Dec 15, 2006

Flared Prongs

Bucks with flared prongs are often thought of as being huge! A colleague of mine once declared, "I'm never going to shoot a buck with flared prongs again!" He'd been burned. I'd never recommend going to that extreme, but flared pronged bucks should definitely be looked at and judged with caution. They will usually appear much larger than they are - even if they ARE 90 inches.

The reason for this is probably similar to the reason high prongs make bucks look so big, except flared pronged bucks ARE NOT actually any bigger than their counterparts. They're most likely similar in size (according to horn weight) to an equal buck with non-flared prongs. The reason they look larger is most likely that, from the front view, the "apparent mass" or "horn mass illusion" is visually distorting.

From the front view you can see much more black on a flared buck than on a non-flared buck. This is pronounced when viewed from the back. Of course none of this would be a problem except that flared pronged bucks usually score lower than bucks with prongs that point out straight or hook inward.

Some key points to consider regarding most flared pronged bucks:

1. The inside of their horn will usually be slightly turned toward you when viewing them from the front view. This will again increase their "apparent mass." This is generally a bad thing for score because bucks shaped like this usually have smaller bottom mass than they should.

2. Their prongs will usually be shorter than they appear! This one is important. A buck like this will have prongs that enter into the very outside of his horns and consequently the buck will have a smaller "Behind the Prong Measurement."

If you're confused about what I mean look at the illustration above. This is what a bucks horn might look like if you looked down on the buck from the sky. As you can see, the BPM is reduced the more flared the bucks prongs are.

3. From the side view most times their prongs will be almost invisible or at least shorter than they appeared from the front view. This can be deceiving in an almost opposite way - the buck could be a huge buck and look very thin from the side view because his prongs may be pointing straight at you.

With all this there are even more reasons that I'm not going to discuss about why flared prongs need to be scrutinized before taken. Would I take a flared buck? Of course, they're pretty.

Tally Ho.

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