Your elk hunting trip was a success and you know your bull is a bruiser, but does he qualify for the record books? The Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young clubs both require a 60-day drying period before a trophy can be officially scored, but you can still make the measurements yourself to decide if your elk has a chance at making the book. Boone and Crockett requires a minimum score of 360 for its awards program and 375 for the all-time record book. Pope and Young requires a minimum score of 260.
Count the number of points in each antler. For scoring purposes, a point must be 1 inch long and longer than it is wide.
Measure the antler spread in three places: tip to tip at the ends of the main beams, greatest spread and inside spread at the widest point between the antlers.
Calculate the total length of abnormal points. This includes antler projections that come off another point or the bottom of the main beam and extra points that aren't paired with a point on the opposite beam.
Use the measuring tape to find the lengths of both main beams. Start at the burr and follow the outside of the beam to the tip.
Measure the length of each normal point. All measurements are taken along the outer curve. Note the difference between the lengths of corresponding points on each antler.
Take four circumference measurements at the smallest point between the first five points. You will also need to know the difference between these measurements.
Add the inside spread of the main beams, the lengths of the normal points and the four circumference measurements. Subtract the length of the abnormal points and the differences between the previous measurements. This gives you the total score.
- elk image by Brett Bouwer from Fotolia.com