Following is a complete list of the Boone and Crockett Club policies that pertain to records-keeping and entry into the Club's Awards Program. This information is also available in the book, Measuring and Scoring North American Big Game Trophies, Third Edition. Last updated in 2009.
* New since last edition / ** Significantly updated since last edition
B&C Net Score and B&C Gross Score*
Charging for Measuring**
Clean Skulls Bears, Cats and Muskox
Damaged and/or Repaired Trophies**
Fake Antlers and Horns
Intergrades of Mule/Whitetail Deer
Internet Trophy Sales*
Location of Kill
Method of Harvest
"Picked Up" Trophies*
Scoring Live Animals
Shed Antlers/Split Skulls**
Stags not Eligible for Entry
Three-Antlered Deer, Elk, Moose, and Caribou
Trophies Taken on Reservations
Trophies Taken Prior to 1887
Trophy Rank During an Awards Program**
"Unknown" Hunter-Taken Trophies*
Trophies that have been tampered with to gain an advantage obviously are not eligible for entry into the records books. Examples of trophy tampering include the deliberate removal of abnormal points from typical racks to increase a trophys score and/or the addition of antler or horn material. If any points are deliberately removed from antlers of any trophy by breaking or sawing them off, that trophy is not eligible for entry in the Awards Programs and/or records books. Deliberate modification of horns by adding to horn length or artificially increasing circumference measurements is also grounds for disqualification of a trophy.
The Records Committee has discussed the role played by Measurers in dealing with antler buying and selling. When performing the duties of an Official Measurer or an Associate Measurer, the individual is a representative of the Boone and Crockett Club and not of local clubs or individuals. Increased activity in the buying and selling of antlers has led to the potential for problems to arise as a result of these transactions as it relates to the role of a Measurer. As a general guideline, Measurers score trophies for the hunter or the owner who intends to enter the trophy in B&C records. Measuring trophies for purposes of establishing commercial value for dealers is to be avoided.
Trophies taken with the aid of bait are eligible for entry in the Clubs Awards Programs and listing in the records books so long as the practice is legal in the state or province where the trophy was taken.
B&C Net Score and B&C Gross Score*
B&C Net Score and B&C Gross Score are approved terms for B&C publications. Trophies are listed and ranked in B&C publications by their B&C Net Score, but the B&C Gross Score is listed for informational purposes. B&C Net Score is the original B&C Entry Score or a trophy's Final Score. B&C Gross Score for antlered animals is the typical frame, without deductions for lack of symmetry, plus the total of the lengths of all the abnormal points. B&C Gross Score for horned and tusked animals is the total of the left and right sides without deductions for lack of symmetry.
A flexible steel cable is approved for measuring lengths of antlers and points only. It is not approved for taking circumference measurements or for measuring horn lengths. The only exception is that a cable may be used to determine horn length on muskox.
CHARGING FOR MEASURING**
Measurers volunteer their time and talents to officially score trophies for the Club's Awards Programs. This service is provided to the public free-of-charge, regardless of whether or not a trophy meets the minimum scores established by the Club. Measurers who reportedly charge are simply asked to refrain from such activity or to resign from their positions.
There are many reasons why this policy was implemented. However, the most significant reason is the fact that the Club does not want Measurers put in a position that compromises their integrity in any way. Measurers could feel obligated to "find" an inch or so for trophies scoring near the minimums if paid by trophy owners for their services.
Measurers can be reimbursed by trophy owners for incidental expenses such as photo reproduction, postage, mileage, meals, lodging, etc. when incurred in the performance of their official duties.
CLEAN SKULLS - BEARS, CATS, AND
All bear, cat and muskox skulls must be cleaned of all adherent flesh, fat and membrane before they can be officially measured. There is a popular misconception among trophy owners, and even some measurers, that only the contact points of bear and cat skulls must be cleaned to perform an official measurement. This is incorrect, as all skulls must be completely cleaned before they can be officially measured. A properly cleaned skull is ready for public display.
