LITTLE ROCK -- With deer hunting season arriving, some Arkansans may
wonder if the bragging-size buck they down "will make the record books."

There are two record books -- Boone and Crockett for gun hunting and
Pope and Young for archery hunting. "State record" for whitetail deer
means listings in these two books, said Craig Uyeda of Conway, chief of
the River Basins and Governmental Relations
Division
of the Arkansas
Game and Fish Commission, who is a certified Boone and Crockett scorer.

"Symmetry is the big thing in Boone and Crockett scoring," Uyeda said.
"That means that one side of the antlers should look just like the other
side. If it doesn't, inches are deducted." Uyeda explained that
whitetail deer are put in two classifications, typical and non-typical.
"A typical rack means the points and tines are growing upward. It's
non-typical when there are tines growing downward or at odd angles and
when there is noticeable palmation" (space between points filled in).

All the measuring is in inches, and the final figure for both Boone and
Crockett and Pope and Young is a sum of these measurements. The number
of points isn't scored. But the more points on an antler, the more there
is to measure.

And the
old axiom of "if you can get a ring on it, it counts as a point" doesn't
hold true with Boone and Crockett. Uyeda said the rules for measuring a
point are (1) it must be at least one inch long and (2) its length must
be greater than its width at the base.

Uyeda said a hunter should measure his own deer to see if it reaches the
standards, which are 170 points for typical racks and 195 points for
non-typicals. A rack surpassing these figures will make it into the
record book. But racks that fall a little short may be eligible for
Boone and Crockett's annual awards program; this has minimums of 160
points for typical racks, 185 for non-typicals. An instructional sheet
for measurements can be obtained by phoning the Game and Fish
Commission's Wildlife Management Division office at (501) 223-6359.

The required measurements: tip-to-tip spread, greatest spread, inside
spread, total length of all abnormal points, length of main beam, length
of each point, circumferences of main beam at (1) base, (2) between
first and second point (3) between second and third point and (4)
between third and fourth point, if present. If the matching points are
different in length and circumference, the difference is subtracted from
the total.