How to Score a Deer: Mastering the Art of Hunting Success

How to Score a Deer

Scoring a deer is an important skill for hunters who want to keep track of their hunting achievements or participate in competitions. The scoring system allows hunters to determine the size and quality of a deer based on its antlers. In this article, we will guide you step by step on how to score a deer.

Step 1: Understanding the Scoring System

Before you start scoring a deer, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the scoring system. The most commonly used system is the Boone and Crockett scoring system, which assigns scores based on specific measurements of the antlers.

The measurements used in the Boone and Crockett system include the length of each main beam, the number of points on each antler, the inside spread, and the circumference of the antlers at specific locations.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you can begin scoring a deer, make sure you have the following tools handy:

  • Tape measure
  • Calipers
  • Paper and pen
  • Score sheet or scoring software (optional)

These tools will help you take accurate measurements of the deer’s antlers.

Step 3: Measure the Main Beams

The main beams of a deer refer to the long central branches that extend from the skull and form the structure of the antlers. Measure each main beam from its base to the tip using a tape measure. Record the length of each beam in inches.

Step 4: Count the Points

The next step is to count the points or tines on each antler. A point is defined as any projection that is at least one inch long and longer than it is wide. Count the points on each antler and record the total number of points.

Step 5: Measure the Inside Spread

The inside spread refers to the width between the main beams at their widest point. Use a tape measure to measure the distance between the inner edges of the main beams. Record the inside spread measurement in inches.

Step 6: Measure the Circumference

Measure the circumference of each main beam and selected locations along the beams. Use calipers to measure the circumference. Place the calipers at the desired location and record the measurement in inches.

Step 7: Calculate the Final Score

Now that you have all the necessary measurements, it’s time to calculate the final score. To calculate the score, consult the Boone and Crockett score sheet or use scoring software if available. The score sheet will provide instructions on how to assign points and calculate the final score based on the measurements you have taken.

The final score is typically determined by adding the measurements of both antlers together, along with any additional measurements or deductions based on specific criteria outlined in the scoring system.

It’s important to note that scoring a deer should be done carefully and accurately to ensure fairness and consistency. If you’re participating in a competition, make sure to follow the specific rules and guidelines set by the organizers.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Score A Deer: Mastering The Art Of Hunting Success

How Do You Score A Deer Accurately?

To score a deer accurately, use the Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young system, which consider antler length, mass, and symmetry.

What Is The Purpose Of Scoring Deer Antlers?

Scoring deer antlers helps hunters compare trophy quality, track population health, and contribute to conservation efforts.

Which Scoring Method Is Used For Whitetail Deer?

For whitetail deer, the Boone and Crockett scoring system is commonly used to determine the quality of antlers for record keeping.

Are There Different Scoring Systems For Mule Deer?

Yes, the Boone and Crockett and Safari Club International scoring systems are commonly used for scoring mule deer antlers.


Scoring a deer is a valuable skill for hunters who want to measure and compare the size of different deer. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can accurately score a deer using the Boone and Crockett system or any other recognized scoring system. Remember, scoring a deer requires practice and attention to detail, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time to become proficient. Happy hunting!

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