North Dakota Elk Growers
American Elk Product Foundation

SCI Measuring System for NAEBA Antler Competitions

Author: SCI Measurers Manual, Edition 12

The Safari Club International (SCI) measuring system has been modified for use by NAEBA in hard antler competitions and by NAEBA members for comparative evaluation of their animals' antlers. The Hard Antler Committee is responsible for administering the measuring system for NAEBA and for making clarifications and changes as needed; for appointing, instructing, and certifying NAEBA measurers; and for monitoring their performance. The SCI system was chosen because it is a comprehensive system accepted around the world and because SCI recognizes hunt ranch trophies.

SCI recently announced two modifications to their system as described in last year's North American Elk:

  1. A valid tine must be at least 1 inch long.
  2. Antlers that have 5% or more of their typical score from non-typical tines are measured as non-typical. For example, if a 400-point bull has 20 inches of non-typical tines, he will be scored as non-typical. If a 400-point bull has 19 7/8 inches of non-typical tines, he will be scored as typical. The 19 7/8 inches on non-typical tine will be listed in the supplemental information. (Owners can no longer request that antlers be measured as typical or non-typical; the 5% rule will determine the class.)

The methods for measuring elk antlers are described in the Safari Club International handbook. This article summarizes Method 19-T and Method 19-NT, but measurers would also study the general instruction for deer entries - not included here - before measuring elk antlers.

NAEBA Rules
Since NAEBA will be using inches as the unit of measurement, all measurements will be recorded to the nearest one-eighth inch and expressed in eighths; i.e. 2/8, not 1/4.

It is required that submitted antlers be cleaned for the competition. Entries may be refused if antlers are not clean.

NAEBA requires two modifications of the SCI measuring system: 1) the inside spread measurement, and 2) measurement of cut-off antlers.

  1. Inside Spread of Main Beams
    The inside spread of the main beams is a calculated value: (length of main left beam + length of main right beam)/2.48 = calculated spread.
  2. Cut Antlers
    A problem may arise on a set of antlers that has been cut off rather than shed. In this situation, the first circumference measurement (C-1) should be taken above the cut line. If, because of the cut, a C-1 measurement cannot be made, C-2 is measured and recorded as C-1 also. The main beam measurement will also be affected by the cut, but should be taken as normal from the cut edge. The measurement follows the center of the antler's outer curve and is essentially parallel to the longitudinal blood grooves. The measurement is begun where the center line of the outer curve intersects the cut surface.

All NAEBA measurers must be members of the North American Elk Breeders Association. There are two levels of measurer: regional and master. To become a regional measurer, one must have attended the Hard Antler Measuring School offered by NAEBA and must have satisfactorily completed a Hard Antler Measuring Test. In addition, one must be certified by a measuring authority other than NAEBA, i.e., SCI, B&C, or P&Y. To be qualified as a master measurer, one must complete the Master Measurer's course offered by Safari Club International.

Each measurer is equipped with a measuring kit which contains a plastic-coated steel cable, a flexible 1/4" steel measuring tape, an SCI measurer's manual, the NAEBA measuring instructions, and a supply of measuring forms. NAEBA measurers must complete a score form for each set of antlers they measure for a competition. Measurers are encouraged to retain a photocopy of all measuring forms they complete.

Regional judges will measure at regional competitions, and a minimum of two master measurers will be required at the international competition. Master measurers may not measure their own antlers at an international competition.

Method 19-T
For elk or wapiti with typical antlers (except Roosevelt elk and Tule elk, which are measured by Method 19-NT)

Antlers that have 5% or more of their typical score from non-typical tines are measured as non-typical. Antlers that score less than 5% of the typical score from non-typical tines will be scored as typical. The non-typical inches will be listed in the supplemental information.

  1. Length of Main Beam (Figure 1)
    In typical antlers, the main beams end at the rearmost points. The length of each main antler beam is measured from the bottom edge of the burr to the tip. The measurement is essentially parallel to the longitudinal blood grooves. A steel cable is used for this measurement.
  2. Length of Typical Tines (Figure 2)
    The length of each valid typical tine is measured. A valid tine is at least 1 inch long, and no wider than its length. A typical tine grows in the typical location and manner for elk. The tip of the main beam is not measured as a tine. It is a typical point, but not a tine, and is already included in the main beam measurement.