Prior to measurement, muskox skulls should be cleaned by boiling and then removing all flesh and cartilage. It is important that all soft connective tissue be removed between the horns at the top of the skull. This is necessary so that, after the skull and horns have dried for 60-days after cleaning, the inside lower edge of the horn can be properly located to begin the horn length measurement.
DAMAGED AND/OR REPAIRED TROPHIES**
Repaired trophies are eligible for entry in the records books on a case by case basis. Trophies that have been repaired can be accepted by the Records Committee if the owner or the Measurer identifies the repair, and if the repair is made with original horn or antler material. The Records Committee reserves the right to reject any repaired trophy. When scoring any trophies that have been repaired, no portion of the repaired material can be included in any measurement nor can any allowance be made for lost material. For example, measurements of repaired points or main beams can only be taken to the point of the break.
Trophies that have been damaged and not repaired may be brought to the attention of the Records Committee by Measurers for consideration for inclusion in the Club's Awards Programs and records books. If the Committee, or its appointed representatives, such as B&C records department staff or a Judges Panel, agrees that the broken parts belong to the trophy and can be repositioned in their original configuration to enable an accurate measurement, the damaged trophy material can be included in the measurements and subsequently repaired. Submission of trophies with verifiable and damaged parts for examination by the Records Committee or a Judges Panel shall be at the expense of the owner.
Entry materials for damaged trophies described above must include two additional, close-up photographs. The first photo should be a close up of the damaged portion of the horn, antler, or tusk with the broken trophy material held in place. The second close-up photograph should show the broken portion of the trophy separated from the main body of the trophy material by approximately an eighth of an inch. These two photographs will be used by the records department's staff to rule on whether the broken off piece can be added into the score. Hunters or Measurers who have a question about damaged trophies should contact the Records Department at the Club's headquarters for further instructions.
When measuring horns, no allowances can be made for missing horn material. For example, there are frequently large chunks of horn material missing in the area where the D-2 circumferences are taken on desert sheep. This damage probably occurs when sheep are sparring with each other. If a D-2 circumference falls on the damaged area, the circumference is still taken through the damaged area by wrapping the tape snugly around the horn.
Cat and bear skulls are also prone to being damaged. Some damage occurs naturally when bears are sparring with each other. More frequently, however, skulls are damaged when trophies are shot in the head. Skulls have also been damaged when someone inadvertently sawed off a portion of the posterior end of the skull, including the sagittal crest. If the removed portion of the skull is available, and it has not been reattached, its length can be included in the skull length measurement if it can be positively proven that the removed portion belongs to the skull being scored. For this to be determined, the skull and any detached pieces may be shipped to B&C headquarters after giving advance notice. The trophy owner will be responsible for shipping and insurance costs both ways. The Records Committee reserves the right to disallow any of the damaged and removed portions of the skull from the final score.
Older deer racks often have a varnish coating. Apparently varnishing trophies was a common practice in the "good old days," since it is generally older racks that surface with varnish on them. Because all velvet must be removed from antlers before they can be measured, people may assume all varnish must be removed also. This is not so. Such antlers can be scored, as long as there are no pockets or spots of thick varnish that affect measurements. Such excess varnish must be removed by the trophy owner before the trophy can be officially measured.
Trophies taken with depredation permits under fair chase hunting conditions may be eligible for entry as determined by the Records Committee on a case by case basis. A trophy taken with a depredation permit must include a brief narrative that includes the details of the hunt with the other entry materials.
Official measurements cannot be taken until the antlers, horns, skulls, or tusks have air dried at normal room temperature for at least 60 days after the animal was killed. If the trophy has been frozen prior to cleaning, as is often the case with skulls, the 60-day drying period begins once the cleaning process is complete. The drying process for trophies that have been boiled or freeze-dried starts the day they are removed from the boiling pot or freeze-drier, respectively.
