“Men are silly. Can’t you just look at a deer and see which one is bigger?”
Back to the question though; are we really that competitive to find out whose is bigger? Well the answer is no. The scoring of a deer involves many measurements, lengths of the antlers, circumference of the antlers (measured at different locations), and length of the tines. The score we get does give an indication of how big the deer’s antlers are, but the reason we score is to see what it takes to make a ‘perfect’ rack. Deer antlers get deductions for abnormal or missing points and differences in lengths and circumferences of the antlers. These deductions are often what determine whether a deer will make it in the record book or not.
Usually a hunter will tell of how many points his deer has and his spread (the greatest inside distance between the antlers). But this does not tell the whole story. If someone took an 8 pointer, was it 4 points on each antler placed symmetrically, or was it more like a 6 pointer with 2 small points sticking haphazardly out? What we are attempting to accomplish is perfection, an 8 pointer with 4 points on each side, each of the same length, out of the same spot. Michelangelo should not be able to paint one better. A ‘perfect’ 8 will be just as nice looking as a ‘perfect’ 12 pointer, and look better than a 13 pointer with 9 points coming off one side.
By the way, I would have to give my wife a ‘perfect’ 10 for her understanding and watching the home front (and that’s not by the antler method)…
Bill Howard is a Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education Instructor , a Wildlife Representative and BCRS Program Chairman for the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, and an avid outdoorsman. Please forward any pictures or stories you would like shared to firstname.lastname@example.org.