Learn How To Estimate Antler Size

For some hunters antler size is an important factor when harvesting an animal.

Now before you get into a huff about trophy hunting verse meat hunting, take into account that the majority of trophy hunters also use the meat. They’re a few that just cut off the head and leave the rest to rot. We do not condone that behavior whatsoever.

Hunters strive for harvesting big bucks. Its a sense of accomplishment and success in the field.

Here is a quick guide on how to measure a buck before taking the shot.


  • Your first impression will be of the rack’s height, width, mass, and number of points. Your next impression should be of the length of the main beam, length of the points, inside spread between the main beams, and the rack’s mass at four places.
  • As a point of reference — and forgetting about those monster bucks of Canada and tiny deer of the South — the average buck has a distance of 16 inches between the tips of his ears, when the ears are in the alter position. Each ear is about 6 inches in length. The circumference of the eye is about 4 inches. From the center of the eye to the tip of the nose is about 8 inches. Of course, if you have hunted an area a lot and seen a lot of dead bucks, you can adjust these measurements accordingly.
  • To estimate the inside spread of a deer’s antlers, it’s easy — how far outside the tips of the ears do the antlers protrude?
  • Main-beam length is judged using the ear length and eye-to-nose distance for reference, keeping in mind that the beams may curve in and nearly touch, which makes them seem shorter than they really are.
  • Scorable points are any points that exceed 1 inch in length and is longer than it is wide at one inch or more of length. In a quick estimate, forget about these and look for all the longer antler points including the brow tines. Use the same ear length reference point to give you a quick idea of how long the tines might be.
  • Mass: Here is where the deer’s 4-inch eye circumference is helpful. Is the circumference of the antler at the base, as well as between the tines, larger or smaller than the eye?


(And the percentage of the overall score they account for, in descending order):

10) Circumference between points 3 & 4 (H-4):         4 percent

9) Circumference between points 2 & 3 (H-3):           5 percent

8) Circumference between points 1 & 2 (H-2):           5 percent

7) Circumference of Bases (H-1):                               6 percent

6) Fourth Point Length (G-4):                                     7 percent

5) Third Point Length (G-3):                                      12 percent

4) Second Point Length (G-2):                                    12 percent

3) First Point Length (G-1):                                        6 percent

2) Main Beam:                                                            30 percent

1) Overall Symmetry: In both the Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young club’s scoring systems, deductions are taken off the gross score of a typical rack for imperfections.