Contributors to this thread:
Field juding pronghorns (aka antelope)
The term "once-in-a-lifetime" is way overused. However, I am that position this year. I drew a tag for a pronghorn hunt on Silver Spur ranch in Colorado. It took 23 points!
The ranch is near Walden, CO an area that is known for producing some monster bucks. Yesterday, I was talking with a guy I know who has a ranch in that area. He told me that the smallest that has ever been taken on his place was 79 points!
I have shot a number of "nice" bucks over the years. I even shot a hermaphrodite one (wish I had gotten that one mounted). For this hunt, I want do better than "nice".
I would really appreciate any advice you can offer about judging them. I can tell the difference between "nice", "really nice" and "Wow!" What I don't know how to do is tell the difference between one that is big and one that is "'I think I just wet my pants.' big". Put in terms of points, telling the difference say between 68 points and 85 points.
My problem is complicated by the fact that I haven't hunted antelope for 23 years. I'm out of practice. I plan to spend one or two weekends up there just glassing (can't scout the ranch, but there's public land nearby).
The season starts on August 20 - not much time.
First off, it isn't called points. It's inches when you refer to numbers like you are. Here is one I helped my buddy take in 2014 that made the all time B&C Book at 84 4/8". If you see any like that or better, don't hesitate!
Here's the front view! His lengths were 16" and 16 4/8", bases were 6 3/8" and 6 5/8", prongs were 7 1/8" and 7 2/8".
Here's one that broke 80" last year that we got only a mile from the big one. It made the yearly B&C awards.
Getting a little picky in your word usage there dude!!! Yes, the one that broke 80" made the minimum awards for the year 2015 and would be in the next book that is published every three years. The same with the bigger of the two that made the all time records that would be in the next book that is published every six years. Happy now?!
Check the B&C and or P&Y record books to see the measurements required for World record and then 82 inches (B&C all-time) Good luck!
Pronghorns are very hard to judge. If you watch a bunch for a few days you'll see what the top end is. Good Luck! C
Mass mass and mass. Four of Your six measurement comes from mass. Heavy bases and good mass above the prong. Best of luck. Hunt
Give him some tips on how to use parts of the head to judge the length of horns and how high the cutters are. Ears play a big part in getting a feel for those things. Hero pics are nice but I'm guessing he is looking for how to field judge an animal.
As HUNTMAN stated, mass is the biggy to come up with a high scoring goat with 4 of the 6 measurements on each side being circumference measurements. The more black you see from the base to well above the ears the better chance it will score well. You also need to get looks from different angles. A buck that goes out and comes back in a nice heart shape with good curls at the top will add a number of inches to the total length. That best buck I posted had second circumference measurements that were almost identical to the bases with the third measurement being almost 4" and the last were over 2 4/8". You'll know when you see a big one if the prongs are big and are an ear length or more above his ear tips.
Get Mike Eastmans Book Hunting Trophy Antelope...I kind of consider myself knowing a lot about Pronghorns and learned a lot and has some really good easy to understand about field judging.
I have looked at likely 5,000 antelope bucks in my life and usually within a second of glass you know you are looking at something special...if you find yourself trying to make it big it ain't, The difference between a nice buck 75 ish and a smoker 80 plus is not much and mass can really make the difference....you need both the above mass measurements to be good ...a hooking horn with measure further...I call ears six inches...two and a half ears,, 15 inches...a black faced buck ( make great mounts) will give the illusion of more horn...the bottom line is look at as many as you can...being good at judging antelope is best learned by looking at them...good luck I have 17 Colo points been hunting second choices and Wyoming...make sure you post you hunt pictures and story...
Adventurewriter, thanks. I just ordered it. I ordered directly from Eastman's site. I couldn't find it anywhere else.
Maverick940, not sure what you are saying about the high prong position. You get 2 circumference measurements below the prong and 2 above, if D2 falls on the prong then you measure it below the start of the swell for the prong and if D3 falls on the prong you move it up to just above the prong.