In the case of picked up trophies, the 60-day drying period also applies. If it is very clear from the condition of the antlers, horns, skulls, or tusks that the trophy has dried for more than 60 days, one does not have to wait another 60 days from when it was found to measure it. However, it is necessary to enter the approximate date the animal died on the line provided for the date of kill on the score chart. Trophy owners may be asked to provide a brief history for "Picked Up" trophies or trophies of unknown origin to substantiate the approximate date of death.
As keeper of the Records of North American Big Game, the Club has the inherent responsibility to maintain the integrity of the records. On occasion the validity of some entries is questioned. The Records Committee treats such questions as serious matters. If, upon completion of the Club's investigation, it is found that the trophy was fraudulently entered, the matter is taken to the Records Committee. The typical action by the committee is to remove that trophy and all others that particular trophy owner has entered and to forbid all future entries from that person.
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FAKE ANTLERS AND HORNS
Effective January 1 1990, the Boone and Crockett Club's Records of North American Big Game Committee established specific guidelines to aid in detecting the attempt of an unscrupulous individual to enter a fake set of antlers or horns in the Club's Awards Programs. Should there be any doubt in a Measurer's mind about the authenticity of a set of antlers or horns, he should first contact the Club's records office and be prepared to implement the following verification process.
After the trophy owner's permission, obtain a material sample by means of drilling a 1/16-inch diameter hole on the backside of the right antler or horn, near the base. The hole should be drilled just deep enough to go through the outer surface and into the under-surface, providing a sample to be examined for proof of natural material. The sample is placed in a plastic bag and submitted along with the completed and signed score chart directly to the Records Office.
If the Records Office determines that the material removed from the antler or horn is artificial, or if the trophy owner denies the Measurer permission to drill the antler or horn, the trophy in question will be disqualified from entry into the Awards Programs. Final acceptability in such a case will be made by the Records Office and will document the existence of the fake set and the individuals' attempting such deception.
If there should be any doubt about previously measured and/or accepted trophies in this matter, or questions on the part of Measurers regarding procedures and intent, please contact the Records Office at once and before implementing this procedure.
Shrinkage of horns (pronghorns, goats, etc.) has been a concern of many trophy owners over the years. It is acceptable to remove horns from the skull, clean them, and then have them reset with a bonding substance as long as the horns are not altered in the process. If a bonding substance is used to enhance the horn's circumference, the trophy may be disqualified.
INTERGRADES OF MULE/WHITETAIL
Although mule deer/whitetail deer crosses are rare, their antlers must be measured for the category with the higher minimum score. If such a cross is suspected, contact the Records Office for instruction as how to obtain additional information for positive identification.
Internet Trophy Sales*
The information used to advertise big game trophies for sale on internet sites is frequently misleading and fraudulent. Unofficial B&C scores, claims of "new B&C World's Records," and unauthorized reproductions of the Club's copyrighted score charts are commonly used. Such blatant statements as, "You can have your own B&C trophy in the records book if you buy this one because it hasn't been accepted by B&C" have been seen. As the Club is concerned with protecting its name and copyright, as well as innocent buyers from unscrupulous sellers, Measurers are asked to forward such information to B&C headquarters at 406/542-1888, ext. 205, or email@example.com.
LOCATION OF KILL
Every effort is made by the Club to ensure that the location of kill data for trophies listed in the records books and Fair Chase magazine are accurate and correct. Space is provided on both the score chart and the Hunter, Guide and Hunt Information form to include this data for each entry.
Please keep in mind that we are looking for the following information when completing the blanks provided for the location of kill information. For trophies taken in the lower 48 states, we need the county and state (e.g. Lawrence Co., PA) where the trophy was taken (or found). If the county is unknown, we need to know the state where it was taken. A standard road atlas is used to ensure the correct spelling of counties in the lower 48 states.
