A Comprehensive Guide On How To Score A Mule Deer

The hunting season is always a good time to unwind in the wild as you hunt some game. But not every hunter is in it just for fun. If you read this article, you probably realize that hunting can also have a competitive edge. But if you just bumped into this article by mistake, let’s break it down.

Any time someone hunts down a mule deer, they can quantify the kind of game they shot down through scoring. Scoring deer can be a technical process if not done well. This comprehensive guide exists to take your hunting game a notch higher.

The Basics Of Scoring Mule Deer

The Boone and Crocket scoring method relies on measuring different aspects of the deer to score it. While the score assigned to your deer can give you an element of pride, it also has benefits for conservation. 

People involved in conservation can use scoring to monitor the species’ population in an area to prevent them from going extinct. 

What You Need To Start Scoring Your Deer

Are you ready to learn about scoring? If you said yes, then you should note a few things before starting. Before you score your mule deer, ensure you have the following items in hand:

  1. A cable or supple wire
  2. A steel tape measure
  3. A folding ruler might come in handy
  4. The official Boone and Crocket scoring chart. You can get one from the company website.

Types Of Measurements Needed

The official Boone and Crocket require specific measurements to get your score. Some of these terms may appear strange if you are an unseasoned hunter. Do not worry. We will make everything clear shortly.

The main measurements to calculate are:

Inside Spread

The inside spread is the distance between the two beams. This inner distance helps you know the size of the deer’s head once you start scoring it. You can use your steel tape measure to calculate this distance. However, a folding tape rule will do better if you have one.

Tine Length

Tines are any growth protruding out of the main beam of the deer. You can consider them as branches of the main antler. Many hunters make a mistake when measuring tine length by starting lower or higher than they should. 

You can get an accurate starting point by sticking some tape between the base of one time and the next. Remember to measure every time before moving to the next step.


Once you are done with the tines, then you can measure the circumference of the beams. The Beam circumference is the distance around the beam. In the Boone and Crockett calculation method, you must collect four circumference measurements. This applies to all  kinds of mule deer. 

You can choose the circumference points evenly from the antler’s base to its top. When measuring the circumference, the point doesn’t matter as long as it accurately portrays the entire beam.

Beam Length

You might be wondering how you can measure beam length when the beam is curved. That is why you need a cable or a flexible wire. Using the cable or wire, measure the distance from the point where the antlers connect to the head of the deer to the tip of the beam. 

Go Again

Once you are done with one antler, you must make the same calculations as above with the other one. However, if you are in a hurry, calculate the measurements on one side and multiply them by 2 to make a rough estimate.

Abnormal Points

A deer’s abnormal points are tines that do not come from the main beam. Not all deer have odd points. But if you get one with some, you must factor them into your calculation.

Math It Up

The kind of math you do for your scoring depends on the purpose of the score. If you want to brag to your friends about the deer you put down, add all the measurements above to get the gross green score. If you’re going to get into the Boone and Crocket record book, then you need to get a net score.

The net score is just the sum of the green score without the abnormal points. You also need to subtract any differences between the right and left  measurements. Finally, you need to measure the whole thing again after 60 days to be sure.

Final Words

Scoring deer is essential to keep a record of the kind of species in any population. This also indicates a good hunter. Hopefully, this comprehensive guide has provided you with all the tips to achieve good scoring next time. Remember, if you want to get into the Boone and Crocket record book, your core needs to be above 185.

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