Adventurewriter, thanks. I just ordered it. I ordered directly from Eastman's site. Best price I could find.
Only Boone and Crockett score that way. Pope and young is two below the prong and two above. No matter what! Hunt
Check this site out. These guys know big antelope and they have a dvd that goes over everything you're wanting to know. www.pronghornguideservice.com They have a ton of info on their site. Good luck.
I don't really care about which scoring method is used or if one is "better" than another. I just need criteria to use to evaluate the bucks.
Unless it is a real giant, the odds are that I won't bother to register it. I've shot many animals that "made book" and although I had them scored, I haven't recorded them officially.
Not a WOW but another NICE
Not a WOW but a INTERESTING
getting better but still not a WOW
Now this one might be considered a WOW, just shoot
Yes, I would agree, a 70 plus incher.
#2 would get an Easton injection with a side of Slicktrick
LOL! Just the look at the length from the back in that first picture should have told you that buck is way into the 70s without even a second look from the side and is probably a "Book" buck. The buck with the tremendous hooks will also score a lot higher than you probably think if he turns to show the mass that he probably also has.
No. 2 pic with the doe and fawn turns my crank ! Beautiful coloration. And the one you call interesting Paul, I would kill in a heartbeat. That would be a shoulder mount for sure.
An antelopes ears are about 6 inches long so you have to look for length more than twice the ear length. Look for horn bases bigger than his eye. Mass is key to score, higher prongs help that with getting a third mass measurement below the prong swell. Look at how much hook is on the horn. That curl down can be deceiving and really add length. The prongs need to be greater than the width of the horns, i.e. look like they stick out at least as wide as the horn. If he looks like a giant beetle head from 300 yards he's probably a shooter. The mass really stands out at distances.
"I've shot many animals that "made book" and although I had them scored, I haven't recorded them officially."
And poof, there went any desire I had to help you...Why are you wasting a Measurer's personal time if you have no intention of entering it?
Maybe some of these pics can be used to talk about how to score. I'm not good at scoring but some of you guys seem to be. I would like to hear what you guys think the goat at the water home would score. I killed this buck in 2014.
The last pictures IMHO are not good enough to come close to a correct score, but he's tall and will score well. For the flippant comment made about scoring and not entering into the Book, it's because the BOOK has ruined things and many are a lot more interested in seeing THEIR name in it, rather than the animal that should be the one being honored. IMHO all names should be removed from the BOOK and just the animal, score, and location where killed should be noted. Also, I hate to tell you this, but neither of the bucks I posted on this thread were entered anywhere but in the memory of the hunters! Shame on us, LOL!
what would this guy score? almost identical sides.
I wish I had better pics but I was solo and scrambling to get pictures taken before daylight ran out. I wish it wasn't so dark. I need to take him somewhere to be scored. It was the first pronghorn I have ever scored so I watched YouTube videos and read a little on how to score. He was 16 7/8" tall. I can't remember any of the other measurements. Maybe I'll try to get him scored this weekend so I can post it for reference. I don't want to post my very unofficial score because Im no expert and I know I'll probably get throttled by the guys who are good at it.
If he's almost 17" high I'll bet you don't want to post your unofficial score because he's in the 80s and you think you didn't do it right. Am I right and no need to be right down to the 1/4" anyway? What did you score him at following the directions, which are't that difficult along with the pictures showing how to do it?
For some strange reason, an antelope will lose 8-11% during the 60-day drying process. Need to take that into consideration for net scoring purposes if the goal is a P&Y or B&C trophy.
They won't lose nearly the percentage you stated if they are taken care of properly. 10% would be 8" on an 80" goat and there is no way one will lose that much. I did a rough green taping of that better buck I posted within an hour or so of when he was shot and the official score was less than 3" different from mine after the drying period. The other is still at the taxidermist in Cody, so that score is still up in the air.
Hell Topgun, ALL of mine shrink as soon as they hit the ground. Deer too ! :)
That's funny drycreek, so quit shooting those little pisscutters!!!
I am basing my comment on what a long term antelope outfitter (50+ yrs exp) and my personal experience.
