View Full Version : ? on Eastmans 4x7 Antelope Scoring System
07-19-2011, 02:00 PM
After many years of applying I was fortunate to draw a WY NR antelope tag in unit 61 and want to make the most of my tag by shooting a respectable buck if not a trophy class buck if the opportunity presents itself. From my research it looks like I will have the opportunity to look over quite a few bucks before pulling the trigger.
With that said, it is my understanding that the most desirable trait with regards to scoring is the mass and from research it seems that bucks in WY are shorter in horn length than other record buck states so that mass measurements are even more critical to get right in WY.
When I read the scoring system outlining Mike's method to score bucks I understand what makes up the 4x7 system and the book provides some references for determining horn length (compare to 6" ear length) and prong length (visualize prong compared to hand length from base to tip of middle finger) but I can't find any references for determining the base and 1st quarter (7" goal) circumference measurements and the 2nd and 3rd quarter (7" sum total) mass measurements.
Does anyone know any rules of thumb on how to calculate/estimate these mass measurements on WY pronghorn to utilize the Eastmans' system as outlined in the book.
07-19-2011, 02:51 PM
Never herd of or read any of the eastman antelope books. Heres my view and what I tell my hunters on sizing antelope. You want it all, but mostly base. Ive shot a 16 3/4 with 7.5 bases, but only 4 3/5 prong still made boone. I guess what I am trying to say is there is no way saying just base measurments, its truly everything. I think what the eastmans are gsaying is that most of the upper class buck taken even the current state records are 13-14 tall but have incredible 10 and 8 inch bases (freaks of nature). I have also seen a 90 incher that came out of 72 that was 16 1/4 tall and 7.5 bases and held that to the prong with 6 in prongs and held the base through the top portion of the horn. The easiest way I can tell you to determine a good buck is mainly go for bases. thers is four base measurements on antelope, but, if your horn length is not good that 2nd measuremnt will go above the cutter and youll loose a minimum of 3-4 in per side. Antelope are very confusing to score. what you want to look for is atleast 14 tall, 7.5 in bases, and 4-5 in prong. Then if you have time start looking at his mass above the cutter, does he hold it or not. I hav eshot several 80in bucks that just lost it above the cutter. Once you get on a few antelope youll will start to notice differences quick. Ive gotten to the point that if its a B&C buck I dont even have to look at him through the binocs, you just know. Also I think looking through the binocs for novice goat hunters make the animal look bigger, just something I have observed in years past. Hope i didnt confuse you...
07-19-2011, 03:08 PM
Interesting, I need to borrow someones book, I have heards of this system several times from my hunters and have never understood what the heck there talking about. Heres my system to goats. It all counts... You have four base measurement on each side, however if that second base measurment is not below the cutter you just lost 3-4 inches depending on the goat, this is were horn lenght matters. Prongs I would say matter the least but still matter. Id say the average prong depending on area is 4-5in in wyoming on mature bucks. When looking for mass first determine horn length cut it into 1/4's if that second base measurment isnt below that cutter I would walk. Then see if that goat holds his mass above the cutter or does it peeter out (get to be like a sharpie pen thickness), your looking for thumb thickness or better. To help determine base measurements are tough, once you look over a certain amount of buck you start to notice differences. On a thick buck most of the times when they look at you, at the base you will notice that the bases closer to head look like they are swollen, almost like a upside down V, I wish I could draw you a picture this system has worked very good for me, I could tell you within a half inch what a goat would gross score. Good luck hope I helped.
Hey this is Mike Eastman. Congratulations on the tag. You know antelope bucks are one of the hardest big game to judge in the field. Before you head out stop at several taxidermists and check out a few bucks. If you can hold them and you will see what it takes for the bases to be pushing 7” now the two circumferences above the prong equaling 7” means the 3rd will be 4” and the 4th circumferences would need to be 3” but this is just a bench mark. In the video that is with the book I do a section on judging and show a couple good bucks that are heavy at the bases and also have heavy circumferences above the prong. In fact like I said in the book it is hard to find bucks with those heavy circumferences above the prong. They first start growing the horns sheaths with those tops above the prong on the winter range. Having to grow them in the winter that’s why it’s so hard to find one with good tops here in Wyoming.
One drawing a tag tactic I would do is put in for a second choice that isn’t so hard to draw. Then you’re hunting each fall while building up points. This tactic will allow you to hopefully find and harvest a few of those 78-81 gross B&C bucks under your belt. Heck I have drawn my second choice three years in a row. On that second choice I took an 81 gross buck last fall with good 3rd and 4th circumferences. He had small bases like 6 1/2” but a trophy DIY in my book. Good luck and let me know how you do! Mike Eastman
07-19-2011, 05:31 PM
Nice to see you answering questions for us Mike! I was reading your book again last night and I just wanted to say that it is great. Have you been out scouting this year? How are the goats looking? With as much moisture as WY as had this year, hopefully it will be a great year for horn growth.
07-19-2011, 06:15 PM
As a long time subscriber to both of your magazines I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my question.
This will be my second antelope tag. I was fortunate to kill an 80" net buck in NV with my first tag and I have helped out on two other NV antelope hunts but as you said they are one of the toughest animals to field judge and my 80" buck was probably more luck than skill in field judging.
For those hunts I used the Grimmetts system where they are using the eye width to determine the base and 1st quarter mass measurements and then after classifying the buck as thin, average, heavy, or super heavy this category was in turn used as a basis with other factors for determining the 2nd and 3rd quarter mass measurements.
I know you and your family are most likely the leading authority on Wyoming antelope (I have almost all the Eastman videos and DVDs) so I was trying to figure out if there are any measurements (like the eye width in the Grimmett's system) on the antelope that you use for determining the mass measurements on a Wyoming pronghorn. I will go back and play the DVD with the book but from your response it appears that the mass measurements are determined by your personal judgment based upon many years of photographing and hunting them. Since I am relatively new to this I don't have the experience to ascertain the mass in this manner hence my question.
I did put in for a second choice not as hard to draw tag as recommended in MRS section both last year and this year but I just happened to draw my 1st choice with max points this year so I am going antelope hunting!
Anyhow, thanks again for taking the time to answer my question and good luck on your hunts this year!
I haven't been out on the antelope ranges yet. Been hold up at my place in the Beartooths working on a new mule deer book. Hope to have it done by first of the year. Will take a look in the country next month in the second choice unit I draw. But it should be OK this year. Mike Eastman
Some hunters use the eye for judging the bases of a buck. But I have found that just looking at a lot of bucks even mounted and putting your hands around the bases helps. Hunting in Wyoming and Montana your looking at hundreds of bucks that are just bucks. After several days of that a heavy buck will stick out. Judging the tops of a buck is cut and dried. Prongs judging can be sometimes becomes harder if the buck is packing heavy horns. The length of the prong is measured from starting at the back of the horn and around to the tip of the prong. Those bucks down in the southern west don't have the winters we have so horn growth usually is a lot better. Thats one reason they have bigger bucks on the average then the northern western states do. But we have more antelope for sure to look over up here but it can be taxing passing up hundreds of bucks. Mike Eastman
07-20-2011, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the info, Mike. I am going on my first antelope hunt this fall, so I too have been studying your book and trying to absorb as much as I can before the hunt. Feel free to e-mail me your GPS coordinates of your honey holes.:) Mike Adams
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