For trophies taken in Canada and Alaska, we need the name of the nearest geographic feature (e.g. Post River, AK; Glacier Lake, BC; Cataract Creek, AB) that can be found on a map or in a geographic atlas of place names for that state or province. The Club has a small library of geographic atlases and topographic maps used to ensure that the name of a geographic location is a nationally accepted name (not simply a local name) and that it is properly spelled.
At times we have problems collecting geographic information from Canadian and Alaskan hunters. For example, a whitetail buck taken in an agricultural area in the prairie provinces may be a hundred miles from the nearest geographic feature. However, while we shy away from using the names of towns, since most animals are not actually killed in a town—only near it, we will use towns if no other location of kill information is available.
If there is more than one geographic feature that could be listed for a trophy, use the feature closest to the site of kill. For example, Divide Lake is a better location of kill for a mountain caribou than the Mackenzie Mountains that covers thousands of square miles. Similarly, it is not very useful to list a location of kill for a whitetail deer as Lake Winnipeg since it stretches for hundreds of miles through the heart of Manitoba. For trophies taken in Mexico list the state it was taken in.
If the location of kill or find is not known, the location should be listed as "unknown." As an unknown location of kill is unacceptable for trophies separated from subspecies by boundaries, such trophies are not eligible for entry in B&C. For example, an elk trophy from Washington State cannot be accepted in the Roosevelt's elk category with an unknown location of kill since we must be able to verify that it came from an area where Roosevelt's elk are located.
Although it is rare we ask an individual to pinpoint the exact location of kill on a map, we may need this information for categories of big game separated by boundaries. Such information from a trophy owner remains confidential.
METHOD OF HARVEST
Boone and Crockett Club, emphasizes the trophy instead of the hunter or owner and accepts hunter-taken trophies harvested with any equipment legal in the state or province where the animal is taken. (Pope and Young Club only accepts trophies taken with a bow.)
The Club also accepts trophies that are picked up (e.g. winter kills, road kills, etc.) and trophies of unknown origin (e.g. garage sales, taxidermists, attics, etc.). Trophies accepted with unknown locations of harvest are eligible only if they are for a category without a boundary.
"Party hunting" is a practice whereby one hunter tags an animal he or she has killed with the tag of another person in his or her hunting party. Although this practice is illegal in most states and provinces, it is allowed in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, and two Canadian provinces, Manitoba, and Ontario.
The Club accepts all hunter-taken trophies where party-hunting is legal, so long as the animal is taken in Fair Chase. However, the hunter's name will only be listed in B&C publications for trophies killed by the hunter and tagged with the hunter's own tag(s). The hunter's name will be left blank for trophies tagged with the tag of another person. A copy of the license/tag for each trophy must be included with the entry materials, regardless of whose tag was used to tag the animal. These changes are retroactive.
Some states/provinces issue a single license to multiple hunters. For example, Minnesota moose licenses are issued to a party of up to four hunters. The license is filled when any one of the hunters gets a moose. In such cases, all hunters can be listed in the book as hunters and/or owners.
"Picked up" trophies*
Trophies in the records book with hunter listed as "Picked Up," include specimens that were found dead by hunters or hikers, and animals that have died from natural or unnatural causes, such as old age, severe winters, falls, car accidents, lightning, fence entanglements, drowning accidents, etc. "Picked Up" trophies also include animals that were illegally taken but are now held in trust for the public by game and fish departments. In the latter case, the poacher's name will not be listed in the book to avoid giving him credit for the kill. "Picked Up" trophies are an integral part of the Club's records-keeping activities. The fact that they were not taken by a hunter is irrelevant because the Club recognizes the trophy, and because they give a more complete picture of the successes of conservation efforts.
Trophies taken with a proxy hunting license, issued by a state, province or tribal council, that permits an individual to take an animal for another person are not eligible for entry in the Clubs Awards Programs and/or listing in the records books.