Glad your experiences have been better than mine
Anybody with an estimate score on the one I posted above??
Paul I would like to see more of the buck on the left with the two bucks weak upper mass but looks like he has some other good stuff adn a nice looking set.
But with that point if it has not been made if you are looking at good scores they have to have it all. They came be long good mass and a weak prong will kill the score...or long and good prong weal mass done...
I was in Wyoming...was in a good area I knew and had lots of time to get it done...and was determined not shoot anything that did'nt go 80...here I am at the water hole and WHOA look at the buck that came above the horizon holy smokes!!! 17 inches....maybe more maybe 18 and he was facing me...he never came into the hole but walked by at 40 yards...he had a genetic flaw and had ZERO prongs...not broken off just not there...not much mass but freaky long...I was going to myself "he has no prongs he has no prongs" I let him walk and right after he left kicking my own ass and will always regret not taking that super unique buck...so its not all about score...
As far a shrinking . I think it depends on time of year. The bucks I have killed in August shrink more than my September bucks. 2-4! Inches in my experience . Hunt
Sorry I'm disagreeing with you Buffalo1, but your math just doesn't make sense. Using a 10% loss figure would mean that there would have to be one heck of a lot of bucks running around the country that would green score close to 90" on the hoof to make the Book at 82" after the 60 day drying period using that figure. There aren't even that many in the low 80s running around the country that would come close to Book requirements if your percentage was close to accurate.
Topgun 30-06. No need to apologize for disagreeing.
However, if I were to agree with you, we would both be wrong. My source of information is highly creditable and my experience is first-hand.
How can both of us be wrong? What don't you agree with in my math analysis? Are you trying to tell me that a Book buck needs to be in the upper 80's to low 90's in order to have a chance at making Book of 82" after they dry for 60 days? If you are, and that's what it sounds like, I'd say that you and your guy with 50 years of experience both need remedial math! There are 6 measurements per side and what you're saying would be from over 1/2" to almost 1" less per measurement. That, Sir, is not going to happen no matter how the horns are kept until measured!
My green score was around 71 as I recall, and my net score after the 60 drying period was 66 7/8". 1/8" shy of P&Y. According to my math that is about a 6% shrinkage according to my math. I was told the AVERAGE is 8-11%. I was told my animal would not make book and it didn't. That is my experience and numbers.
What are your numbers and experience? Would welcome some valid green scores and the net score after the 60 day drying period.
Here is a good thread that is relative to this topic. I includes some great photos of goats taken by BB. Interesting comments and opinions.
We don't bother to score what bucks we take unless we are pretty sure they will break 80" and we've taken four in just the last four years alone that would have green scored at least 75". Two of those we did score and were discussed here. Here is the picture of the one last year that I scored before we took him to the taxidermist and I got about 82". He's still at the taxidermist and my buddy hasn't even asked that it be officially scored after taking that big one the year before. We also concentrate a lot more on elk and deer than antelope, so the two I have already discussed on this thread are the only ones we've actually scored green.
Topgun 30-06, I agree. When I go on a guided hunt, I start out by explaining to my guide about my abilities and limitations. Then I explain that I am not there to prove that one of my body parts is bigger than another guy's because I shot an animal with larger horns or antlers. I tell them that I want a good representative animal and a good experience. Yes, bigger is better, but that is not my prime objective.
I hunt for the experience; part of that is experiencing and interacting with the animal(s) in its environment; learning about them; and respecting them.
I have room full of trophies - and memories. The memories are far more important than any score.
Why do I get them measured? It's just for my own information and insight. Waste their time? It's usually one the guys at the taxidermy studio who does the measuring and I figure that I'm already paying for their time.
Finally, I agree that the record books have been bad for the sport.
Topgun 30-06 and Buffalo1, Makes sense than an outfitter might try to lower a client's expectations.
"It's 80" for sure. Bubba measured it real careful like. But ya know they do shrink 10%." (Measuring with an elastic tape.) I'm not saying that every outfitter will do that, but some will.
