Trophy Score

Measuring Point Length in White-tailed Deer

Measuring Point Length in White-tailed Deer

Scoring your buck using the Boone & Crockett Method is not difficult, but it does require some time and effort. The biggest mistake most people make when scoring a whitetail’s antlers is inaccurately measuring the lengths of the points. To properly measure a point, you must first know the definition of a scorable point.

To determine how many normal and abnormal points your trophy has, the next step is to establish baselines so that “posssble points” can be identified and all point lengths can be obtained. Determine the baseline at the base of each point along the mainbeam. To do this, dig into your scoring equipment and find your flexible steel cable.

Before we get into establishing baselines, remember that each point must be classified as either normal or abnormal. All normal points project from the top, not the sides or bottom, of the main beam and normal points may not branch from other points. The final point count for each antler includes all measurable points, normal and abnormal, plus remember the main beam tips.

Measuring Point Length in White-tailed Deer

Look at both sides of the rack and match up points by their location. Points that originate from the sides or bottoms of the main beams are obviously abnormal. If there are extra points along the tops of the main beams, such as between “normally” spaced points (compare to the other antler), this will create obvious mis-matches from the left side to the right side and these may be considered abnormal points (antlers with numerous abnormal points will most likely be scored as non-typical bucks).

With all of that said, let’s establish baselines. Hold the cable on top of the main beam about an inch from the point in question and run it around the point to the top of the main beam on the other side of the point. Holding the cable in place, you can see where the antler material from the main beam intersects material from the antler point. Using a pencil, draw a line below the cable.

Measuring Point Length in White-tailed Deer

You have now established the baseline for this point, but you must repeat this process in order to establish the baselines for every other point. With baselines established, use the flexible steel cable and measure from the tips of the points to their respetive baselines.

Establishing the correct baseline is very important because you do not want to under-estimate point length, but you also don’t want to over-estimate. In addition, for small points, a proper baseline is important because it will allow you to determine whether or not the point meets the definition of a point. Also, keep in mind that you may have to repeat this process for abnormal points that occur on normal points. In this instance, repeat the baseline process but the point will serve as the “main beam” and the abnormal point will serve as the “point.”

On white-tailed deer antlers, all normal points project from the top, not the sides or bottom, of the main beam and they may not branch from other points. The final point count for each antler includes all measurable points, normal and abnormal, plus the main beam tip. Look at both sides of the rack and match up points by their location. If extra points along the beam tops create obvious mis-matches from side to side, these may be abnormal.

Measuring Point Length in White-tailed Deer



5 Comment(s)

  1. I found you article helpful in determining point length. I wasn’t sure where to measure from. Thanks!

    adam | Feb 1, 2008 | Reply

  2. This is a very helpful article and that is why I like this site so much. You give us a lot of useful information on everything deer related.

    Cole | Feb 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. Do abnormal points need to be at least an inch long to be measurable?

    John | May 11, 2011 | Reply

  4. John, just about everything on an antler is measurable (my attempt at humor), but yes it does have to be at least 1 inch long to be an official point. If it is shorter than that then it is not a point, regardless of whether it is located in a normal or abnormal position.

    Buck Manager | May 11, 2011 | Reply

  5. If you have a deer to be scored and your deer has a third horn growing out of his skull by his eye and is completely separate from his main horns, does it count? and how would you count it and does this make the deer score non-typical?

    Michelle | Jan 22, 2014 | Reply

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