The Rackulator® is a commercial, electronic scoring device that is not an approved tool for scoring B&C trophies. Measurers are prohibited from using the Rackulator® to score trophies submitted for entry in B&C's Awards Program. The primary scoring tools are still the traditional ¼" wide flexible steel tape, the steel cable with alligator clip, and the folding carpenter's ruler.
The Records Committee clearly does not condone "shopping for higher scores." To prevent this, every Measurer should ask each trophy owner requesting his or her services if the trophy was previously officially measured. If it has been officially measured, the Measurer should refuse to repeat the process.
If the trophy owner wants his or her trophy rescored because of a disagreement with the original measurement, the Measurer should advise him or her to contact the original Measurer to resolve his or her concerns. If the scoring problem still can't be resolved, the trophy owner should be directed to contact B&C's records office, in writing, for instructions on how to proceed.
The Records Committee has ruled that trophies of anyone caught "shopping for a higher score" will be accepted at the lowest score arrived at by the different Measurers who scored it. To discourage the practice, Measurers should send to B&C headquarters the original score chart for all trophies they score that are near to or exceed category minimums along with any entry materials they can collect. This will enable the records office to immediately identify score shoppers.
There are many reasons the Club discourages trophy owners from shopping for higher scores; foremost among them, the Club feels all of its Measurers are equally trained and qualified to measure trophies for all categories of North American big game recognized by the Club.
All Measurers are volunteers who donate their time to score trophies for the Awards Programs. They receive no compensation for scoring trophies, and there is no point in wasting their time rescoring a trophy already officially scored by another qualified individual.
The most common excuses from individuals who shop for higher scores are, "I'm certain the Official Measurer made a mistake." Or, "My trophy should have scored higher."
We're all human, and mistakes can occur. However, when a trophy owner suspects a "mistake" has been made, he should first talk it over with the Measurer.
If, after the trophy owner discusses his concerns with the Measurer, he still has questions about the scoring, the owner should contact B&C's records office. The Club will then review the score chart and entry materials to see if there is a reason to have the trophy rechecked or rescored. If the concerns cannot be resolved in the Records Office, they will be forwarded to the Records Committee for review and a final interpretation.
If necessary, the trophy owner has the final option to ship his trophy to B&C's headquarters for verification of its measurement and final score. The trophy owner is responsible for all expenses incurred shipping the trophy to and from B&C's headquarters, including insurance. The Club's staff will take excellent care of the trophy while it is in their possession and will repack it for the return shipment as carefully as it was packed when shipped to B&C. Trophy owners exercising this option should contact the records office before they ship their trophy and should understand that the score arrived at by the records office is final.
Under no circumstances should the trophy owner ever ask a different Measurer to rescore his trophy without prior approval from the records office as only the Records Office can approve a remeasurement.
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SCORING LIVE ANIMALS
Official measurers should never score the antlers or horns of live animals restrained by any method, including, but not limited to, squeeze chutes or drugs.
SHED ANTLERS/SPLIT SKULLS**
Shed antlers and trophies whose skull plates have been sawn in half are not eligible for entry in the Club's Awards Programs and/or records books, regardless of how well they have been "restored." Similarly, trophies with antlers that have been "pegged" for removal and easy transportation cannot be scored for entry in B&C. This is because the inside spread (greatest spread on moose), which is an integral part of the final score of antlered trophies, cannot be accurately determined in either case. If a Measurer suspects that a set of antlers he or she is measuring is comprised of a set of shed antlers or split within the mount, he or she should contact the Club's headquarters for instructions on x-raying that trophy. A Measurer must be present at the time x-rays are taken to take immediate possession of them and forward them to B&C headquarters. All X-rays are taken and mailed to B&C headquarters at the expense of the trophy owner. This policy applies to trophy specimens of all deer, caribou, moose, and elk, as well as pronghorn.
Trophies with skull plates that have been shattered or split by shooting, dropping, etc., are eligible for entry so long as the pieces fit perfectly back together. Such trophies can only be scored by members of the Club's Records Committee or its designated representatives.