Ya'll have taken some beautiful goats no double about that, but I would love to see some green scores and then the net scores. I like facts and statistics. The are important items for decision making of a shot, if one is after a record book animal.
My hat is off to ya'll and applaud ya'll as B&C is a whole different league of scoring B&C (especially with a bow) is much higher scoring in comparison to P&Y.
You must also not be reading closely Buffalo1 because I've already told you the green score I came up with on the big buck and the final net score were not very far apart. I also stated that I green scored the other one at about 82" and he hasn't been officially scored and may not be. If he is scored, I will certainly give you the final score, but I can guarantee you he'll score a lot higher than the low 70s like you're trying to tell everyone with your 8%-11% shrinkage baloney! Your statement about the difference between B&C and P&Y is also not important because an animal doesn't care what it's killed with and there is no difference in shrinkage of the horns no matter what it's killed with!
I believe we are just missing each other's point. I will therefore comment no further on the subject.
To the OP - here is a pic of a nice buck I took not far from the Silver Spur in North Park
I have seen him a few times.
You will do well
cnelk, Thank you. That's encouraging.
I'm planning to go up this weekend to have a look around (not on the ranch, of course).
From: Buffalo1 . Topgun, I believe we are just missing each other's point. I will therefore comment no further on the subject.
I did not miss anything you posted. However, you are obviously missing mine because if you believe a goat has to be 8%-11% bigger on the hoof than 60 days after drying to make either book then you, Sir, need to wake up because it just ain't so! Oh, and by the way, I read your link that you posted above and on there you claim you learned that a buck shrinks an average of 6%-8%. So what great experienced guy did you talk to in order to get that number before you talked to the last "expert" that now claims it's 8%-11%?
this one I found in Wyoming in 2010. Could not get to him with a bow, Too much water in area for him to come into a to water tank. Finally went to the rifle. SCI scored him 87 5/8. B&C 85 5/8 gross 84 2/8 official . 17 3/8 & 171/8 tall. 7 in base.
Wow, those scope pics do not do that lope justice! I was about to say you were full of bs til I saw the last pic. Nice!
Yeah I was gonna say looks WAAAAY bigger dead...the scope pics I would have said top half of 70's
That great buck Cliff took on his guided hunt was right in the adjacent unit west of where we hunt and got the two that I posted!
"SCI scored him 87 5/8. B&C 85 5/8 gross 84 2/8 official."
Thanks, this is the type of data I'm interested in- gross score and net score. Based on your numbers, your buck only lost about 2% if my calculations are correct . A beautiful buck too, I might add.
I've reread your post and I find the numbers 84 4/8, 80 & 82?. I understand the 82 to be i a gross score and net score has not been acquired yet.. Were the numbers 84 4/8 and 80 gross or net scores? If they were gross scores what are the net scores. If they are net scores what were the gross scores?
I am trying to be open to learning and not afraid to apologize if I am wrong or made an inaccurate statement, I have no intent of misleading people. But I need to have proof that my knowledge is wrong. Perhaps the 8-11% is an inflated figure, but I want some proof that that is inaccurate information. Thank you for your help in helping me seek the truth.
You don't often hear of the term "Ground Swellage", but Cliff's buck certainly qualifies!!
Buffalo1---I really hate to say it, but you are showing you are really lacking in terminology when talking about scoring. The numbers for the buck Cliff posted have nothing to do with the shrinkage factor that we have been discussing. The B&C gross (85 5/8") is what those horns scored when both sides were added together the day it was officially scored by B&C after the 60 day drying period. The net score (84 2/8") was the total when you subtract the difference in score between each measurement from one side to the other and, therefore, his buck lost 1 3/8" the way B&C scores due to lack of symmetry. Your 2% figure, therefore, is meaningless because those numbers don't refer to what is called the green score at time of kill and net score after the official 60 day drying period is up like we have been discussing. I can't remember exactly what I taped the bigger buck at the day it was shot, but it was somewhere around 86 4/8" gross and the other was a tad over 82" the morning it was shot. The big buck then officially scored 85 7/8" gross and lost 1 3/8" on symmetry or lack thereof for the final net score of 84 4/8" that I mentioned after the 60 day drying period. I have no idea what the final dry score of the other buck will be if it's measured, but due to the other one losing the small amount it did and both being held under the same conditions that the taxidermist knows how to store them that's why I stated it would make the 80" yearly rankings that are posted every 3 years by B&C. I hope that clears things up for you.
