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Moose Antlers

Judging bull moose antler spread.

Moose hunting tips for identifying legal bulls and trophy moose.

Scoring moose antlers.

Judging Bull Moose Antlers (racks)

hunters with moose antlers

2014 Moose Hunting Pictures Now Available

Is this moose legal? What makes a "legal" bull moose?

Harvest requirements for bull moose in the areas we hunt are a minimum of 50 inch antler spread OR four brow tines on at least one side.

Field Judging Moose Antlers.

Using the width of the head at the widest point (across the eyes) as a 10 inch guide is helpful in judging antler spread. Another common method used by moose hunting guides, is to visualize the ears laid out horizontally to the sides of the head, then use this "visualized" distance between the tips of the ears as a 28-30 inch guide. Imagine adding a foot from the tip of each flattened ear for a safe 50 inch guide, or double the 30 for a 60 inch moose. The approximate length of an adult bull moose's ear is 10 inches, the width of a moose's head is also roughly 10 inches. To effectively judge a bull you need a good straight-on look at him. Giving a quiet grunt or cow call just loud enough to be heard will cause him to look and listen, thus providing the ideal perspective.

Always allow for an acceptable margin of error if judging a bull close to 50 inches!

Alaska dept. of Fish and Game made a 40 minute video on selective harvest and identifying legal moose under the spike-fork 50inch regulation, titled

"Is This Moose Legal?" Watch the video here..

Though antler spread is the most common measure of size, there are many other factors to be consider. Other considerations might include: Palmation, Mass, Point distribution, beams, bases, symmetry, and the overall aesthetics of the rack. For many hunters selecting a bull for harvest involves more than just the size of the antlers; to them a particular animal's role in the hunt may also be considered. Perhaps the animal was the most elusive, or most aggressive. Every hunt is unique, there are countless factors that may contribute to the development of a personal connection between a hunter and game he pursues.

Moose Antler Terminology and Definitions:

Spread: The total width as measured between the widest points on each side, perpendicular to the center line of the skull. Large adult Alaska-Yukon bull moose antler spreads can exceed 75 inches.

Brow Tines: tines or points originating from lower part (brow palm) of the antler. Brow palms are usually separated from the main palms by a defined bay.

Main Palm: The larger upper palmate area of the antler. Main palms are sometimes referred to as "paddles".

Bases: Button like mass where antler originates from head

Beams: The section of antler between the base and the palms. Massive drooping beams are a good indicator to the overall mass of the rack.

Points: A projection from the antlers longer than one inch and longer than it is wide. Points are also referred to as "tines"

Legal Bull moose: A bull whose antler spread is at least 50 inches or has at least four brow tines on one side. Trophy moose typically have antler spreads from 55 to 70 inches or more.

Scoring Moose Antlers

For Boone and Crockett scoring, the minimum Alaska-Yukon record book score is 210, All-time record is 224.

The World record moose scored 261 5/8 and was taken in Alaska game management unit (GMU) 20.

Moose Antlers scores are obtained by combining the following:

  • Greatest measured spread
  • total number of points
  • length of both palms (including brow palm)
  • width of both palms
  • circumference of both bases measured at smallest place.

Find diagrams on where to take measurements and a handy moose scoring calculator on the Boone and Crockett website, here.

More information about Moose Hunting

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