AbstractTitle: Evaluating Accuracy of Estimating Gross Antler Scores Using Photographs
Abstract: white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with unknown antler dimensions. We developed a computer program to estimate selected antler measurements and a gross antler score, similar to Boone and Crockett’s gross non-typical score. We photographed 150 mounted antlers with known scores at three angles: 0°, 45°, and 90°. We placed a known-size, spherical object in the picture for scale and measured the photographed antlers in GIS. Using the GIS values and known values we constructed predictive equations to estimate three-dimensional scores from the two dimensional photographs. Using a known-size object to adjust scale, estimated gross antler scores for 50 known-score deer were produced with a mean error of 4.6% and 3.4% at 0° and 45°, respectively. We sampled several anatomical features from harvested and sedated deer to use as the known-size reference in freeranging deer pictures. Using average ear width as a scale and two pictures, 0° and 45°, yielded the most accurate estimate of gross antler score (4.5%) for live deer. This program provides a reasonably accurate estimate of gross antler score using photographs.
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