Thanks for getting me straight on all this scoring terminology and scoring method stuff. I'm not really knowledgeable on the subject of trophy quality animals and am always wanting to learn more.
I apologize if I have mislead anyone on my comments. Guess I went to one karate lesson and thought I was a black belt.
I feel challenged and I will continue to pursue a trophy class animal with my bow.
Not to worry and I hope I wasn't too rough on you! Just look for one that makes you say WOW and shoot the sucker without worrying about score. There is way too much emphasis placed on "score" and IMHO it is doing nothing but ruining our sport as us old timers (me) have know it for many decades!
"That great buck Cliff took on his guided hunt was right in the adjacent unit west of where we hunt and got the two that I posted!"
If you don't mind me asking what state/county or unit are we talking about here?
Wyoming and that's all you'll get from me and hopefully from Cliff too since that's a question that most do mind unless they never plan to hunt there again and we do every year we can draw the tag.
I will be in Buffalo WY hunting lopes with my wife in October (rifles, sorry :-) )
Based on what I can find, I believe a 12-14 inch goat should be doable in that area? Is that a fair statement?
Didn't mean to get to personal, nor was I trying to "bird dog" you.
I thought that type of location information is required when submitting an animal for entry into a recordbook and then if the animal is accepted the information is published.
Is that the procedure ?
The WY buck on the right has an official P&Y score of 78 6/8 net. The gross score is 79 4/8.
Buffalo1 Date: 05-Aug-16 Didn't mean to get to personal, nor was I trying to "bird dog" you. I thought that type of location information is required when submitting an animal for entry into a record book and then if the animal is accepted the information is published. Is that the procedure ?
Yes, that is the procedure and exactly why John did not enter that buck in the Book even though it easily made it by 2 4/8"! You would be surprised how many people take animals that would make the Book, especially antelope in Wyoming, that don't enter them because they don't want the location of the kill published. I have two other resident friends out there that also took bucks in the last five years from the unit we hunt that would have made the Book and neither of them were entered either. It's hard to find good hunting spots, so why broadcast all over the internet or in the Book where you hunt?
From: Bob H in NH Date: 05-Aug-16 I will be in Buffalo WY hunting lopes with my wife in October (rifles, sorry :-) Based on what I can find, I believe a 12-14 inch goat should be doable in that area? Is that a fair statement?
That should not be that hard to do since there was good precipitation earlier this year during the horn growing months for antelope on that side of the mountains. There has been little rain since the first part of June, but antelope drop their outer sheath as early as the first part of November and immediately start growing again. The biggest percentage of their growth was probably completed by the middle of June and there was still plenty of feed on into summer before it started getting hot and drying up, so the late dry weather shouldn't have hurt them much. I have friends on both sides of the Big Horns, so I get first hand information on what's going on out there on almost a weekly basis.
Thanks for the feedback - I'm sure that there are lot of animals are not officially scored and entered into the book for the reason you mentioned. I see the same actions in my own state with whitetail deer.
Your comments on the growth period and the precipitation for this year are also very informative. I know that the harsh winters and drought have been factor to stymie the antelope horn growth the last couple of years. Hopefully, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction now to favor horn growth.
That is one beautiful speed goat.
Thanks also for the input on green score & net score.
Funny thing....I heard from a guy who is a Pronghorn guru that drought actually kind of ironically brings some better horns Huh??? how could it be...he said the theory is instead of filing their bellies with green grass they are eating more dense in mineral and such little shrubs...interesting thought
From: Buffalo1 Date: 06-Aug-16 Deacon Dave- That is one beautiful speed goat. Thanks also for the input on green score & net score.