STAGS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ENTRY
Stag is a word that is commonly used to refer to a healthy, mature, adult male caribou. Stag is a word that is also used to identify a male animal that is castrated after maturity. Such stags, which occasionally occur in the wild in the antlered categories, are not eligible for entry in the Boone and Crockett Clubs Awards Programs and/or records books because their antlers continuously grow, never lose their velvet and are never shed.
In general, trophies taken with a subsistence license/permit are acceptable for entry in the Awards Programs and listing in the Clubs records books so long as they meet all the Clubs entry requirements, including all aspects of fair chase.
Three-Antlered Deer, Elk, Moose, and Caribou
Deer, elk, moose, and caribou with three (or more) antlers are not eligible for entry in the Club's Awards Programs and listing in the records books. The Club's scoring system was designed to recognize massiveness and symmetry. Numerous measurements are taken to account for massiveness of a trophy. Symmetry is taken care of by comparing the measurements of one antler with the same measurements on the opposite antler and deducting the differences. The system was not designed to record measurements of a third antler.
This policy applies to a third antler that is completely separated from either of the other antlers with flesh and hide and has its own pedicel and is shed separately from the other two antlers each fall. In some cases the third antler may actually arise from one of the two normal pedicels, but it is shed separately from the other two normal antlers. This policy does not apply to normal points that branch off one of the antlers near the burr. Several of these trophies have been entered in the non-typical categories.
Three-antlered trophies are certainly unique and noteworthy. However, the Records Committee ruled many years ago that such trophies are considered "freaks" and are not eligible for entry in the records program. The fact that a three-antlered animal is not eligible for entry in the records archives does not diminish such a trophy in any way. The scoring system was simply not designed to handle such trophies.
TROPHIES TAKEN ON RESERVATIONS
Trophies taken on tribal/communal lands in line with sound game management practices, taken in full compliance with tribal/communal laws or regulations regarding such hunting, and with possession of the usual state/provincial hunting license where applicable, and taken in full compliance with the Boone and Crockett Clubs rules of Fair Chase, will be fully accepted as entries for both awards and publication in the records books.
TROPHIES TAKEN PRIOR TO 1887
Many trophies are not officially measured until several years after they were taken. Essentially, there is no time limit for submitting trophies that exceed the all-time minimum scores for entry in the records books. Trophies taken prior to 1887, the year the Club was founded, are considered on a case-by-case basis. The date they are received, however, determines which Awards Entry Period they are entered in and the minimum scores for entry.
TROPHY RANK DURING AWARDS PROGRAM**
Trophy rankings are included in every B&C records book. However, many trophy owners wish to know how well their trophy ranks as soon as it is accepted and before it is listed in a B&C records book. The only way to determine this is to purchase access to Trophy Search on the Club's web site where state and world rankings are updated daily as new trophies are accepted. For more information on Trophy Search and to purchase access to it, call 1-888-840-4868.
"Unknown" Hunter-Taken Trophies*
rophies listed with hunter "Unknown" in the records books are those animals about which little to nothing at all is known. Frequently they are specimens that were purchased at auctions or from taxidermists; found in garbage cans and landfills; and a variety of other sources including yard or estate sales. It should be noted that trophies of "Unknown" origin are excluded from entry in the records book if they come from an area delineated by a boundary. For example, a Columbia blacktail deer of unknown origin is not acceptable because specimens must come from a certain geographic area defined by a boundary to be included in the records book. Mule deer of "Unknown" origin are eligible for entry in B&C.
"Unknown" hunter-taken trophies are an integral part of the Club's records-keeping activities. Even though we don't know who took these trophies, or where and when they were taken, they do give us a more complete picture of the category in which they appear.
The Boone and Crockett Club does not accept antlers in velvet for entry into the Awards Programs and/or records books unless the velvet is removed before official measurements are made. Remnants of velvet are permissible as long as they do not affect any measurements.