Saturday, February 2, 2013


Stories of big bucks are common where ever
deer hunters gather. 

I can only imagine 3 or 4 hundred years ago when Native American hunters sat around the campfires at night they bragged up the “big bucks” they had shot in past hunts. It doesn’t matter that the killing the deer was more for survival than sport. Harvesting a big buck or catching a big fish is something worth remembering.
One thing the Indians didn’t have was the ability to easily compare one deer with another. So the size of some of the bucks probably grew with the story-telling ability of the hunter. That’s not the case with modern day deer hunters.
In 1950 the Boone and Crockett Club introduced specific guidelines anyone can use to measure the antlers of the deer they harvest. The B&C scoring method is used by other clubs, as well and here in Indiana it’s used to rank your deer against other noteworthy deer bagged last year or decades ago.
For many years, the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife kept the records and produced the record books. As the number of deer harvested in Indiana, what was once a nearly insignificant program became very cumbersome with biologists spending a lot of time measuring and compiling. The Indiana Deer Hunters Association took over the project, but continued as a volunteer scorer.
Measuring all the points, circumferences and other
details determines the final score. 
Since leaving the DNR, I don’t interact with as many deer hunters as I once did so I don’t score very many deer heads anymore. A local hunter dropped by last evening with a beautiful mounted deer head, just back from the taxidermist. It had 14 “measurable” points meaning they were at least an inch long. Ten of the points were “good” ones, the other 4 were in odd locations so they actually counted against the final score.
When the tally was done the combined total for all the points was over 175 inches and with 9 inches of deductions from the odd points and minor variations from one side to the other, its final score was over 166. When my friend sits around future campfires with other hunters, he’s got some bragging rights.

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