Field Judging Bucks

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As a Taxidermist I look at hundreds of Whitetail Bucks every year. I know that I have seen many different ways people judge the size of racks on live deer. I think for the most part they all are pretty close. I'm going to give you some measurements that I have noticed being right on in just about every deer. We have used it in the last couple years and have only been off by about 5-6 inches. We do study the deer while bowhunting so we get a little more time to look at them.

Measurements to Remember:

1. Deer EARS are almost always 8 inches tall (this will give you a good TINE length).

2. Deer EARS are almost always 18 inches apart from tip to tip (this will give a good inside and outside spread). 

3. Deer EYES are about 2 inches tall from the front part of the eye to the back (this is a great way to see how heavy he is at the base).  If his rack is the size of his EYE he will be about 7-8 inches around at base.

4. 90% of all Mature bucks will have a measurement of 7- 7 1/2 inches from tip on NOSE to front part of EYE (great way to see how long main beams are).

I know that is a lot to look at but just using a couple of the measurement points can help.

Tip Nose to front of eye 7 1/4


Ear to Ear 18' - this one 21 1/2 inside

25 inch main beams


deerhunter30's picture

This is a great way to field

This is a great way to field judge deer. Another great article.

I am measuring the ones I have hanging in my livingroom beings I have never had them scored but by going with this article most of the are mature bucks witch make me happy that I have benn shooting the deer I was hoping I was shooting.

Thanks again for the great tips.

hunter25's picture

This is great information for

This is great information for trying to score on a better buck. I will be going to Texas again this year to try and getter a even better buck than the first whitetail I ever got this year. Using these basic yardsticks will help me to evaluate what I'm loking at. Of course I may fall back on the old method's got antlers,

I have taken a few good bucks in my life but have never been a true trophy hunter. I like and want the big one but usually take the chance that presents itself. Around here that may be the only chance you get. We used to have a joke about whether or not a deer would make the family record book. If it forks on one side it's in the book.

jim boyd's picture

  I have always struggled


I have always struggled with this one - not that I see that many good bucks (I do not - we do not have that many in South Carolina) but when I do see one, I am always troubled... is that a 100"... 110"...or 120"?
 I would think that some time spent looking at mounted deer -without knowing what the actual score was - and then having someone reveal the score - might benefit hunters that struggle with this.
I would also wonder if there are websites that do exactly this... show you a deer and allow you to guess the score... and then tell you and let you see how close you came!
If there is not a site like this - someone should invent one!
I will search for a site like this and if I can find one - I will come back and post it for all to share.

Great tips and GREAT pictures Scott!

steven_seamann's picture

thanks this will really help

thanks this will really help me in picking out the better buck of the herd to make that perfect shot on.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tips. I will ahve to

Great tips. I will ahve to try it and see how close I come.