If you want to take a big buck, you need to know how to tell if a buck really is as big as you think. Here’s a rough breakdown on field judging whitetail deer on the hoof (assuming you’re after a record book buck).
- Look for 10 points or more. Not one buck in the top 300 B&C has fewer than ten points. A ten pointer almost always makes Pope and Young.
- Tine length. The length of each tine needs to be at least the length of the bucks ear.
- Body size can trick you. A big bodied deer can sometimes look like it has a small rack…and vice versa. Deer tend to be bigger as you go north.
- Look at the main beam. A giant bucks main beam extends to near, or even past the end of the nose.
- Mass adds up.
- Inside spread. A buck only needs to be a little outside the ears (on alert). More, of course, is better.
A whitetail deer is scored by adding up the following measurements, rounded to the nearest 1/8 of an inch:
- Greatest inside spread.
- Length of main beam on left side.
- Length of main beam on right side.
- Each individual tine length.
- Four mass measurements per main beam.
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