About Scoring Sawn Antlers


Published: July - 2012

Last month we published a report on New Zealand by subscriber Denis Simard, who took issue with the way a local taxidermist wanted to handle his red stag's antlers for shipment. (See page 11 of that issue.) You may recall the taxidermist suggested cutting off the antlers and inserting a steel rod in them to save shipping space. We asked for feedback on this from SCI measurers. Turns out correspondent Mike Bodenchuk is an SCI measurer and had the following to say about the procedure suggested by the taxidermist in New Zealand.

"The scoring manual allows for scoring antlers where the skull plate is sawn in two (general instructions for all entries, Section 24). The entire text of this section is appended below. However, since all red stag (and indeed all animals with antlers except muntjac, brocket, pudu and tufted deer) include spread as part of the score, antlers removed from the pedicles (skull) would, in my opinion, make reconstruction of spread impossible and therefore render these ineligible for scoring. The subscriber may have been correct in stating that the taxidermist wanted to saw the antlers off, but a more common solution is to saw the skull cap in half to facilitate packing and shipping.

"When we do this, we do not saw a straight line between the antlers, which makes it possible to put them together with a different spread. Rather, we saw a straight line part way through, followed by a notch on one side (with a perfectly matched tab on the other), which facilitates putting them back together perfectly (and allows the scorer to assure these were from the same deer). I brought a set of fallow horns back with me from Australia about a decade ago, and these were rejoined and mounted perfectly." The text of Section 24 reads: Skulls of animals with large horns or antlers are often sawn or otherwise split in two to facilitate transportation, then rejoined by the taxidermist. Split and rejoined skulls of species where the spread or tip-to-tip measurement is counted as part of the........(continued)

 
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