Buffalo1---You really do need to step away from this thread because you're embarrassing yourself! The scores Deacon Dave posted had nothing to do with "green" and final "net" scores like we have been discussing! What he posted was what that buck scored total gross and then net after a 6/8" deduction for lack of symmetry from one side to another "AFTER" the 60 day drying period. 6/8" is great and shows how close the two sides were from being a perfect match. One last time for you---"GREEN" score is a measurement "BEFORE" the 60 day drying period and is usually done within a day or two of when the animal was killed. The "GROSS" score is the total of both sides before deductions are made for lack of symmetry from one side to the other. The "NET" score is the final score after the lack of symmetry deductions are subtracted from the gross measurement and THAT is what would be entered into either the P&Y or B&C Book as the final score.
Please understand that the word "embarrassment" is not in my vocabulary. I'm not embarrassed to "step in it" or "step on it". Both ways can be beneficial in building knowledge and character.
This thread has so far done is 2 things for me:
1. First, this thread has educated me that 8-11% is not necessarily an accurate average shrinkage amount for antelope as I was that was told. Measurements have proven that to be a fact. I am still trying for figure out why I was given the "8-11%" figure- based on the outfitter's experience. I am sure he had a reason why, I just don't know why.
2. Secondly, this thread has educated me more on how to field judge an antelope.
You have been an asset in the education process for me on the subject of field judging antelope and I am appreciative of that fact.
Thanks for the suggestion on the Mike Eastman book, "Hunting Trophy Antelope." Got my copy in the mail today. Looks like some good topics included in the book with 24 pages dedicated specifically to field judging. I plan to immediately begin my read.
That's great to know Buffalo1, but so far from your responses I really wonder if you have learned anything since you do "keep stepping it it"! I have to say that "expert" of yours may be a great antelope hunter, but he doesn't know squat about shrinkage or you have completely misunderstood him in one of your conversations. Why don't you contact him and ask now that you know what a green score is immediately after taking an animal and what the final score is after the 60 day drying period and see if he still gives you that 8%-11% baloney?! If he does, I'd suggest you go find another "expert"! Also, take a look in that book of Eastmans you got in the mail today and see if he discusses shrinkage.
TG, what's with all the insults? Buffalo1 is widely known on Bowsite as an all-around great guy.
That sort of stuff may be ok on MM, but it's against the rules here. I recommend you be a tad more respectful of your fellow hunters, even when they're wrong.
Topgun is correct so many only care about the score ! Not one person would enter there kill if there name was not in the book !!! `
From: IdyllwildArcher Date: 06-Aug-16 TG, what's with all the insults? Buffalo1 is widely known on Bowsite as an all-around great guy. That sort of stuff may be ok on MM, but it's against the rules here. I recommend you be a tad more respectful of your fellow hunters, even when they're wrong.
Insults? Nobody, including myself, has said he isn't a nice guy! However, when something is being discussed and a member comes on, nice guy or not, like he's an expert on something when it's obvious he knows nothing about the subject and keeps asking for substantiation with facts like he did from someone who knows the facts, and when given them still keeps making totally incorrect comments, it gets a little old! Sorry, but I also went back in the archives before I made that last post and found posts he made on this same subject that were incorrect 5 years ago, so it appears to me that he would rather not learn and continue with this baloney he posted here again. I feel like I've gone out of my way in a number of attempts to clue the guy in and even his last post was still missing the entire discussion of horn shrinkage. You won't see any more posts by me on the thread and I apologize if I got a tad over the line in my responses!
Topgun last comment-
"Sorry, but I also went back in the archives before I made that last post and found posts he made on this same subject that were incorrect 5 years ago, so it appears to me that he would rather not learn and continue with this baloney he posted here again."
Bufflo1 earlier comments before Topgun last comment-
1. First, this thread has educated me that 8-11% is not necessarily an accurate average shrinkage amount for antelope as I was that was told. Measurements have proven that to be a fact. I am still trying for figure out why I was given the "8-11%" figure- based on the outfitter's experience. I am sure he had a reason why, I just don't know why.
