3 Things You Didn't Know About Trophy Whitetails

3 Things You Didn't Know About Trophy Whitetails
(Steve Bowman photo)

MISSOULA, Mont. -- A Boone and Crockett Club reference book on trophy whitetails has received top honors in a national book awards competition. The Club is celebrating with a just-for-fun trivia quiz based on data that readers could glean from the pages of the heralded book.

Competing against books of all genres, "Records of North American Whitetail Deer" won a Gold Medal in the 2013 PubWest Book Design Awards. It's one of four recent honors for Boone and Crockett-published books. More on that after the quiz.

Three things you didn't know about trophy whitetails (see answers below):

  1. There are currently 8,568 typical whitetails listed in Boone and Crockett records. What percentage are 8-pointers (eastern count)?

  2. Which antler characteristic factors most heavily into the score of a typical whitetail?

  3. Continent-wide, what are the odds of a deer hunter collecting and entering a Boone and Crockett-qualifying whitetail?

Click the image for top five bucks of all-time



"Records of North American Whitetail Deer" is the most complete book of trophy info and records on America's favorite big-game species. The PubWest Gold Medal was given for the fifth edition, which includes detailed tabular listings of 12,254 whitetail trophies ranked according to their all-time Boone and Crockett scores.


PubWest judges also awarded a Gold Medal to Boone and Crockett's "Great Rams III." A limited edition of only 2,000 copies, the book offers classic stories of legendary sheep hunts and hunters, conservation efforts and more by author Robert M. Anderson.

A Boone and Crockett-published e-book, "African Game Trails" by Theodore Roosevelt, received honors in two different competitions. PubWest recognized it with a Bronze Medal for excellence in design. The e-book also received a Silver Medal in the Benjamin Franklin Digital Awards presented by the Independent Book Publishers Association.

These and many other Club publications may be ordered at www.boone-crockett.org or 888-840-4868.

Quiz answers:


  1. 2.6 percent. The World's Record typical 8-pointer, taken in Mexico in 1985, boasts a final score of 184-5/8.

  2. Main beam lengths account for 30 percent of the score. The average Boone and Crockett-class buck has main beams measuring 25.63 inches. For field judging purposes, it's about 8 inches from a buck's eye to the end of its nose, so look for main beams at least three times that length. The next-most important factor is mass. Circumference measurements taken between the burr and first point, and between other points along the main beam, together provide nearly 18 percent of the score. What's a good way to field-judge mass? The circumference of a whitetail's eye is about four inches, and antler circumference measurements on a standard Boone and Crockett qualifying rack average 4.45 inches. So, hunters should look for main beams thicker than the eyes, with that mass carried through the length of the beams. Other important characteristics for score, accounting for 12 percent each, are spread credit, length of second point and length of third point. The average Boone and Crockett trophy has a spread credit of 19.75 inches, second-points measuring 10.10 inches and third points measuring 10.12 inches.

  3. Approximately 1 in 20,000. There are roughly 10 million deer hunters who now enter about 500 whitetails a year in Boone and Crockett records. By comparison, in Wisconsin, which now produces the most trophy whitetails with about 130 a year, and has some 600,000 deer hunters, the odds are approximately 1 in 4,500.

About the Boone and Crockett Club
North America's first hunting and conservation organization, the Boone and Crockett Club was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887. Its mission is to promote the conservation and management of wildlife, especially big game and its habitat, to preserve and encourage hunting and to maintain the highest ethical standards of fair chase and sportsmanship. Join us at www.boone-crockett.org.

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