Kid's Wyoming Hunt - Field Judging Quiz

toasty

Junior Member
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May 10, 2019
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31
Location
Utah
We had a great time the last few days in WY where we had 3 girls 2 (2 15 year old and a 13 year old) that had pronghorn tags. The wind and lots of hunters made for skittish antelope and tough shots. Most animals were in walk in access areas and on private land without vehicle access so we did an average of about 10 miles per day in hiking. After a near miss at 550 yards earlier in the day, my daughter was able to take a nice pronghorn at 315 yards with the 6.5 creedmoor with perfect hold-off for the wind. My 13 year old daughter was not able to fill her tag, but we have time to go back and get it done later in the year.

So you think you can field judge antelope? They were both thrilled with their bucks and score doesn't matter, but we scored them just for fun. Here are the 2 bucks side by side. The Buck 1 on the left and Buck 2 is on the right and I have attached additional front and side view pics. Tell me which buck scores better and what your guess for gross score for each buck.




Buck 1 Front

Buck 1 Side

Buck 2 Front

Buck 2 Side
 

TX_Diver

Member
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
94
Great story and bucks regardless of score. Congrats!

I can't judge antelope very well but would definitely put Buck 2 as bigger.
 
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toasty

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May 10, 2019
Messages
31
Location
Utah
Well, I can see that not many people, other than Cornhusker, are interested in guessing a score.

Buck 1 had good length and decent prongs, I knew he was a light on mass. I figured he was in that 13-14" length and figured he would be right at around that 70" mark, but at 180 yards (easiest shot of the trip) it was a no brainer to have one of the girls take him. Buck 1 was 13 7/8" long horn and scored exactly at 72".

We could see buck 2 was mature and had great mass. I estimated buck 2 to only be about 12-13" long as his horns did not appear very tall. I figured he would score in the low to mid 70s. It wasn't until he was down that we realized he had a huge head and body. He weighed around 60lbs more than buck #1 and had a massive head and neck. This contributed to an under estimate and we put a tape on him after he was down and he had 14 3/8" long horns. 6 7/8" mass at the base and first quarter and 4 3/8 at the 2nd quarter. His prong was a little weak but he ended up at 80 2/8" gross.

I have been hunting pronghorn for many years, but I still learn something new every time out. They really are the hardest animal to judge. What I have learned from this, it never underestimate the affect of long curl. Also, the other thing we often overlook is the mass above the prong. In the end, score is just a number, the real trophy of the trip was spending time with my daughters doing something we both love. Best hunting trip ever in my book.
 

Ace531

Junior Member
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Jul 9, 2019
Messages
17
Location
WI
Couple of real nice bucks! That 2nd one just has some awesome mass to his horns. Great memories indeed!
 

wytx

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
574
Location
Wyoming
Heavy horns tend to make them look shorter and the tight curl will add up as well. Prongs can also be hard to judge on bucks with good mass, they may look short when in fact the mass adds to the length nicely.
Great bucks for both and congrats!
 

Downeaster

Senior Member
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Dec 17, 2017
Messages
658
Location
N Idaho
Wow, i stink at judging. I was at 69 and 71 respectively. That mass REALLY adds up. Congrats on a great family trip.
 
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toasty

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May 10, 2019
Messages
31
Location
Utah
Thanks for the comments guys. After doing this for many years, you'd think I would get a little better at field judging, but I still stink as well. I am most often guilty of underscoring bucks and I would bet I have let several 80"+ bucks go because I thought they were much smaller. We score for fun, the first question I ask my kids is do you like the look of that buck, if the answer is yes, the second question is do you want to try to shoot that far, if that is also a yes, we try to take a shot.
 
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