:29 PM
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

Well put...I am more about the enjoyment of the hunt than what the rack scores. I do like to babble scores as well, but I'd much rather display a mount and tell everyone what it scores (which takes 5 seconds) and then proceed to tell them the story of how I was able to outsmart him, which could last a lot longer and create more enjoyment for me.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:44 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

I also think that the experience of the hunt is more important than the total inches of antler. I'm pretty proud of my 141" mule deer that has very proportionate antlers and I shot on public land on a DIY non-resident hunt this year in Montana. Much more than if that same deer had been shot on a guided hunt on private land.

The other thing that I think about the scoring system is that there are some really ugly antlers that score very well on the B&C system. I personally don't care for the gnarly twisted hulk of antlers that score huge points based on their circumference measurments but hardly even look like a deer. Give me a nice symetrical rack any day even if it scores a few inches less. Okay, I would love to shoot a drop tine but otherwise symetrical!

That's my 2 cents.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:05 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

100 inches might be a huge buck insome area's(like where i hunt) but is considered small in other area's. i hate hunters who look down on guy's like me or consider themselves better or superior hunters because they have bigger deer on the wall....this really burns me up. not only do i hunt an area where 100 inches isa huge buck but i also have only hunted public land my entire life. you come down here and shoot a 100 inch buck on public land and to me that is more impressive than a 165+ inch buck on private land anyday.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:40 PM
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

I agree thoroughly. Its all about the hunt and spending time doing what we love.....being in the woods with these awesome animals. Ive even seen a couple of posts on here that were less than enthusiastic when someone shot what they thought was a good buck, while the other person did not think it was a trophy.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:44 PM
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

Lots of bucks can live to be 9 or more years old and will never have a 130" or more rack. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them would never have a 100" rack.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:13 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Hillsdale,IN
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

Im glad that their are others that feel this way. I am a big believer in buck managment, but somtimes I tell my self does it realy matter if I shoot a monster. I have friends that wont shoot deer that I would shoot in a heart beat. They also hardly ever kill a deer and have a dull hunting season while Im wiggin out about killing a "small deer". I think people are turning deer hunting into a sport or compotition and this is the wrong way to view hunting.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:42 PM
Dominant Buck
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

Good post dirt2 and certainly relevant to the way many of us think. I always focus on the fact that it is the hunt rather than the kill that is important to me. We all set standards to which we hope to achieve. One man's trophy is another man's cull. I am always very thankful for every deer I take and have never been sorry I pulled the trigger
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:02 PM
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Location: Port Neches, Texas
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

A trophy is a trophy in the eye of the beholder! Any legal deer can be a trophy. That said, when measuring up bucks I believe there are many things that can go into the formula. Region, not all are the same! Is it a better than average buck for your area?
Money, throw out the super high dollar, high fence. Even with those out of the picture, some people pay more for better managed areas.
I like measuring deer and I have nothing against scoring systems, but I don't think that its as important as some make it to be!
Where I hunt, a very good buck will be 120 tops! Are there any 150's killed? Sure there are! Mostly on better managed land.If Iwere to say "I'm not going to shoot anything less than a 140"! I'd be eating a lot of "tag soup" for several years.
The average East Tex lease is about 400.00 with at most 100 acres per hunter. Western parts of the state and especially South Tex, 1500.00 is a bargain! Many places are 3000.00+, and have 1 hunter per 300 acres! Plus better habitat and management!
So, a 115 B&C for a fraction of the cost ofa 135-140 B&C. Bottom line is that if you can afford it, or you are just blessed with a very good region, I'm happy for you! Just don't look down on others that cannot, or choose not to pay the price!
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:05 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Default RE: Truth on Antler Scores.

I agree 100%, hunting is what we as individuals make it to be and it gets cheapened when we lose sight of this fact. I have always believed competition is between the hunter and quarry (whatever that may entail)...it should be a personal quest nothing more.IMHO,if hunter is proud of their harvest thats all that matters. I am extremely happy for them and share in their joy, asI can relate.

I guess you could say I am on the other side in that I amlumped into a "trophy" hunter group, being score is one criteria in my standards. Though it certainly isn't the only factor either. I enjoy the meat, venison is our preference for red meat. I believe wholeheartily in management and harvesting females for herd health. Maturity is something I personally look at when chasing bucks. I find it more rewarding/challenge personally to pursue mature bucks. I love the outdoors and nature in general, cherishing every moment I spend enjoying it. I spend far mor time scouting and preparing then hunting itself. It is an obsession no doubt but its a love and can't image ever wanting it to be anything less. I have went through many stages of deer hunting and will say the life as a "horn" hunter can be a lonely one. The stage I am in now is simply enjoy all that hunting gives me, if I harvest something bonus. Notching a tag isn't the be all/end all for me anymore andI'm loving it. Funny thing is I have been more successful in the tagging department since I stopped obsessing over the end result and just living in the moments.
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