Dec 15, 2006

Wide Bucks

If you ever run into a rancher you'll be sure to hear that they've seen a huge buck somewhere on their ranch. We chase these rumors every year and these bucks most of the time are not very big, but they ARE wide!

Why is that we confuse wide bucks with huge bucks? I think there a several reasons.

1. I think the hunting of other species such as mule deer, where spread is positively correlated to B&C score, has caused a lot of us to focus on spread as a "size indicator."

2. I also think that it's a similar effect to what I've been talking about with flared pronged bucks and high pronged bucks - that width gives the illusion of bigness. Think of an upside down pizza wedge on top of a bucks head (funny picture I think.) Now, the greater the distance from one side of the crust to the other the larger the pizza slice will be. With an antelope's horns, though, that distance is imaginary because the bucks horn tips don't grow together, but the illusion is still there. Basically, the empty space captured between the bucks horn is being perceived as size.

3. Spread makes it very difficult to accurately judge horn length. From the side the buck will look short and his to the prong measurement (TPM) will look tiny - maybe 4-inches or something. This will cause most hunters to basically guess and when we start guessing and our mind tells us that the buck looks big then we usually start guessing on the high end of the spectrum. This is usually a mistake, since statistically most bucks score on the low end of the spectrum (or else the B&C record book wouldn't be a valuable reference.)

Tally Ho.


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