Chris Rogers offers a brief introduction to trophy measuring and some rough guidelines to help you assess whether your trophy might be worthy of a medal.
What is, or what makes a deer trophy? A trophy can contain a huge amount of personal memories: the landscape, the weather on a particular day, the stalk and shot itself. Or, for many, memories of the individual animal if it has been observed, purposely left for several years or simply been clever enough to evade the hunters rifle. Whether it be a strong, weak or bizarre set of antlers or horns, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and comparisons with other trophies should never reduce the memories. Nevertheless, the average amount of antler growth in deer is one of the few reliable indicators of both annual variation and overall trends in quality of populations and individuals. Records, particularly when cross referenced to age, can demonstrate good or poor management practices, and therefore are invaluable as a management tool.
There are several internationally recognised trophy evaluation formulas around the world. The most wildly used formula in the UK and Europe is the CIC measuring formula.
Trophy measuring as we know it in the UK, started in the 1970s when Richard Prior joined the Game Conservancy and introduced trophy measuring at the CLA Game Fair to add interest to the stand. However, it was not until 1997 when the CIC decided to form national trophy commissions, that truly accredited and recognised CIC trophy measuring was offered to the stalking public. (CIC is an abbreviation for the French Conseil international de la chasse, but is more commonly known as the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation.) The United Kingdom Trophy Evaluation Board (UKTEB) access trophies from the UK and around the world under the control of the UK Delegation of the CIC.
The CIC expect trophies to be brought for evaluation as a full skull, and, for red, fallow and roe, to have been dried for 90 days. This is because a weight calculation is used as part of the formula for these species. The remaining deer species found in the UK can be measured fresh or once mounted by a taxidermist, as long as the judge is sure that the skull has been not been tampered with underneath the skin.
Below are some rough guidelines which may help you assess your deer trophy and work out if it is worth having it measured. However, these are just guidelines and for any trophy related questions please contact the UKTEB directly.
Although there are not a large number of Scottish stags that have achieved medals, to reach a bronze medal a Scottish red deer trophy should have a dry (90 days after being prepared) weight around 4.7kg as a full skull, have an average main beam length of 85cm, and 14 antler points.
For English or lowland red stags, a full skull dry (90 days after being prepared) weight of around 6.5kg, an average main beam length of around 90cm, and 12 to 14 antler points is required to be in with a chance of a bronze medal.
To achieve a bronze medal a fallow trophy should have an antler length of about 60cm. Brow tines of about 16cm. A palmation length of about 30cm, with the width of palmation being about 14cm. Circumference of coronets about 20cm and lower beam measurements of about 12cm. A dry (90 days after being prepared) net weight of around 3kg. However, deficiencies in one area may be counteracted by increases in others, meaning a medal category is reached.
To achieve a bronze medal a Japanese Sika should be a fairly even eight-pointer with a span of about 40cm, beams of about 50cm, brown tines of about 13cm, seconds tines of about 14cm, and inner tines of about 6cm. The circumference of the lower beams should be about 9cm and the upper about 6.5cm. However, deficiencies in one area may be counteracted by increases in others, so that a medal category is reached.
A bronze medal will generally need a dry (90 days after being prepared) full skull weight of at least 455g, and a volume of at least 150ccs. A silver medal will probably require a dry full skull weight of at least 510g and a volume of at least 165ccs, with a gold medal normally requiring a dry full skull weight of 570g and a volume of 200ccs. However, there is considerable variation, due mainly to the age of the buck and also the quality of the beauty points. Nevertheless a trophy of 26cm in main beam length with the above required weight and volume should achieve a bronze medal, with average marks for each of the beauty points and full marks for span.
Chinese Water Deer
A bronze medal will require canines of an even length of at least 65mm, with a circumference of 25mm measured at the largest circumference of the tooth’s diameter.
A bronze medal muntjac will require a main beam length of 10.5cm, and inside span of 11cm between the main beams, and brow points of 1.5cm.
Although there are populations of wild boar in the UK only a handful have ever achieved medal status. As a very rough guide, to reach a bronze medal the lower wild boar tusks should measure at least 25cm in length.
Although no longer recognised by the CIC as a trophy, to be evaluated a bronze medal based on the old scoring formula will require a spread of some 60cm, and horns of an even length of at least 60cm, with a circumference at the base of at least 20cm, and a circumference at the first, second and third quarter distances of 18, 14 and 10cm respectively.
There are a number of certified CIC measurers in the UK. Measurements can be made at judges homes, via the post or at the shows the CIC attend. Trophies that don’t achieve a medal score are evaluated for free. A fee does apply to trophies reaching medal status.
For full details please visit www.cictrophy.com