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Old September 30, 2012, 01:56 PM   #1
Deja vu
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Why are deer measured differently in different areas?

I lived most of my life here in Idaho but for about 4 years I lived in Alabama. One day while in Alabama a friend of mine shows up to work bragging about his 10 point buck. Being from out west I think to my self "holy crap that much be a monster" When I show up at his place that evening I see what to me is a 5 point buck, while its still big its not what I had pictured in my mine.

Out west (at least here in Idaho) we typically only count 1 (the one with more points in the case of an more on one side than the other) side of the antlers but in Alabama and on most forums I read they count both sides. I wonder what makes the difference?

Not a huge deal it just seems odd to me.
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Old September 30, 2012, 02:22 PM   #2
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It seems weird to me to just count one side.
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Old September 30, 2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Yeah, I never understood your state's counting system of just half. Do you count the half with the most or the half with the least? Since there are 2 antlers, I would think you count both sides. You don't weight only one side or just say a buck has one antler, so why only count one side?

When you said, "measured" I had assumed you meant spreads. Those seem more convoluted than point counting.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:19 PM   #4
shortwave
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Quote:
It seems weird to me to just count one side.
Agree.

Quote:
Out west (at least here in Idaho) we typically only count 1 (the one with more points in the case of an more on one side than the other) side of the antlers...
Now that is truly strange to me.
I thought out West if you had say, a nine pointer(5 on one side, 4 on the other) then that was considered a 5x4.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:25 PM   #5
Deja vu
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Many of the California hunters that come up here call them a 4 by 5 or a 3 by 3 deer.

One year I shot a nontypical deer that would have been a 5 by 1

imagen the deer I was thinking of when I heard it was a 10 point. I was picturing a "20" point deer in my head.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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I'm with you Deja Vu, but I'll add that generally if the animal had a different number of points on one side then we'll count both. For instance, a 3x4 would be a buck with 3 points on one side and 4 on the other. It is also acceptable to refer to, say, a "4-point" mule deer buck as a 4x4 OR a 4-point. This is especially true with elk, most often you'll hear both sides even if both sides are the same.

We DO NOT include eye guard tines for deer! A 4x4 mulie with or without eyeguards is still a 4-point. Same goes with our subspecies of whitetail, the Coues whitetail. A 10-point whitetail buck in Alabama would be a 4x4 whitetail in AZ. If the eyeguards are worth a mention, say one side had double tines on the eyeguard... that would be a 4x4 with a double eyeguard and NOT an 11-point

Elk don't have eyeguards so generally all major points are counted. Small tits that stick off main points are often times not counted either, especially on elk.

I think it'd be easier to just count all the damn points! But is still sounds goofy (to me and my western lingo) to go around saying "I killed a 12-point buck."
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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It seems that the use of counting both sides (i.e. 4x5) has become more popular in the last 10-15 years. When I was a kid I remember hearing only one side counted. Now both sides is more popular.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:41 PM   #8
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Here if you can hang a ring off it it counts as a point. I don't necessarily agree with that logic but thems the rules.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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Here if you can hang a ring off it it counts as a point. I don't necessarily agree with that logic but thems the rules.
Same rules here, technically. However, a nice 6x6 bull with a teensy little tit on one side isn't usually going to be referred to as a 6x7 in most conversations. That is until it comes time to BS in the man cave, then it might come up; "notice he's actually a 6x7, got that little tit off the sword tine there."
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:04 PM   #10
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Here if you can hang a ring off it it counts as a point. I don't necessarily agree with that logic but thems the rules.
Hey, Thanks Hawg.

You just turned one of my mounts from a 14 point or a 7x7 or a 7 to an 18 pointers or a 10x8 or a 10....boy,this is getting confusing.
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Old September 30, 2012, 06:06 PM   #11
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We count one side, because that's all we get time to look at in the mountains.

We don't have hours to spend watching the whitetails, in our tree stands or blinds, counting every little point out of complete boredom.
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Old September 30, 2012, 06:17 PM   #12
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In Alabama the deer are relatively small. I think the hoof count is added to the rack point total.
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Old September 30, 2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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I can't understand the logic of counting one side either. In my experience, there are as many 3, 5, 7, 9 pointers as there are 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.

If you're only counting one side and you say it's a 5 point, does it have 10 total or 9 or 11? How would you know? Doesn't make sense.

Besides, all the official counting systems count all points. In terms of deer, I believe they're all based on a 1" minimum to be a point but I wouldn't swear to it.
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Old September 30, 2012, 07:03 PM   #14
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I can't understand the logic of counting one side either. In my experience, there are as many 3, 5, 7, 9 pointers as there are 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.

If you're only counting one side and you say it's a 5 point, does it have 10 total or 9 or 11? How would you know? Doesn't make sense.
The most common practice in my neck of the woods would be to specify both sides, 3x4, 4x5 etc. My opinon is that it's the best way to go about it. That way you know the character of the buck. Be specific about it.