    Although there is no set limit to the number of typical tines, a mature bull usually has five (a six-point antler, including the beam tip). Typical tines grow from the front and top of the main beam at roughly spaced intervals, basically in a symmetrical pattern.
  3. Circumference of Main Beam (Figure 3)
    The circumference is measured at the four places indicated in figure 3. The measurements are taken at right angles to the longitudinal axes of the antler at the smallest places between the typical tines. Non-typical tines are disregarded.
    C-1: It is measured at the smallest place between the first typical (or brow) tine (T-1) and the second typical (or bez) tine (T-2). If there is no brow tine, the measurement is between the burr and T-2. If there is no bez tine, the measurement is between T-1 and the third tine (trez) (T-3), making it the same as C-2.
    C-2: It is measured at the smallest place between the second typical tine and the third typical tine. Absent a T-2, it is measured between T-1 and T-3, making it the same as C-1. Absent a T-3, it is measured between T-2 and T-4, making it the same as C-3.
    C-3: The circumference is measured at the smallest place between the third typical and fourth typical tine (royal). Absent a T-3, the measurement is taken between T-2 and T-4, making it the same as C-2. Absent a T-4, the measurement is taken between T-3 and T-5, making it the same as C-4.
    C-4: The circumference is measured at the smallest place between T-4 and T-5. If there is no T-5, the measurement is taken halfway between the center of the base of T-4 and the beam tip. Absent T-4, the measurement is between T-3 and T-5, making the measurement the same as C-3.
  4. Inside Span of Main Beams
    NAEBA's modification requires that the inside spread of the main beams be a calculated value: (length of main left beam + length of main right beam)/2.48 = calculated spread.
  5. Total Score
    All of the measurements are totaled.
  6. Supplemental Information
  • The length of each non-typical tine is recorded. They are numbered in sequence, starting at the base of each antler.
  • The number of typical points on each antler is recorded (including beam tip).
  • The number of non-typical tines on each antler is recorded.
  • The total number of points (all tines plus beam tip) on each antler is recorded.

Method 19-NT
For elk or wapiti with non-typical antlers, and for all Roosevelt elk and Tule elk

Using this method, all valid tines count in the score, regardless of whether they are typical or non-typical. Antlers that have 5% or more of their typical score from non-typical tines are measured as non-typical. Antlers that score less than 5% of the typical score from non-typical tines will be scored as typical, and the non-typical inches will be listed in the supplemental information.

  1. Length of Main Beam (Figure 5)
    It is more difficult to determine the main beam in a non-typical rack. Some non-typical antlers have more than one projection at the end of the beam. In that case the logical beam tip is chosen based on its contour, size and location.

    If the upper tines are palmated, which is often the case in Roosevelt and Tule elk, a pencil line is drawn across the palmation to show the upper edge of the main beam as it would have appeared without palmation, making it easier to locate the center of the antler's outer curve.

    The length of the main antler beam is measured from the bottom edge of the burr, following the center of the antler's outer curve. The measurement is begun where the center line of the outer curve intersects the bottom edge of the burr. A steel cable is used for the measurement.
  2. Length of Typical Tines (Figure 6)
    It is necessary to identify the valid typical tines because the beam circumference is measured between typical tines, disregarding the non-typical tines. Valid tines must be at least 1 inch long, and they must grow in a location and manner typical for elk. The tip of the main beam is not measured as a tine.

    Extra tines that sometimes grow between T-1 and T-2 are non-typical even if they grow from the top of the main beam. Crown tines, extra tines that grow adjacent to the royal tine (T-4), are all non-typical.
  3. Length of Non-Typical Tines (Figure 7)
    The length of each valid non-typical tine is measured. A tine is carded off if it is broken, so that its far point is not on the line of measurement. A valid tine must be at least 1 inch long. Measurement of palmated tines is beyond the scope of this article; refer to SCI's manual for more information.
  4. Circumference of Main Beam (Figure 8)
    The circumference of each beam is measured at four places. The measurements are taken at a right angle to the longitudinal axis of the antler at the smallest place between typical tines, disregarding the non-typical tines. The measurement for circumference is the same as described under Method 19-T except for palmated upper tines. Refer to SCI's manual for more information.
  5. Inside Span of Main Beams
    The method for arriving at a value for the inside span is the same as described under Method 19-T. The NAEBA modification is that the inside spread of the main beams is a calculated value: (length of main left beam + length of main right beam)/2.48 = calculated spread.
  6. Total Score
    The total is figured in the same manner as that described under Method 19-T.
  7. Supplemental Information
    The total number of points (all tines plus beam tip) on each antler is recorded.
Website designed & hosted by Outdoor Resources, LLC
Copyright © 2015-2019 North Dakota Elk Growers.