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The Buckmasters Trophy Record (BTR) system, which is exclusively for whitetails, is the newest of the antler scoring methods and it is rapidly growing in popularity.

Founded by Jackie Bushman of Buckmasters in 1994, it is a full credit scoring system that will "record what nature produced, without making any assessment of its aesthetic value to the human eye'.

BTR is by far the simplest method of deer antler scoring and gives credit for every inch of antler that the deer grows.

There are some differences with the B and C and P and Y Club systems however.

It does not include the inside-spread measurement as it is a measure of air, not antler! It also does not deduct differences between lengths of opposing typical points.

Instead of using the two categories of typical and non-typical, the BTR system uses four antler scoring categories, which are perfect, typical, semi-irregular, and irregular.

To be eligible for the record book, a whitetail harvested with a firearm is 140 inches, and with a bow is 105 inches.

Another unique feature is the provision of categories for different types of firearms including center fire rifles, shotguns, handguns and black powder guns.

The archery category acknowledges all compounds, recurves, and longbows, with a separate category for crossbows.

The philosophy of Buckmasters' new Full-Credit Scoring System is to measure and record whitetail deer antlers without forcing them to conform to a criterion of perfect symmetry. This Full-Credit Scoring System takes nothing away from the rack. It simply measures every inch of antler and classifies it accordingly. The Buckmasters system can be distinguished from other whitetail scoring systems in these nine important areas:

  • The Buckmasters system does not deduct differences between lengths of opposing typical points. 
  • It does not include the inside-spread measurement in the score because it is a measurement of air, not antler. 
  • Since the inside spread between the main beams is not added into the rack's score, a rack with a broken skull plate can be entered into the BTR. 
  • There are four classifications of antlers categorized as: Perfect, Typical, Semi-Irregular, and Irregular. 
  • Minimum score is the same for each of the four categories of antlers. The minimum score for all firearms-harvested deer is 140 inches. A minimum score of 105 inches is required for all bow-harvested deer. These minimum scores may sound low until you realize the inside-spread credit is not included. 
  • The BTR system provides categories for all types of firearms which include centerfire rifles, shotguns, handguns, and blackpowder guns. The bow-and-arrow category includes all compounds, recurves, and longbows, with a separate category for crossbows. The "Pick-Up" category is for racks which have been found rather than harvested by a hunter. The minimum score for this category is 140 inches. There is even a category for shed antlers which are measured only as right or left antlers, not as a pair. Minimum score for shed antlers is 75 inches. 
  • No drying time is required before antlers can be measured. 
  • The BTR also has a separate category for antlers still in velvet. 
  • There is opportunity for entry for bucks which have been taken behind deer-proof fences, providing they meet the entrance criteria noted on the BTR Code of Ethics for Hunting On Game-Proof Fenced Properties.

The Full-Credit Scoring System does not penalize a deer's antlers because of their shape or configuration since they have no choice in how they grow. Each hunter may prefer certain antler characteristics, but to call one preference right and another preference wrong would be absurd, especially where a design of nature is concerned. 

There is no justifiable reason to penalize a rack's score because of the origin of a point or the direction in which it grows. For this reason, the BTR minimum scores will be the same whether the rack is perfectly symmetrical or largely irregular. The BTR Full-Credit Scoring System's mandate is to record what nature produced, without making any assessment of its aesthetic value to the human eye. 

In the case of animals such as mountain sheep or goats, there is a static horn design. These animals never depart from what is considered the norm in any way that would confuse their scoring criterion. A scoring system which is fair to one big-horn ram will be fair to all such rams because they are only created with one basic horn design. However, whitetail deer are quite another matter. For a measuring system to be as fair to deer as it is to wild sheep and goats, it must be prepared to acknowledge every antler configuration possible without penalty. This is the basis of the philosophy behind the BTR Full-Credit Scoring System. 

To fully understand the Buckmasters philosophy for not including the inside-spread measurement into the rack's score, imagine a set of whitetail antlers altered to a flexible state, so that the main beams could be spread wider or narrower. In other scoring systems, the changing of the inside-spread measurement would affect the final score, either positively or negatively. However, in reality, the actual inches of antler would not be altered by widening or narrowing the inside spread. All that has really been altered is a measurement of air, not antler. For this reason, the BTR system includes the inside-spread measurement only as supplementary data for identification purposes. 

When measuring typical tines, no deduction is made when one typical point does not have a matching point on the opposite antler. An example would be a 9-point rack with five typical points on one side and only four typical points on the other. BTR does not force this rack to become a hypothetical 8-pointer by deducting the unmatched point. No matter how antlers grow, the BTR will accept and record them. 

By simply recording what nature produced and classifying it accurately, the BTR offers whitetail enthusiasts the opportunity to record their trophies with an unbiased, record-keeping agency that allows systematic comparison of the amazing, natural artistry of whitetail antlers.



For whitetail deer to be eligible for the record book, they must have been killed ethically, according to the rules of "Fair Chase". This means during legal hunting season, and in accordance with hunting regulations.

They must also meet the all-time minimum scoring standard of 170 inches for the typical category, and 195 inches for the non-typical category.

B and C acknowledge different minimum scores for their record book eligibility. With the whitetail deer, the minimum for record book eligibility is 160 inches for typical and 185 inches for non-typical antlers.

According to the club's documentation 'trophies that meets the Awards minimum but not the all-time minimum will be listed in the Big Game Awards Book.

Trophies meeting the all-time minimum will also be listed in Records of North American Big Game.



The Pope & Young Club, founded in 1961, is the official record of bow-harvested North American big game.

To be eligible for the Bowhunting Big Game Records of North America, deer antler scoring must meet similar but lower standards than those for the B and C Club.

For a whitetail deer, the typical antler score needs to be 125 inches or better, and the non-typical antler score must be 155 inches or better.

Deer must be harvested using a bow and arrow, killed ethically and according to the rules of "Fair Chase".


The term “Fair Chase” shall not include the taking of animals under the following conditions:

  • Helpless in a trap, deep snow or water, or on ice.
  • From any power vehicle or power boat.
  • By “jacklighting” or shining at night.
  • By the use of any tranquilizers or poisons.
  • While inside escape-proof fenced enclosures.
  • By the use of any power vehicle or power boats for herding or driving animals, including use of aircraft to land alongside or to communicate with or direct a hunter on the ground.
  • By the use of electronic devices for attracting, locating or pursuing game or guiding the hunter to such game, or by the use of a bow or arrow to which any electronic device is attached.
  • Any other condition considered by the Board of Directors as unacceptable.

The fair chase concept does, however, extend beyond the hunt itself; it is an attitude and a way of life based in a deep-seated respect for wildlife, for the environment, and for other individuals who share the bounty of this vast continent’s natural resources.