Two well-known trophy recording systems exist for scoring Cape buffalo: SCI; and Rowland Ward with the SCI system being the most popular. When scoring cape buffalo, keep one thing in mind: A good buff is an old buff.
An old bull is fairly easy to field judge. You just need to look at the boss and a few other factors. First, look for a well developed hard boss, as this will determine that the bull is mature. Next, look at the spread. A bulls ears usually have a 34″-36″ spread. If the horns are a hand-width wider than the ears, you can safely assume that the bull you are looking at is above 40″ and you should start shooting.
How to Score Cape Buffalo
The SCI Scoring System
The largest of its kind in the world, SCI’s Record Book is considered the gold standard of encyclopedias of big-game animals. The unique program and all-inclusive scoring system has helped document the hunting heritage since 1977. All entries are submitted by hunters and verified by Master Measurers to ensure accuracy.
SCI contributes 100 percent of the net proceeds from the Record Book and its World Hunting Awards – which recognizes hunters who have achieved exceptional levels of big-game success – to conservation and anti-poaching efforts.
- Measure the length along the outside of the horn curl, from tip to tip, plus the straight-line width measurement of both bosses for a combined total score in inches.
- 100 inches is the minimum measurement needed to qualify for record book entry.
The Rowland Ward Scoring System
The mission of Rowland Ward is to help preserve and increase wildlife and its habitat worldwide by supporting sustainable, fair-chase hunting, which, in turn, directly benefits the local indigenous people of the areas involved.
To further this goal, Rowland Ward maintains a database of measurements of big-game animals that have been hunted on a fair-chase basis and under the highest sporting standards.
- This system is much different because it only measures the greatest outside spread.
- 42 inches in the current requirement for record book entry.