(c) Jack Ballard
WIDE BUCKS DON’T ALWAYS SCORE HIGH – If you’re concerned with how well your buck measures against a skinny steel tape and the “official” scoring standards (Boone & Crockett, SCI, etc.), appraise the rack for more than width. High scoring mule deer bucks generally have deep forks, mass and a couple of inches of browtine as well as considerable spread. I’ve shot several bucks whose antler-width reached or exceeded 26 inches with mediocre scores.
But if you spot a wide-racked buck or one lacking the coveted four-point configuration on top that’s appealing, don’t be dissuaded by its potential score. “Official” scoring systems originate in arbitrary value-theories of individuals and clubs who by no means have the final word on “trophy” deer. If you like the buck in the crosshairs, trip your trigger.