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Mar 25th, 2012
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Scoring deer on the hoof #5385747 10/29/14 01:51 AM
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A lot of hunters I have been around will mentally tally up the inches on a deer - they are quick and good at calculating tine length, mass, spread, and beams and then come up with a total estimated score.

I tend to look at a buck and get a general overall feel for his rack and then estimate his score without adding any measurements. Most times I get pretty close to the actual score when the deer hits the ground and actually has a tape put on him. Neither way is right or wrong but I am curious if anyone else out there doesn't do the math but rather goes by feel?

My guess is that the "feel" approach comes from seeing a massive amount of deer live, video, pictures, etc. and then being able to guess their scores.


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Re: Scoring deer on the hoof [Re: tlk] #5385757 10/29/14 01:54 AM
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tlk, I go by feel and yes I've seen thousands of bucks live and dead in my nearly 40 years of hunting them. Knowing the methodology of B&C measuring also helps with measuring by feel.

Re: Scoring deer on the hoof [Re: tlk] #5385780 10/29/14 02:02 AM
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If you have seen enough bucks alive and then dead on the ground you can get a real good feel for deer on that ranch. Much harder to do on unknown body sized deer out of your area. I score both ways. I usually just look at a buck and give him a frame score(85,90,95 or 100) then add up tines when I score on here. Sometimes I will just take the time and add them up. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss badly from pictures. Scoring deer on the hoof is another whole new ball game when you have never seen those deer before also. When you have history on a ranch it helps to call a sight score when you found sheds from the year before on a buck and know what they scored.
What I have learned also is people guess scores based off the way that they score. If they score wrong the guess wrong. If they have a very loose tape when they score then their guesses will be the same way. I also see many people who score giving the deer the largest mass measurement they can find inbetween tines, measuring tines from the bottom or middle of the beam, adding in tip to tip or outside spread into final score, measuring points that should not be scored, etc.



Re: Scoring deer on the hoof [Re: tlk] #5385809 10/29/14 02:14 AM
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I agree with Stx, hunting can be as bad as fishing, when it comes to stretching the measurements. You see pics all the time with someone holding a 16" 8 point, with 8" tines and calling him a 150. Back on subject, I score by feel on live deer, because of time. Usually on trail cams, I use the ears and try to add measurements, then I deduct 10 inches for camera tricks. This has worked well for me.


Re: Scoring deer on the hoof [Re: tlk] #5385815 10/29/14 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: tlk
A lot of hunters I have been around will mentally tally up the inches on a deer - they are quick and good at calculating tine length, mass, spread, and beams and then come up with a total estimated score.

I tend to look at a buck and get a general overall feel for his rack and then estimate his score without adding any measurements. Most times I get pretty close to the actual score when the deer hits the ground and actually has a tape put on him. Neither way is right or wrong but I am curious if anyone else out there doesn't do the math but rather goes by feel?

My guess is that the "feel" approach comes from seeing a massive amount of deer live, video, pictures, etc. and then being able to guess their scores.


I go by feel but it's also cost me a deer or two that just didn't have that look and then later went back to my camera or mind and started tallying it up, and then that what was I thinking comes...

But also depends on the ranch I'm hunting, if there is a hard fast I'm figuring in my head. But those ranches I also ask them there averages on mass and beams too.

Re: Scoring deer on the hoof [Re: tlk] #5385971 10/29/14 03:23 AM
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I use a combination of both. I can add fairly quickly in my head but also use the frame and look of the deer as a reference. Sometimes it works...sometimes I just look like an idiot grin


Re: Scoring deer on the hoof [Re: txshntr] #5386149 10/29/14 10:54 AM
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yeah I am sure we have all been fooled at times - and you are right - pictures can both help and hurt scores. I have seen deer in trail cam pics look young in one pic and then old in the next and the same with horns. On the hoof, if I have time, I usually try to determine spread and tine length - beams are the most difficult and seem to fool the most. But usually I don't have enough time to
add numbers so I usually get pretty close by feel


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