LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – If it is a nice buck that a hunter takes, someone usually comments that "it might make the record book."
There are two record books – Boone and Crockett for gun hunting and Pope and Young for archery hunting. "State record" for whitetail deer means listings in these two books.
Symmetry is the big thing in antler scoring. This means that one side of the antlers should look just like the other side. If it doesn't, inches are deducted. Whitetail deer are put in two classifications, typical and non-typical. A typical rack means the points and tines are growing upward. It's non-typical when there are tines growing downward or at odd angles and when there is noticeable palmation (space between points filled in).
All the measuring is in inches, and the final figure for both Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young is a sum of these measurements. The number of points isn't scored. But the more points on an antler, the more there is to measure.
The old axiom "if you can get a ring on it, it counts as a point" is false. The rules for measuring a point are (1) it must be at least one inch long and (2) its length must be greater than its width at the base.
Boone and Crockett minimums are 170 points for typical racks and 195 points for non-typicals. A rack surpassing these figures will make it into the record book. But racks which fall a little short may be eligible for Boone and Crockett's annual awards program; this has minimums of 160 points for typical racks, 185 for non-typicals. An instructional sheet for measurements can be obtained by phoning the Game and Fish Commission's Wildlife Management Division office at 501- 223-6359.
The required measurements: tip-to-tip spread, greatest spread, inside spread, total length of all abnormal points, length of main beam, length of each point, circumferences of main beam at (1) base, (2) between first and second point (3) between second and third point and (4) between third and fourth point, if present. If the matching points are different in length and circumference, the difference is subtracted from the total.
The measurers use steel tapes for their work. If a hunter has a rack that has been rough scored and found to meet the minimums, one of several official Boone and Crockett measurers in Arkansas can be contacted.