"You have been an asset in the education process for me on the subject of field judging antelope and I am appreciative of that fact."
I believe the record reflects that I was wrong in my belief on shrinkage and have been wrong not just 5 years, but like 8 years, That is correct-8 years !!
I have admitted my belief was wrong based not on just words but through people providing green and net score data to support less shrinkage than I originally believed.
Bottom line- I made a mistake, I was shown my mistake, I have admitted my mistake. I have changed my belief- so what else is a man to do?
I will conclude my comments with a former comment of mine in this thread directed to Topgun. "You have been an asset in the education process for me on the subject of field judging antelope and I am appreciative of that fact."
I forgot what the hell we were talking about...shhhh
P.S. The Xgun guy still wants someone to score his Anterongoat
Edit: Nevermind, not worth it.
Buffalo glad you got the book....you will like it I really did learn some stuff and I have killed like 35ish good to great bucks in my life. I know a couple of top end sheep guides who say kind of a dirty little sercert That I kind of agree with. Hunting Pronghorns is really about the most "fun" hunt. Lot of looking...Lots of seeing lots of stalking...lots of plotting...and country easy to move through...with high success but not easy if you are a little picky
Do you have green score and net score on the animal?
If you're worried about the horns shrinking then seal them. I use Skidmore's wood re finisher, it's a beeswax and some oil compound and it puts a natural looking finish on the horns. My book buck from 15 years ago still makes book and he scored 82 6/8. The beeswax will seal the horns and they will have the dark black appearance they had when the animal was alive. Remember those horns are modified hairs they will dry out more so than antlers.
Great tip to preserve horns. However, I would not to consider this preservation until the scoring process is completed in the event the horns potentially qualify for record book per guidelines.
What impact does applying the beeswax/oil compound have on changing horn coloration?
This morning, I was at the bow shop sitting in my imaginary blind practicing for an upcoming hunt for antelope. As I was looking downrange at my target (see accompanying photo) I began to think about the challenging words of Topgun 30.06 in one of his rebuttasl to my comment about antelope horn shrinkage being 8-11%.
Topgun's comments were: "Why don't you contact him and ask now that you know what a green score is immediately after taking an animal and what the final score is after the 60 day drying period and see if he still gives you that 8%-11% baloney?! If he does, I'd suggest you go find another "expert"! Also, take a look in that book of Eastmans you got in the mail today and see if he discusses shrinkage."
I put down my bow and made an effort to contact my "expert" who had uttered the "8-11% shrinkage" words to me. I had my last known cell number of him and happen to make contact with him.
I refreshed my conversation with him of some 8 yrs ago. He remembered the comment and I asked him why he made that comment? He then gave me a good lesson on antelope shrinkage- why it occurs, conditions that can effect shrinkage and also why antelope shrinkage would be greater that antler shrinkage which is due of the composition- hair vs. bone.
He then explained the following points to me. He told me he will always tell a client 8-11% shrinkage to give some edge in the event an animal is close on "green score" and may not make book minimum. He told me that "ON AVERAGE", the shrinkage would be around 4-5% for an antelope.
My "information source" now has around 60 yrs experience guiding and outfitting for antelope, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, bear, mountain lion and sheep. He also has a generation following in his footsteps in guiding and outfitting. He is also a Master Measurer with many years experience in that arena. I would consider this type of background and experience to be classified as not only a "professional," but an "expert"
I am still reading Eastman's book and have not come across the subject of shrinkage yet- but I have not finished the read yet.
Hopefully, this thread/post will help others in learning and preparing for an antelope hunt. I have found that preparation helps breed success.
Dang! Buffalo1 has definitely got me beat when it comes to the most accurate simulated practice for antelopes. I've just been shooting normally at 15 yards and then sitting down doing the same.
I sure hope one comes out on me at 15 yards. If he does, he's in trouble.
Me and Buffalo1 are hunting at the same place and time and I hope I get to test the "8-11%" shrinkage statistic first hand......hahahaha.
