It’s been almost 100 years since the Boone and Crockett scoring method has been THE way to measure up free-ranging white-tailed buck antlers against one another. When talking about anything deer antler-related, B&C scores are it. Whether it be a gross score or a net, the Boone and Crockett Club is politely asking that deer breeders and other facilities holding captive animals quit using/referring to B&C scores.
The Club does not want to be associated with put-and-take operations and deer raised solely for enormous antlers. Although the B&C scoring technique measures antlers, it was never set out to be a system that was to be gamed. It was simply a standardized way to compare free-ranging deer and other species.
Source: The Boone and Crockett Club today reaffirmed its objection and rejection to the use of its name and scoring system in conjunction with captive deer and elk. So says an official resolution presented and signed by Club president William A. Demmer. The resolution was ratified at Boone and Crockett’s 127th annual meeting, which concluded Dec. 7, 2014 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The resolution reads:
“The Boone and Crockett Club scoring system exists to document the successful conservation of wild game animals in North America. The Boone and Crockett Club objects to and rejects any use of or reference to the Boone and Crockett Club or its scoring system in connection with antlers/horns grown by animals in captivity.”
Demmer said, “With the growth of the deer breeding and shooting industry, and modern marketing and selling of ‘shooter bucks’ raised in captivity and graded and sold using B&C scores, it was time to make this unauthorized use of our scoring system more widely known.”
The Club’s records program was established in 1906 as a way of detailing species once thought headed for extinction. Today, the B&C scoring system is used to collect data on free-ranging big game. These data reflect successful conservation efforts, population health and habitat quality. Biologists compare and contrast records to improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife policies.
“To maintain the purity of this dataset, and to ensure its usefulness for conservation professionals, the Club has always excluded farm-raised big game from its records program. Including unnaturally produced or genetically manipulated specimens would taint one of the longest running conservation programs in existence,” said Demmer.
The Club supports use of scientifically guided wildlife management techniques to enhance or restore big game populations and other species at risk. However, the Club condemns artificial enhancement of a species’ genetic characteristics for the sole purpose of producing abnormally large antlers to increase commercial value.