Net score of a whitetail buck
For most people, this gross antler score is all that you need to see where your deer’s antlers rank. A common phrase is “nets (meaning net score after deductions) are for fishermen”, but if you want to be entered into the record books, deductions will have to be subtracted from the gross score of the antlers. The deductions will be the differences between the left side tines, circumferences and all scorable abnormal points.
Scoring whitetail deer – How to score a buck
Measure the main beams of the antlers
This measurement is taken on the outside edge of each antler, starting at the base of the burr. From the base of the burr, follow the outside and center of the main beam all the way to the antler tip. Record both measurements.
Measure the inside spread of the main beams
This measurement , taken perpendicular to the centerline of the skull, will be the greatest distance between main beams. This number will be your spread credit as long as it is not longer than the longest main beam. If it is longer than the longest main beam of the antlers, the longest beam measurement will be used as the spread credit. Record the spread credit of your buck’s antlers.
Take the tine or “G” measurements
These measurements will be numbered for each tine and will start with a G. On a typical whitetail buck, the G1 will be the brow tine, the G2 (typically the longest G measurement) will be the next tine away from the skull, the G3 will be the next tine, etc. The last antler point before the main beam tip is the last G measurement you will record. Measure the tines by marking a horizontal line where the main beam would be on the antler point and measuring from that line to the tip of the tine. Record your measurement for each tine.
Take the circumference or “H” measurements
The H1 measurement will be the smallest circumference between the burr and the first point. The H2 measurement will be between the smallest circumference between the first point and the second point. Continue these measurements until you have recorded four measurements per side of the antlers. If there is no G4 tine present, the H4 will be measured at the halfway point between the G3 and the main beam tip. Record your measurements.
Take a measurement of abnormal points
An abnormal point will count toward the gross score of the antlers but will be deducted from the total score to reach the net score. An abnormal point must be at least one inch in length. Measure all abnormal points and record.
Calculate your final score of a whitetail buck.
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Deer hunting is not all about numbers or how many inches of antler a particular buck’s rack sports. On the vast majority of ranches in Texas today, bucks in the 170 BC and bigger are non existent. Deer of this size are occasionally harvested from small acreages where deer certainly cross several property lines on a daily basis. But most extremely high scoring bucks are taken from intensively managed ranches, either high fence or extremely large low fenced ranches, ranches where the majority of the deer never leave the property or the management plan the ranch owner has in place.
To sum it up, deer are hunted for many reasons. Some deer hunters are just out there for the sheer joy of spending a few well earned days at deer camp and are happy for a buck, any buck, and a doe or two for the freezers These guys and gals probably get more enjoyment from all aspects of the hunt than those that are strictly ‘head hunters’.