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Score bucks before taking that shot

john-woods_Screen-Shot_rgbDid you read that right? Am I suggesting that big game hunters can actually score pre-harvest potential animals before they even start to hunt? Yep, that’s correct. More importantly this computer program is another way of helping to manage game animals by collecting additional critical data on game photographed on your hunting property.

Serious hunters who are turned on by today’s advanced technology aimed at tracking game better and helping you to identify the quality of antler racks on your property need to read on. This technology will be of interest to you.


Profiling Trail Camera Photos

Jason Pope of Madison recently bought his own piece of private hunting land. He has built roads, added a bridge, cultivated wildlife food plots and constructed an elevated shooting house. Next he wanted to know what game he had on the place.

According to Pope, “I used trail cameras for three months on a piece of new hunting property I bought to find out what kind of deer I had roaming the place. I discovered the place had several pretty decent bucks coming and going in front of the camera as well as some wild turkeys. I found trail cameras were perfect for determining what game was on my land. I have been collecting the essential information via digital pictures, but now I wanted to know just how big these bucks are point wise.”

John Woods

John Woods

Now with the BuckScore system deer hunters can take their deer hunting efforts to a higher level. Once you collect digital photographs of bucks on your property, you can download the images into the BuckScore program to find out how the buck racks score. This is the ultimate in profiling the bucks on your private lands. Also coming to the Buck Score system are computer programs to score mule deer and elk.


The BuckScore System

“BuckScore at www.buckscore.com is a user-friendly computer system that allows users to estimate score and age of photo captured bucks. Trail cam photos are currently used to compile important herd make-up data, but sampling antler size and age from photographs is limited by hopeful guessing. BuckScore satisfies the demand for an accurate data collection tool for use on the live white-tailed deer,” says Jeremy Flinn one team member of the original Mississippi State University researchers in the Deer and Ecology and Management Lab that developed the BuckScore computer program system.

“These researchers recognized the management and research value of a tool that uses photographs to estimate antler size with up to 95 percent accuracy and estimate age up to 80 percent accuracy. BuckScore is an innovative management tool with plenty of applications. It will allow collection of relatively unbiased buck age and antler size data from your hunting property. Camera surveys are a passive and effective way to sample a deer herd. Using BuckScore and the photographs taken during the survey, a user can collect information that will lead to more appropriate management recommendations.” added Flinn.

Dr. Steve Demarais, Mississippi State University’s Dale Arner Distinguished Professor of Wildlife, also worked on the development of the BuckScore computer program system. “We are really excited to have produced software that is of such value to a wide range of users, including hunters and biologists. Hunters are able to self-educate themselves on antler characteristics of bucks on their property without having to “ground truth” them,” says Dr. Demarais.

“It’s also accurate enough to allow biologists to calculate antler scores for all photographed bucks and estimate antler characteristics of all bucks on the property, not just the ones that are harvested. We have recently licensed aging software to the company that will be combined with the antler scoring to allow age-specific antler scores to be generated. That will be a major tool for deer management. Biologists will then be able to evaluate the effectiveness of management programs of all ages of animals again without waiting until they are harvested. Currently we can measure only those bucks that are harvested, and that does not allow us to evaluate a random sample of the population,” Demarais remarked.

BuckScore is a Mississippi-based engineered deer management tool that deer hunters will find highly beneficial to managing deer on their private property. With a suitable collection of digital trail cam photos hunters and deer managers can evaluate the antler score and age of each buck they photograph on their property. Check out the referenced BuckScore web site for all the complete details about this deer management computerized program.


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