Minimum Score for a Buck to be considered exceptional in PA - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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So I just got my buck back from the taxidermist and since it is the largest buck that I’ve ever seen in the woods I decided to score it. Gross score came out to 117 and while it isn’t breaking any records I guess is exceptional for PA as it is bigger than just about anything I've seen in 14 years of hunting. The only exceptions are a handful of deer on camera and the buck my dad got this year which was 120.

So that got me thinking, how big does a buck have to be in PA to be considered an exceptionally large buck? Can a general number even be provided or would it vary to much by region to really pin down a number.

For example in the picture my first buck on the left would be considered a quality buck in our area and one anybody would be estatic to get. It represents what we thought was the upper size range and was one of the biggest bucks taken before last season. In comparison my new buck is exceptionally large for our area with maybe 5 others of similar size being taken in the last 30+ years.

So based on your experiences do any of you guys have a guess as to what size a buck has to grow to be considered exceptional?
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post #2 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 04:55 PM
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A lot of guys are going to say 140 or up for exceptional but I would say yours is a great buck worthy of mounting.
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post #3 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 05:14 PM
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Not a thing wrong with your buck, not a thing at all. I do not worry about inches of antler when I am hunting, I am more interested in body size. If you want to see what antler sizes have been taken in PA buy a copy of the PA Big Game Records book, it was reprinted and up dated last year. You can buy it on line.
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post #4 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMP70306 View Post
In comparison my new buck is exceptionally large for our area with maybe 5 others of similar size being taken in the last 30+ years.
Great buck! You answered your own question above.
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post #5 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 05:39 PM
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30- 40 years ago your buck would have been considered exceptional today with HR/AR just average or a hair above average still a great buck in my book congrats
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post #6 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 05:41 PM
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I believe AR began in 2001 and it took a couple of years for hunters to reap the benefit of larger antlered deer.
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post #7 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 05:45 PM
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The OP's buck is bigger than most people will take in PA in a lifetime.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #8 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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We have a box of antlers up the cabin that spreads 30+ years of me, my brother, dad and grandfather hunting. Of that box many are spikes and 4 points from Dad and Pop prior to AR with a handful of small sixes. The three 8 pt they got were all mounted as 8 pts were few and far between back then. My dads rule when I started hunting was that he would only pay for my buck to be mounted if it was an 8 pt or bigger.

Once my brother and I started hunting after AR we have taken a 6pt, a 7pt, five 8pts and a 10 pt so I definitely believe that AR has had a positive effect on the deer herd in our area. We also have noticed that the antlers themselves are getting larger and the deer are generally getting older, the Bucks we got this year are proof of that.

I put my buck up next to my grandfathers which was the biggest buck he had gotten as a way to compare the previous standard to my buck.
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post #9 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 07:00 PM
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The OP's buck is bigger than most people will take in PA in a lifetime.

Very true. Lots of people see 140" bucks but when accurately scored they're smaller than the OP's.
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post #10 of 124 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 07:12 PM
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I would consider Pap's buck to be closer to the average PA buck shot today. A good buck back in the day and still a buck a lot of PA hunters would be happy with. I know most of the time I would not pass on such a buck. Yours is a great buck, even by today's inflated (and often unrealistic) standards. Many regions in PA are not capable of consistently producing bucks with antlers much bigger.
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