Let me preface this review with the fact that I am a Mississippi State University graduate (Aerospace Engineer 1994) and that this product was developed by fellow Bulldogs and by the greatest college in the nation. So with that said, everyone knows that I was bias to begin with. I first discovered the BuckScore software scoring system while reading my Quality Whitetail magazine produced by Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). As you guys know how big a nut I am about my trail cameras and how I deploy them year round, I immediately got excited about the possibility of adding a new tool to my trail camera tool box. In the middle of reading it, I got up and proceeded to buy the software which cost only $10 at BuckScore.com. I then downloaded and began to install it. Now I also write software for my main income and I was not too excited to watch the setup program install a bunch of computer software packages. Then it wanted to reboot my machine and then install some more. This makes me start to second guess my decision BUT after all the installing, the software started right up. My experience with software is to keep it dumb and easy for average users and this whole process makes me wonder how many customers will fail or have to contact BuckScore for assistance. I would recommend them having it Web based so that all the software runs on a central server instead of deploying it to individual computers. The good news is this is the only thing I can say negative about the BuckScore software. Now that I got the BuckScore software running, I immediately started making a list of bucks I wanted scored. I watched their demo/help videos to make sure I understood how the process works and what parts of the antlers to measure to give me the most accurate score. I figured to get the best product review of the BuckScore software I should score a trail camera photo of a buck that we have killed and then have a good friend of mine who is a taxidermist score the same deer. This will give us a one to one comparison. I was fortunate that my taxidermist friend had killed a nice buck that he wanted to test the BuckScore software on it also. That means 2 real life test cases.
I am not going to go over the detailed steps on how to run the software, but I can tell you that you do not have to be an expert in scoring deer to use it. As a matter of fact if you can follow the instructions and look at the photo examples you will have no problems getting an accurate score. The whole concept is to import a trail camera photo of a buck where you can see all his scoreable points. It can be a head on shot which they call a zero degree shot, a side shot which they call a 90 degree shot, or an in between shot they call a 45 degree shot. I used the head on shot ñ 0 degree shot. An example of these three shot orientations are shown below.
Once you import your photo, you enter some basic information. The software takes into account what state the buck is located in, whether the antlers are in velvet or not, and age if you know it. The next important thing is to create a reference point to establish a measuring scale. They have different reference points such as ear widths (which is the best), eye to eye, nostril to nostril openings, etcÖ Once you have all this data entered, you then input the points and start measuring the antlers. The software will walk you through these measurements step by step. I found it really easy to do and user friendly. I captured this whole process in a video below.
Now that you have seen how to use the software, let me show you how accurate the scoring system is when comparing trail camera versus actual score. Now shown below is a deer I was fortunate to kill. He was named No Brow Jr. and was a 4 1/2 year old buck. He lived on our lease all summer and I got a ton of trail camera photos include a real good one to use with the BuckScore software. His actual score was 109 and his BuckScoreís score came to be 108.88. This was amazing to me because it was right on. BuckScore produces a print out of the score and I have converted it to a PDF file in which you can view it below.
I was really impressed with how accurate it was so I was ready to test another one. I tested my friendís 8 point buck and the actual score was 116 and BuckScore calculated it to be 110.91. This time it was off 5 inches so I started trying to figure out the difference. I came up with the conclusion that all of the deerís antlers are not as clear in this photo as the previous one and his left G3 is obscured in the photo so I had a hard time figuring out where to start the line for measuring that tine. I am pretty sure that is where the difference came from BUT I was impressed enough for it to be that close to the actual score. I will take any score with an error deviation of plus or minus 5 inches.
A few more bucks that I used the software to score are shown below with their scores.
Crab Claw 10 – BuckScore: 155″
911 – BuckScore: 150″
Dam Buck – BuckScore: 120″
Mr. Potential – BuckScore: 110″
In conclusion, I strongly encourage hunters to purchase this software. Not only can you have a hit list of shooter bucks, but now you can know a good estimate as to what they score. So when you see them while hunting, you can already have your decision made as to whether you are going to shoot or not. Good stuff!