We will give a Rebel Yell and a Cajun Hollar and then our best !!
That is a cool looking practice set-up!
Glad your guy followed up with his understandable reasoning.
Good luck, Robb
"Then I explain that I am not there to prove that one of my body parts is bigger than another guy's because I shot an animal with larger horns or antlers."
Great looking DIY seat cushion right there...
Never thought of cardboard to be easy on the a$$ :)
For those who are interested in being able to see % of shrinkage with some hardcore numbers, I found the jackpot today! Go to Google Search and key in "Pronghorn Horn Shrinkage" and have a pen and tablet ready to collect data. Also, some good information on field judging antelope.
The beeswax does not negatively affect the horn color it enhances it. You can not tell when it has been applied. The horns take on the natural "shine" as it were like when the modified hairs were still on a living animal. I think the shrinkage depends on how you take care of the skull cap and horns. Put them out in your garage where it's cold with temp changes and they will really shrink. I put skidmore's on all of our horns and antlers to seal and preserve them , our taxidermist likes the way it looks and preserves. I have antelope europea mounts that have not shrunk near 10 % in over 20 years, they are kept inside the house and never left outside to dry out. If you boil that skull too hard trying to remove the horn sheaths it will affect them negatively. It is hair remember.
One of the things I try to do to get right for speedgoat judging is find a good sporting goods store with a lot of mounts and spend time looking at them carefully - where the cutters are relative to the ears, how far the tops curve in, how wide and massive the horns are. One of the challenges is the different between decent and great is only a few inches, and a few days of not much has a way of making decent horns look larger. If you're sitting in a blind over water, you'll be able to make a better judgment than through a spotting scope at 1/2 mile. A couple of the pics on this thread were 'WOW!" at first sight. If you can arrow one anywhere close to Cliff's, take it in a hot second.
Key to finding a WOW buck is you first must notice the MASS. Without an initial appearance of "oh man that's a heavy horned buck" it's unlikely he'll be BIG.
Massive bucks score higher, and bucks that score higher are BIGGER. BIGGER is BETTER.
On pictures used for the thread, you've gotta be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Lots of guys like to show their "B&C buck" when they are certainly not in the book or that league. For example look at Cliff's big buck, then the one TopGun posted above, that allegedly score the exact same.
I look for a lot of mass above the prong, and a more oval or rounded looking horn when seen from the front or back (versus flat and bladed looking like most bucks). These are good indications of mass.
These two are my second and third largest bucks, but I would bet that most would take the third largest over the second largest based just on appearance, even though it scores almost 6 inches less. Which of these two would you shoot?
I'd shoot either, but I'm betting on lefty. Great Pronghorn, and I've seen "#1" as well.
Stickflicker, you should put up your No 1! That is a real toad. The biggest I have seen while hunting was this guy I named King. He never came closer than 150 yds. Although this photo taken through a scope had caused some focal distortion, he had great mass all the way out and long cutters. I still dream of that WOW buck.
Stickflicker and AZ-Rich,
Those are some gorgeous Pronghorns. Holy smokes....and Marvin, I agree with Rich....please post a photo of #1 if you are comfortable doing so.....
Simple question (I hope): when someone says a pronghorn is "16 inches", is that height or total length of the horn? In other words, skull to highest point, or does it follow the curve all the way around and down?
How about this antelope I photographed over the weekend? Shooter? What do you think he would score? Thanks guys! This is something I know very little about.
The length is the length of the black horn sheath itself (not to the skull), measured from the lowest point on the outer 180 degrees of the horn and over the outside of the curve to the tip.
It's very difficult to judge a buck with just one pic, especially with its head down like that, but I'd guess somewhere around mid 70's. He's a pretty buck, but doesn't look like he has a lot of length or mass.
I would think that most of you have seen enough of this one, but I'll post it if you'd like.
Incidentally, in the picture above with my two bucks, the one in the front actually scores about 5 1/2 points more (86.0) than the one in the back that to me looks more impressive at a mere 80 4/8 net score.