The Boone and Crockett scoring system is the most common way to score antlers. Antler points are referred to as "G1", "G2", and so on - what does G stand for?
When scoring a rack of antlers, you have to take a lot of measurements. These include H measurements (the circumference of a buck's antler at different points) and G measurements (the lengths of the tines or the antlers' points).
Oddly, G does not seem to stand for anything. The length of the tines is recorded on line G of the Boone and Crockett scoring sheet. While the German word for antler starts with a G, it is more likely that G doesn't stand for anything.
What are G measurements?
G measurements are of the length of the tines on each antler. When you are scoring a pair of antlers, you record the length of the four tines as your G1, G2, G3, and G4 measurements. Again, G probably does not stand for anything - it is line G on a Boone and Crockett scoring sheet and does not have any other meaning.
There are also H measurements, and H doesn't stand for anything either. H1, H2, H3, and H4 are measurements of the size of the main beam of the antler at different points.
Deer antler terms
Deer antler terminology can be confusing for someone who is not familiar with it. Terms like "tine," "crown," or "palm" do not have obvious meanings. While not all of these terms are used in Boone and Crockett scoring, you should know the terms if you want to score antlers yourself.
A point on an antler, which sticks upward. It must be at least an inch long to count as a tine in scoring. People also refer to a tine as a point.
A pair of antlers, including the antlers on both sides.
For an antler to be typical, all of the tines must point upward and not fork into other tines. Atypical antlers have tines pointing down or points with other points branching out from them.
A tine that points down. One drop tine is enough to disqualify an antler from counting as typical.
The soft, blood-filled skin that covers an antler while it is growing. When an antler is fully grown, it no longer needs blood, so the velvet disappears.
An end of an antler that resembles the palm of a human hand. It only resembles the palm in the sense that it spreads out as a human hand does. The term is more commonly used for moose antlers than deer antlers.
The highest tine on an antler. Also known as the crown antler.
The first tine on an antler. The brow tine is closer to the deer's skull and farther from the end of the antler than any other point.
The second tine that branches off from an antler.
The third tine on an antler.
The fourth point on an antler. Usually, this is the last point on a whitetail's antlers, but some antlers have more than four points.
Normal or abnormal point
A normal point sticks upward and increases the score. An abnormal point goes down, goes to the side, or branches off from another point, and reduces the score.
The main part of an antler, which the points branch off from. As well as measuring points, you have to measure the beam's size in a few different places to determine the score.
This is the distance between the two most distant points on the antlers, which is also important in scoring.
How does the Boone and Crockett scoring system work?
While more than one scoring system is in common use, the Boone and Crockett system is the most common way to score whitetail deer antlers. The Boone and Crockett system is used both for antlers hunters find and for antlers people find when looking for shed antlers.
A pair of antlers gets a higher score if it has a thicker beam, is longer, has longer points, and has a wider inside spread. Antlers with entirely normal tines also score much better than antlers that have some abnormal tines, as you have to subtract points if any tine is abnormal.
How to score antlers using the Boone and Crockett method
While scoring deer antlers is an eight-step process, it is not long and complicated in the true sense. You need a flexible measuring tape to score antlers because you have to measure the main beams, which are not straight.
You might also use a yardstick for some other measurements, and a calculator will also save you time. Take all measurements to the nearest 1/8th of an inch.
1) Measure the total length
The first measurement is the length of the beams. Measure the total length of the two antlers and record the number in inches. To be as accurate as possible, measure the antlers down the centerline of the beams. Do this with a flexible tape; if you use a yardstick, you will get a very inaccurate score.
2) Measure the length of the normal tines
For a tine to count as normal, it must point upwards, be at least an inch long, and not be wider than its length. Measure the length of every normal tine on each antler and add the number of inches to your score.
To measure properly, start at what would be the edge of the beam if the tine was not present. Measure from there to the tip of the tine.
3) Measure the circumference at four points
You have to measure the circumference of the beam four times at four different spots and then add the total number of inches to your score.
Make the first measurement at the thinnest part of the beam between the skull and the first point. The second measurement should be between the first tine and the second time. The last two measurements should be between the second and third tine and between the third and fouth tine.
4) Add the spread
Measure the longest possible distance between the two main beams. It is easier to measure this distance with a yardstick than with a measuring tape, though you can use a flexible tape for any of these measurements. Add this distance to the total number of inches you have measured.
5) Subtract the length of every abnormal tine
Measure every abnormal tine that is at least an inch long. Add all the measurements up and subtract this number from your score in total inches.
6) Subtract points for asymmetry
Antlers get points not only for being large but for being symmetrical as well. If one antler is different from the other, you subtract points.
Look at the differences in length between the two beams. If one beam is two inches longer than the other one, reduce the total score by two.
7) Subtract the differences in tine length
Compare the first tine on the left antler to the first tine on the right antler. Subtract that difference from your total score, even if it is only an eighth of an inch.
Then, do the same for the second, third, and fourth tines. Compare each tine separately and do not use the total length.
8) Take more points off for differences in circumference measurements
Finally, you must subtract points for differences in the four circumference measurements. Compare each of the four measurements separately, do not look for a difference in total length.
While Boone and Crockett scoring is a bit time consuming, it gives you a score that reflects how impressive your antlers really are. A few different measurements for both size and symmetry is necessary to come up with an accurate score.
Your antlers must dry before you can officially score them
You have to let the antlers dry for 60 days before you can get an official score. This is because the antlers can shrink when they dry, changing the score. The unofficial score the antlers get if you measure them before the 60-day waiting period is known as the green score.