Gone Outdoors

How to Count the Points on Deer Antlers

by Drue Tibbits

Deer antlers become larger and develop more character with each successive shedding. The antlers become wider, the beams become longer, and numerous protrusions--“points”--will develop. There are several different ways to rate the quality of deer antlers. You can measure their width, you can score them using the Boone and Crockett method, or, the most common method, you can count the points. Not all protrusions qualify as points, and there is a recognized system for determining what constitutes an antler point.

measuring tape

1. Measure each protrusion from the area where it leaves the main beam to its tip. If it measures at least 1 inch in length from the main beam, it is counted as a point.

deer antlers drying on fence

2. Count the end tip of each main beam as a point.

deer antlers in field

3. Measure non-typical points in the same manner. Non-typical points include points that develop off of other points. Measure points that develop off of other points by starting the measurement where the base of the point meets the other point, rather than from the base of the main beam.

white tail dean in nature

4. Include brow tines in your point count for a whitetail deer rack. Brow tines are not included in a mule deer rack point count.

anters mounted on wall

5. Add up all of the qualifying points for a total count.

Items you will need
  • Measuring tape

Tip

  • Not all racks have a symmetrical pattern of points. For example, a rack may have four points on one antler and six on the other. A whitetail deer with this rack would be said to have a “10 point” rack. Mule deer racks are counted differently. If this were a mule deer rack, it would be said to have a “4 by 6” rack, assuming that none of the 10 points were brow tines.

References

About the Author

Drue Tibbits is a writer based in Central Florida, where she attended Florida Southern College. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur and Your Home magazines. She has also been profiled in the Florida Today newspaper and the Writer's Digest magazine. In addition to writing brochure copy for local businesses, she helps new start-up companies develop a local image presence.

Photo Credits

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