How To Score A Buck

A whitetail buck deer’s antler score is a measurement that takes many factors into consideration. Those factors are:

  • main beam lengths
  • inside spread
  • tine lengths
  • antler circumferences

How do you measure deer antlers?

First thing you obviously need are deer antlers attached to the skull plate. If they are not attached, they can be positioned to where they typically would meet with the skull plate (most common with shed antlers) but this score would never be an official score. The only tools you need are a flexible tape measure and something to record the measurements with. Measurements will be taken to the nearest 1/8 inch mark. It does help to have a straight edge for measuring tine lengths as you will see in our pictures.

Scoring whitetail deer – How to score a buck

  1. Measure the main beams of the antlers

    This measurement is taken on the outside edge of each antler, starting at the base of the burr. From the base of the burr, follow the outside and center of the main beam all the way to the antler tip. Record both measurements.


  2. Measure the inside spread of the main beams

    This measurement , taken perpendicular to the centerline of the skull, will be the greatest distance between main beams. On the official Boone and Crockett scoring chart, this number will be your spread credit as long as it is not longer than the longest main beam. If it is longer than the longest main beam of the antlers, the longest beam measurement will be used as the spread credit. Record the spread credit of your buck’s antlers.

    how to score a buck

  3. Take the tine or “G” measurements

    These measurements will be numbered for each tine and will start with a G. On a typical whitetail buck, the G1 will be the brow tine, the G2 (typically the longest G measurement) will be the next tine away from the skull, the G3 will be the next tine, etc. The last antler point before the main beam tip is the last G measurement you will record. Measure the tines by marking a horizontal line where the main beam would be on the antler point and measuring from that line to the tip of the tine. Record your measurement for each tine.


  4. Take the circumference or “H” measurements

    The H1 measurement will be the smallest circumference between the burr and the first point. The H2 measurement will be between the smallest circumference between the first point and the second point. Continue these measurements until you have recorded four measurements per side of the antlers. If there is no G4 tine present, the H4 will be measured at the halfway point between the G3 and the main beam tip. Record your measurements.


  5. Take a measurement of abnormal points

    An abnormal point will count toward the gross score of the antlers but will be deducted from the total score to reach the net score. An abnormal point must be at least one inch in length. Measure all abnormal points and record.

Calculating the final score of a whitetail buck

Gross score of a whitetail buck

Either with the Boone and Crockett worksheet, or our form below, add up the following to reach your gross score:

  • main beam lengths
  • spread credit
  • tine or G measurements
  • circumference or H measurements

Net score of a whitetail buck

For most people, this gross antler score is all that you need to see where your deer’s antlers rank. A common phrase is “nets (meaning net score after deductions) are for fishermen”, but if you want to be entered into the record books, deductions will have to be subtracted from the gross score of the antlers. The deductions will be the differences between the left side tines, circumferences and all scorable abnormal points.

Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young record books

Boone and Crockett records can be taken with any legal kind of bow or gun in a fair chase hunting situation. The Boone and Crockett record book recognized two categories of scores:

  • Boone and Crockett Awards = 160-170
  • Boone and Crockett All-Time Awards = 170+

Pope and Young records are archery killed deer only in a fair chase situation. To get into the Pope and Young record book, your whitetail deer must score at least 125 or higher. For more information, visit:

We would like to extend a special thanks to Cliff at Cliff’s Taxidermy for all images used on this page. For your taxidermy needs in the Chicagoland area, give Cliff a call at (815) 436 -7348 or visit