It is strictly a matter of perception. You agree with what you're raised with. I know if somebody says they shot a 5 point mulie, he means he shot a buck with 5 main points on one side, and that's probably a big buck. Other side has 4 or 5 probably, doesn't realy matter. Conversely if an easterner tells me he shot a 10 point buck... what does that tell me? Is it a 3x4 with 3 total eyeguards? Is it a 4x4 with an eyeguard on each side? Probably there is some eaterner/southerner code that I am (happily) ignorant of

My dad shot a spike one year with double eyeguards on one side and a single eyeguard on the other. Very rare for a mule deer, especially one that small. 5 points total. I wouldn't go telling people my dad shot a 5 point mulie, that would be incredibly misleading. It was a spike with double eyeguards on one side, or in passing, just a spike

I think eyeguards are the main confusing point. Whitetails generally have them, mule deer may or may not. If they do have them, they are generally less pronounced than a whitetail eye guard. So out west, we don't count them in the point total. Scoring (measuring) is a separate issue. Maybe that's why we invented scoring? Somebody must have finally got fed up arguing and said "ah hell, let's just measure the sumbitch in inches!"
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Old September 30, 2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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We count one side, because that's all we get time to look at in the mountains.

We don't have hours to spend watching the whitetails, in our tree stands or blinds, counting every little point out of complete boredom
I was thinking it might be because you could run out of fingers and not be able to keep up with it.
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Old September 30, 2012, 07:27 PM   #16
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Huntinaz, those must be some funny lookn elk in AZ. I see lots of them here with double eye guards. I guess we all count things different in different places. Seems right to me to call a 4x4 a 4 point. But I grew up in Idaho. If it weren't for the hunting shows on tv we wouldn't even know how messed up each others counting system is.
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Old September 30, 2012, 07:41 PM   #17
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It's been Eastern count and Western count as far back as I can remember reading Field&Stream, Outdoor Life and Sports Afield--and that's a bunch of decades.

So, Eastern count, you count all legal tines. Western count is 4x4 or 3x5 or whatever, and I plead ignorance about the brow-tine thing.
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Old September 30, 2012, 09:11 PM   #18
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Because out west they run outta fingers so they just count up one side. Keeps them from hurting straining their brain.
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Old September 30, 2012, 09:25 PM   #19
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Once I have to start counting toes it's a big 'un.

Honestly thats just the way I grew up counting, one side, usually the smaller side unless you do the 3x3, 3x4 etc...

Now if I shoot a whitetail I will count the Eastern way.
To me it isn't Eastern or Western, its whitetail or mulie, they just get counted different....
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Old September 30, 2012, 09:28 PM   #20
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I've always attributed it to the East vs.West of the Mississippi River when it comes to deer racks. I've noticed the same East/West discernment between horse farms (east) and horse ranches (west). Its a regional distinction at best
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Old September 30, 2012, 09:46 PM   #21
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Huntinaz, those must be some funny lookn elk in AZ. I see lots of them here with double eye guards.
Yeah that was poor wording on my part. Out here we call them brow tines on elk, and eye guards on deer. I'd guess brow tines is the correct term for both. What I really meant was that brow tines on elk are obvious, pronounced tines compared to the dinky things mule deer grow. I'd wager our elk look pretty similar to yours
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:37 AM   #22
Art Eatman
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It's not a mule deer/whitetail thing. Texas has both species and we've always used the eastern count.
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:28 AM   #23
huntinaz
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It's not a mule deer/whitetail thing. Texas has both species and we've always used the eastern count.
Even for mulies!?? Blasphemy!!!
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:54 AM   #24
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We have whitetail deer here in Co and few years ago they split them into their own season. I've always considered their horns same as a mulie and I'm sure some others may do it different.
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:57 AM   #25
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We count one side, because that's all we get time to look at in the mountains.

We don't have hours to spend watching the whitetails, in our tree stands or blinds, counting every little point out of complete boredom.

FrankenMauser
We hunt from blinds (in the woods) in Wisconsin and we don't have time to count points period. If it's a big rack we have to act now and shoot it!!

These TV shows where these guys have these absolute monsters come out and they're dinking around with binnoculars counting points are ridiculous. Then they screw around looking through the scope before taking off the safety. It must be nice to hunt on game farms with tame deer that let you take all day to shoot them. These guys could not kill a deer in Wisconsin.

You see a real nice buck you FIRST take off the safety, THEN forget the binoculars and GET THAT GUN UP and the sights on the deer's shoulder and SQUEEZE! This whole sequence takes SECONDS. No wasting time or you ain't gettin that deer!

And the eastern count and western count was what I grew up hearing. Who cares how you count them if it's a nice rack. The number of points is only part of the equation.

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