Critter measurements

Dave King

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
I believe Ian may have run this thread before but I'll reintroduce it....

What are various critter measurements? If we get together on a few of our kills we should be able to get a fair library.

Maryland Doe (typical size): 2 to 3 y/o.

Tip of nose to back of head (just below ears)...12 inches

Bottom of chest to top of the back (just behind front leg)...12.5 inches

I didn't have a tape on me in the field so the moose didn't get measured but, I do have a head and cape in the freezer STILL from my sons moose in 2000. I'll dig it out and let it thaw and take some measurments off it this weekend.

The ones I've ranged and duducted the measurments from using the R2 reticle are still rough measurements but seem to be accurate. I'll collect more data with this method and get a better idea as I go.

Here's some I've gotten with the R2 so far;

Young bull, 2 years old.

Hump to brisket = 30 MOA at 80 yards (24")

Middle back to brisket = 25 MOA at 80 yards (20") (shortest part from back to belly)

Outside to outside of eyes from the front = 10 MOA at 80 yards (8")

Top of head to tip of ears = 7 MOA at 80 yards (5.6")

Outside to outside of ears = 18 MOA at 80 yards (14.4")

This one was a full grown cow Moose;

Middle back to brisket = 8 MOA at 300 yards (24") (shortest part from back to belly)

Outside to outside of eyes = 3 MOA at 350 yards (10.5")

This data needs refining a bit and verified some more but it's a start...
I sometimes collect back-to-brisket measurements on animals to aid in judging distances thru the reticules on my scopes.

All deer are western count and do not include brow tines. Note that Southern mule deer are in Southern CA and are about exactly the saze of blacktails.

14" 2 pt southern mulie.
12" 3 pt Arizona whitetail.
12" spike AZ whitetail.
13" 3 pt AZ whitetail
12" spike AZ whitetail
15" 3 pt blacktail
16 1/2" 3 pt Colorado mulie
14" blacktail 2 pt.
15 1/2 3pt blacktail.
21" spike CO elk.
24" 5 pt CO elk.
25" 6 pt AZ elk
15" 2 pt CO mulie.
14 1/2 2 pt blacktail
17" 4 pt blacktail
16" 4 pt blacktail
15" 2 pt blacktail.
16" 3 pt AZ whitetail (this is my bragging deer) 17 1/8 outside spread, and I'm waiting for the #&%* taxidermist so he can go on the wall)
Javelina measured from 10 to 11"; most were 10 to 10 1/2.

I also measured my friend Star, an approx. 1000 lb. horse, and he measured 28" (and was kind of nervous about the operation).

According to an old Jack O'Conner book, antelope measure 15-16"; a mature RM elk is 24", a big mule deer is 18 (couldn't prove it by me); a bighorn sheep or a goat is 20 to 22; and a mature moose is 34-40.

I carried a tailer's tape with me for years, but usually forget it now. I've seen several Roosevelt elk that I'm sure were way over 24" but didn't have my tape with me.

More critter measurements

Maryland Whitetail ~ 2y/o

tail length (tip to butt) 12 "

deer's body length (butt to chest just in fron of front shoulder) 36"

Height front toe to back 32 "

eye 1"

head width (outside of eye to outside of eye) 4.5"

ear length (tip to head in forward position) 6.25 "

ear width (widest front side) 3 "

bottom of chest to top of back (just behind front shoulder) 12"

back of head to tip of nose (from just below ear) 11.25
14.5" 125# Wyoming Pronghorn
Same as S1's on the depth of chest
Eye to Eye--from the front--6.5"
Base to tip of ear--(forward position)--5.5"
Width across front of chest(facing view)--10"
Thanks boys but something here ain't computing right. jmbn says his muley was 16.5" and you guys say the antelope is 16". Now even half way decent fed mule deer fork horn is deeper chested than an antelope. I generally shoot mature large bodied mule deer bucks and I guarantee they are much bigger from the top of the shoulder to the bottom of the chest. Somebody has to be off here as there is no way that there is only 1/2" difference betwixed a muley and a speed goat. Methinks I'm going to carry my tape measure this fall and see for my-own-self what these two animals measure.
Big Sky-- The extra inches comes from the "belly" measurement. The measurement on the antelope just behind the shoulder would be about 13-14". Just thought I'd clarify. That is why S1's measurements are a little larger.
Measured another Maryland whitetail doe this evening.

Bottom of chest to top of back just behind the front legs...again 12 inches.

But I also measured the belly to top of back = 14 inches.

Didn't weigh the thing but I'd guess it was about 100 to 120 (hair on, guts in), fair grunt to lift it into the back of the truck. Guess I start carrying a scale with.
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