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P&Y/B&C measurements, spread
Just something I have been thinking about for quite a while. Can anyone Explain to me why Spread is included in the Score. Spread has nothing to do with the total antler inches. 2 different animals could have the exact same actual antler measurements and just because one has pedicles that promote the horns to grow more out (making the spread wider but not actually growing any more antler) he scores higher. This makes no since to me because as I said the animal didn't grow more antler at all. Just a though I have always had and cant get a good answer any where.
It's just a historical fascination with the impressive visual of width. Even petroglyphs reflect that. A 40" mule deer is a far more impressive-looking specimen than a tall, narrow deer with the same antlers but 22" wide.
Some refer to spread as measuring "air", and are proponents of the water displacement method of scoring (which credits ALL mass but not spread). If only the amount of raw bone is considered, that's a valid argument. But that will never go anywhere because when you mention a 30" muley, everyone gets the mental image of a wide, "Holy Crap" buck, vs saying, "I saw a buck I think will go 4.6 liters!!!"
80” difference between SCI and B&C/PY. But it does not make one better than the other.
80” difference between SCI and B&C/PY. But it does not make one better than the other.
You can make the same argument about symmetry. The scoring system is what it is. This caribou I shot had so many deductions that it was only 20” above minimum in PY but in SCI it was the 6th largest archery caribou in the low 400’s.
It may seem strange to have a rack this big score lower than what most consider dramatically inferior bulls but I understand and accept it. When you include symmetry in the equation it makes the scoring system much more difficult to obtain a top scoring animal.
At the end of the day it’s just a standard, not unlike metric or SAE, or any other man made system.
If that bothers you then you simply use another scoring system or don’t use any at all.
If wide spread is what counts why is just the inside spread used for score? I have never been in agreement with counting "Air" in the score but I just play by the rules that are set by P&Y or B&C. No spread for Pronghorn, Goats, Sheep....
I love wide racks. The spread is just a metric for the scoring systems.
Given a choice of a higher score over a wider spread, I will take the wide spread. I certainly did on my mountain caribou! Had a bull that would definitely score quite a bit higher at half the distance to the one I shot when I shot him. I didn’t like him at all though because he was only about 24” wide...
Given the chance I would do the same thing all over again!
I've always thought they should include body size/weight into the arbitrary "trophy" calculations. A big old fat midwestern whitetail is much more impressive to me than a skinny little southern deer, even though their antlers may score the same.
I don't bother measuring mine, but to me, the most impressive Mulie buck I've ever killed probably doesn't score as high as others I've killed. But, he was at least 4" taller and 100# heavier than any of them. That made him a true trophy to me.
OP Quote: "Spread has nothing to do with the total antler inches".
B&C score is not just "total antler inches", it's a set of measurement criteria that were decided upon by that particular club back in the 1920's for their own use. If you want to judge your trophy by Total Inches, then simply quote that number when discussing your buck/bull/ram. If you want to use the B&C criteria, then enter your trophy and quote the B&C score. Keeps things simpler and less worrisome.
Spread, whether inside the beams or outside has always been an important factor in deciding the size or rank of a given set of antlers. At one point, long ago, some thought that width should be the only determining factor.
I think most would agree that a wide rack is generally more impressive than a narrow one. That doesn't take away from the fact that when adding inside spread to the final score you are not actually measuring hard antler but measuring air. That being said, I've never been in a records committee meeting when anyone suggested doing away with that measurement. I think most people see it as an important factor in determining the size of a set of antlers.
In the end, the most important factor in a measuring system is consistency. As long as everyone knows the rules and the rules don't change on a whim, we all understand what goes into measuring an animal. It can never be a perfect system but it can be a consistent one.
Body size / weight??? How would that even be possible? A scoring system has to have some way to make sure the information is true. Can't believe that would even be suggested.
Some Men make the rules
Other Men decide if they care or not.
Wider is more desirable, more impressive looking, in my mind. When I look at 2 racks side by side, I am drawn to the wider one first. Then mass, then length
I actually think mass scores should be doubled. I would choose mass over all other factors.
Width is a very descriptive aspect of antlers. Somewhat arbitrary, yes, but as folks hit on above consistency is the key.
I once had a sci measurer say to me how do you know your animals will score in SCI? I said because they make P and Y. He says to me he wont be able to decide if its worth coming out or not by that? I got another measurer and he was glad to come out. All scored rather well to. I found out men that measure should be equal but some are not. I'd take wide everyday to add to scores. Only thing that kills me are deductions on P and Y.
The 1st SCI scorer was wrong. He could have looked at a P&Y score sheet & gave you a real close estimate. SCI scores most critters just like P&Y or B&C except they don't deduct for side to side differences or abnormal points on a typical entry. SCI scores the moose species completely different.
"Body size / weight??? How would that even be possible? "
In the same way antler scores are confirmed. There could be certified "weighers" just like "measurers". You could base it on gutted and skinned hanging weight, just like some meat processors base their prices on.
