Boone and Crockett Club: Do Not Use Scoring System for Captive Deer

B&C Score: It’s become a part of the everyday lingo used in the world of white-tailed deer hunting. TV show host refer to it, most hunters over-estimate it, deer hunting guides live and die by it, and deer breeders use it to market breeder bucks. Uh-oh, someone stop the music! Despite the fact that B&C score is the gold standard for scoring big game, the Boone and Crockett Club politely asked last month that deer breeding operations no longer refer to their name or use their scoring methods when marketing pen-raised deer and elk.

A bold move, but the right one based on the organization’s president, William A. Demmer. To qualify for the B&C record books native big game animals must be harvested under fair-chase hunting conditions. In short, the Club is reiterating that their proprietary scoring system is intended for use on free-ranging animals, not captive bucks — and the Club wants no affiliation with pen-raised wildlife.

Boone and Crockett Club on the Scoring of Captive Deer

Source: “The Boone and Crockett Club scoring system exists to document the successful conservation of wild game animals in North America. The Boone and Crockett Club objects to and rejects any use of or reference to the Boone and Crockett Club or its scoring system in connection with antlers/horns grown by animals in captivity.”

Demmer said, “With the growth of the deer breeding and shooting industry, and modern marketing and selling of ‘shooter bucks’ raised in captivity and graded and sold using B&C scores, it was time to make this unauthorized use of our scoring system more widely known.”

The Club’s records program was established in 1906 as a way of detailing species once thought headed for extinction. Today, the B&C scoring system is used to collect data on free-ranging big game. These data reflect successful conservation efforts, population health and habitat quality. Biologists compare and contrast records to improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife policies.

“To maintain the purity of this dataset, and to ensure its usefulness for conservation professionals, the Club has always excluded farm-raised big game from its records program. Including unnaturally produced or genetically manipulated specimens would taint one of the longest running conservation programs in existence,” said Demmer.

The Club supports use of scientifically guided wildlife management techniques to enhance or restore big game populations and other species at risk. However, the Club condemns artificial enhancement of a species’ genetic characteristics for the sole purpose of producing abnormally large antlers to increase commercial value.

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