How to Count the Points on Deer Antlers


Deer antlers become larger and develop more character with each successive shedding. The antlers become wider, the beams become longer, and numerous protrusions--“points”--will develop. There are several different ways to rate the quality of deer antlers. You can measure their width, you can score them using the Boone and Crockett method, or, the most common method, you can count the points. Not all protrusions qualify as points, and there is a recognized system for determining what constitutes an antler point.

deer with antlers in riverbed
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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
Step 1

Measure each protrusion from the area where it leaves the main beam to its tip. If it measures at least 1 inch in length from the main beam, it is counted as a point.

measuring tape
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Step 2

Count the end tip of each main beam as a point.

deer antlers drying on fence
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Step 3

Measure non-typical points in the same manner. Non-typical points include points that develop off of other points. Measure points that develop off of other points by starting the measurement where the base of the point meets the other point, rather than from the base of the main beam.

deer antlers in field
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Step 4

Include brow tines in your point count for a whitetail deer rack. Brow tines are not included in a mule deer rack point count.

white tail dean in nature
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Step 5

Add up all of the qualifying points for a total count.

anters mounted on wall
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Tips & Warnings

  • Not all racks have a symmetrical pattern of points. For example, a rack may have four points on one antler and six on the other. A whitetail deer with this rack would be said to have a “10 point” rack. Mule deer racks are counted differently. If this were a mule deer rack, it would be said to have a “4 by 6” rack, assuming that none of the 10 points were brow tines.


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