My cousin killed one of the most impressive bull elk I've ever seen. We called him "Big Red" because of his huge body and reddish coloration. His antlers were nice (320"-ish), but his body was what made him stand out. After weighing the gutted, skinned, and halved carcass, the processor told us it was the heaviest bull he'd weighed in several years. I don't remember the actual weight, but he estimated the live on the hoof weight to be around 1100 pounds.
Anyway, I know this is all just banter. My real point is, weight is just another arbitrary measurement to define a "trophy". To a meat hunter, it's probably more important than inches of antlers. Score keeping, in general, is kinda silly to me. And it has led to a rather ugly side of hunting, IMO.
GG...Obviously you must always hunt close to a road...Some of us don't.
So, instead of measures you would rely on estimators? Maybe they could travel with a certified scale instead of a tape measure? The new record book could have different classes for each species: whole, field dressed, quartered, and boned-out.
First above average width deer I’ve ever shot was this year. I have another narrower/higher scoring deer mounted that side by side you would swear the wide on exceeds the average. IMO, width gives the appearance of size much more notably than mass. 8” of mass, looks a little bigger. 8” of width...jaws would drop. The most impressive are the ones that have the full package, width included..
Matt, Great idea, Hide On or Off? I always like how a guy says he never scores anything & then says body weight is the most important. When they describe this huge bodied elk someone killed the weight is never mentioned but the estimated antler score is. Around 320" - ish
Ever try and weigh an elk?
I think P&Y & B&C are great associations as I "do" think they help promote hunting. No, I do not belong though I have had some animals scored by an official P&Y scorer for my own "knowing". I was never a head gear bowhunter though I am very selective on Whitetails (nothing else) after 64 years of bowhunting (I started in 1956). I'm guessing we will never have a "perfect" anything but at least its the same for all. Like Pat said, P&Y, B&C or SCI if not happy or not at all. Regardless, IF your fortunate to take a record animal, be "thankful"...
Have to agree with Jim on this one - most important thing in a scoring system, outside of defining what constitutes a truly exceptional animal, is consistency. Record systems exit as a basis for comparison. Don’t know how P&Y, B&C, or SCI would be able to make a fundamental change, such as eliminating spread, and maintain the ability to compare entries made prior to that change. .
Beyond that we are really talking about preference and taste. For antlered game what impresses me the most is an oversized frame. It all starts from there. Always preferred an oversized typical, then I look to tine length and mass carried out all the way to the end of the frame. I’ll usually target the oversized, heavy typical over the super-wide deer 9 out of 10 times. But I’m also a big fan of fully mature or slightly older deer — combine that with an oversized, heavy typical frame, and my attention is fixed. Also, I’m not a huge fan of perfect symmetry deductions so prefer SCI scoring. If God grows it, it counts! But in the simplest terms what makes a trophy is a personal thing and folks have different preferences. Scoring systems exist for an objective comparison.
That buzzing sound is my point flying over your head. Since you missed it, I'll say it again. Weight is just another arbitrary metric that we *could* use to define a "trophy". Just like inches of antlers and air in-between are arbitrary metrics. I didn't say weight was the most important metric. And I made a point of including "-ish" on my estimate of my cousin's bull because it was a guess. We never measured him.
If it still isn't clear, I also said any type of scoring system is kinda silly to me. Pat's caribou is a prime example. It's one of the most impressive caribou bulls I've ever seen, yet it doesn't score well because of arbitrary metrics. I can't imagine many hunters would pass on that bull because he isn't symmetrical.
And yes, I've been caught up in horn porn in the past, too. Heck, I waited 22 years to hunt a trophy elk unit here in Colorado. My goal was to kill my personal biggest antlered bull ever, which I did. I never measured it, but yeah, I get it, antler score matters....more to some than others.
GG, Nothing flew over my head. Always the same with you. Glad you got your personal biggest antlered elk after such a long wait. Sorry you couldn't weigh him.
The scoring system used by B&C/P&Y have stood the test of time for many many years. People’s opinion of whether or not certain aspects of that system are fair, relevant or necessary are definitely subjective but at the end of the day if the animal was a trophy enough for you to kill then it should be a trophy regardless of its final score. As for having a trophy scored by an official measurer then not entering that animal is very unfortunate on many levels.
Any measurement system is arbitrary. One system that I liked which never caught on was the Burkhart(?) measurement in which the antlers were submerged in a water tank and the displaced volume of water was measured. In other words, you got full credit for antler mass with no deductions for lack of symmetry.
I see several flaws with the water displacement idea. Not the least of which is how its done on say a shoulder mounted Elk? Maybe I’m missing something.
I think the B&C system has stood the test of time fairly well. Some people are always making suggestions that they think would make it better but most of those suggestions are too minor to upset widely used standards.
Chew on this for a moment. Take a long look at Mel Johnson's WR typical whitetail. Look at it and take in it's magnificence. There are other typical sets of antlers that may have surpassed it if one or two abnormalities had been calculated differently but I've never seen a more impressive typical whitetail deer. It is the most impressive typical whitetail ever taken by a bowhunter and the system recognizes that. I think that is important.
Yes what a magnificent trophy that buck is. When you consider the fact that the Whitetail deer is by far the most hunted and entered species in the records and the Johnson buck still remains at the top after all these years, it is mind boggling.