The Pope and Young club was founded in 1961 in honor of pioneer bowhunters Dr. Saxton Pope and Arthur Young . The club advocates and encourages responsible bowhunting by promoting quality fair chase hunting on all species of game. Pope and Young records are officially updated every 2 years, with the highest scoring animals being judged by a panel of official scorers.
The following information is how to rough score a rack. It by no means makes the criteria to be used in making difficult scoring judgments. The official score must be obtained from an official Pope and Young scorer.
A rack must be air dried for sixty days before it can be officially scored and entered into the Pope and Young records, but a rough score as we will do in this article can be done at any time. This contest will be using rough gross scores as a means of judgement.
Here is how the scoring system works:
In simple terms measurements are taken of the typical frame of the antlers first. These include the length of tines, length of main beams, and circumferences along the main beam as well as the greatest inside spread between the antlers. Once the typical frame has been accounted for, any and all non-typical points are measured and added into this rough total.
From this subtotal, or “gross score” as it is commonly referred to, discrepencies in tine length, beam length, and length of abnomal points are deducted to achieve a net score.
Typical antlers: There are two categories within the scoring system for whitetail deer: Typical and Non–typical. Typical scoring gives high priority to symmetry. On a typical buck both side-to-side discrepancies and abnormal points count against the final score.
Non-typical antlers: If a buck has at least one abnormal point Pope & Young permits it to be scored as either a typical or non-typical at the discretion of the hunter. An abnormal point is any point that doesn’t originate off the top of the main beam or any point off the top of the main beam that appears to be out of place, not matching the normal spacing of the tines of the other antler. When sticker points are long, whether or not it is considered a typical point comes down to it’s spacing along the beam and becomes a judgment call best left to an experienced trained official scorer.
Official scorers use a ¼ inch wide steel tape measure to make all measurements. While this may be the most consistent way to get exact readings you can get by with using a cloth tape measure similar to those used by a seamstress.
*SCORES ARE MEASURED TO THE NEAREST 1/8TH INCH*
The first step in measuring a tine is to determine where it begins. You’ll need a pencil to mark this location. On points that come off the main beam you first have to make a mark across the base of the tine that approximates the top of the beam. This is generally done by using a straightedge to span from the low points along the top of the beam on either side of the point. This is done on the outside of the rack. Make a mark on the tine and go to the next one. Measure from here to the tip of the tine, following the centerline of the tine along the outside of the rack.
When measuring abnormal points that come off other points you follow a very similar procedure. First determine where the edge of the primary point would be if the point were not there. Make a mark here and measure from this point along the centerline of the abnormal point out to it’s end.
Regardless of the number of points the buck has, you get four circumference measurements on each beam. Circumference is often referred to as mass because it indicates the bulkiness of the rack. All circumferences are taken at the smallest point between two tines or at designated locations along the main beam if the buck has eight or fewer typical points. The first circumference is taken at the smallest point between the base and the brow tine. The second is taken at the smallest point between the brow tine (called the G1) and first primary typical point (called G2). If the beam has only two points (three total) the next measurement is taken 1/3 of the way from the lst point to the end of the main beam and the fourth is taken 2/3 of the way out. If the beam only has three points (four points total) the fourth circumference is taken half way between the last point and the end of the main beam.
Measuring the Main Beams
The main beams are measured along their centerline from the base all the way to the tip. Measure the length along the outside of the rack.
Measuring inside spread:
Inside spread is the greatest distance between the beams when measured parallel to the base. In other words, you can’t angle the tape in hopes of making the rack wider. The inside spread cannot be larger than the measurment of the longest main beam. In other words, if your inside spread is less than the length of the longest main beam, you use that measurement. If the inside spread is larger than the longest main beam, you would use the measurement of the main beam and not the spread.
When you’re all finished with your measurements, you total them up and that is your gross score. Just to make sure you have everything, you should have the following measurements:
- Inside Spread
- Main Beam x 2 (1 for each side)
- Typical Tines x however many your deer has
- Non-Typical Tines x however many your deer has
- Circumference Measurements x 8 (4 for each side)
By following these instructions and looking at the diagrams on the Pope and Young score sheets you should be able to come up with a rough score on your own using the information above and on the score sheet.