Florida Buck-of-the-Year Contest Rules
Woods ‘N Water Magazine’s Annual Florida BOTY Contest
1. Any native Florida whitetail buck legally killed under ethical, fair-chase conditions in the State of Florida during the legally established current hunting season except bucks killed on private, pay-to-hunt game ranches or preserves or any privately-owned property operated as a for-profit hunting enterprise is eligible for the Contest, provided all the requirements and conditions listed below are also met. Bucks killed on property operated as a for-profit hunting enterprise, specifically deer taken inside of a deer-proof fence regardless of size or acreage, are not eligible for the Florida Buck-of-the-Year Contest (hereinafter referred to as the Contest).
2. In order to be eligible for the Contest, the rack must be scored by an authorized representative of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), accepted by the FWC for entry into the Florida Buck Registry, and be listed (or eligible for listing) in the Registry no later than July 31. To get a rack scored, hunters should contact a regional office of the FWC and speak to a certified scorer about getting the rack scored as soon as possible. Deer taken in a previous season are accepted for entry into the Florida Buck Registry, but only deer killed during the legal current Florida hunting season are eligible for entry in the current Florida Buck-of-the-Year Contest. “Found” antlers are not eligible for entry into the Contest. A deer must be recovered within 24 hours of the initial shot to be entered in the contest.
3. Any buck meeting the requirements listed above that has been accepted by the FWC for entry into the Florida Buck Registry prior to the July 31 deadline is automatically entered in the Contest, provided we receive the information from the FWC. There is no entry fee and no further action is required of the hunter except that he or she must agree to and be bound by each and every Contest rule described in this document. However, if a hunter has a possible winning buck that was officially scored well in advance of the published deadline, it would be prudent to contact Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. to ensure we make every effort to locate and substantiate the information.
4. Except as noted below, selection of the winning bucks will be based solely on the FWC’s Florida Buck Registry records. Any buck that is not accepted by the FWC for entry into the Registry because the FWC determines that it is not a native Florida whitetail buck, or was not legally killed in the State of Florida, will not be eligible for the Contest. The FWC’s decision as to whether a deer is a legally-killed, native Florida whitetail buck is final and will not be reviewed or reconsidered by Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc.
5. Prizes will be awarded to hunters taking bucks with the highest NET Boone & Crockett scores (except as described below in Rule No. 7). In the event of a tie or ties, the buck(s) with the greater GROSS score between or among the bucks with equal net scores shall be considered the higher scoring buck(s). Fair and equitable division and distribution of prizes to winners shall be at the sole discretion of Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. and is dependent upon the number and type of prizes donated each year. In the event Woods ‘n Water is unable to contact a hunter who has killed an eligible buck due to incorrect, incomplete or no longer valid contact information provided on the FWC score sheet, Woods ‘n Water has the right and option to award that prize(s) to the hunter with the next highest-scoring eligible buck.
6. In order to qualify for entry into the Florida Buck Registry, a typical rack must score a minimum or 100 Boone & Crockett inches, and a non-typical rack must score a minimum of 125 inches. Based on this difference, Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. therefore requires that non-typical rack scores exceed typical scores by 25 inches in order to be considered equal. In other words, a non-typical net score of 150 would be equivalent to a typical net score of 125. Under this provision, if a non-typical buck measures 149 inches and a typical rack measures 125, the 125 typical score would be considered the greater score. Based on this caveat, bucks will be ranked by measuring the greatest number of NET inches. Be sure to ask the official scorer to determine if your buck will have a higher net score if scored as a typical or if it scored as a non-typical (taking into account a non-typical must score 25-inches higher than a typical to be considered equal).
7. If a winning buck is killed by a hunter less than 18 years of age, the prizes may be awarded on behalf of the minor to his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
8. The payment of any taxes due on prizes is the sole responsibility of the recipient.
9. Neither Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. nor any of its officers, staff, employees or representatives shall be held responsible for any errors in measurement, or failure for whatever reason for a buck to have been measured and entered into the Registry before the Contest deadline. Neither shall Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. assume any responsibility for possible errors in the Buck Registry that might affect the outcome of the Contest.
10. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, its staff, employees and/or representatives are in no way associated with this Contest and cannot be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any thing directly or indirectly related to the Contest. The Florida Buck Registry is a matter of public record and as such Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. will use it in selecting the winning bucks.
11. The involvement of any corporate, business or individual sponsor in the Contest is strictly limited to the prize or prizes donated by that sponsor. A sponsor can in no way be held responsible for anything related directly or indirectly to the Contest.
12. Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. will publish information about the Contest and an updated list of prizes in every issue of Woods ‘n Water magazine from October through September inclusive. The list of prizes will be based on commitments from sponsors to donate the prizes listed. If, for any reason, a sponsor fails to fulfill a commitment, Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. shall not be held responsible for procuring, replacing or delivering the prize(s). Any descriptions of prizes will be based on information provided by the sponsors who promise to donate them. No warranties or guarantees of merchandise donated by sponsors are made or implied by Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc., and Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. will accept no liability whatsoever for the quality or condition of the prizes.
13. Acceptance of any prize shall constitute a guarantee by the person accepting the prize that the winning deer was killed in accordance with all of the rules of this Contest. Anyone who knowingly accepts a prize to which he or she is not entitled based on the rules of the Contest shall be subject to prosecution. All winners may be asked, at our discretion, to take and pass a polygraph test before receiving any prizes.
14. Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. will award a cash prize to the hunters taking the top three highest-scoring bucks provided the hunter is also a Woods ‘n Water magazine subscriber. In order to qualify for the cash prize, a winning hunter or a member of his immediate family residing at the same address must be a current Woods ‘n Water subscriber, and the subscription must have been in effect prior to June 1.
15. Each winner should provide Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. with at least two previously unpublished photographs of himself or herself with his or her winning buck, and must agree for the photos, as well as information about himself or herself, the buck and the prizes won, to be published in Woods ‘n Water magazine.
16. Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc. reserves to right to add to, delete from or otherwise alter contest and contest rules without prior notice should it, in our opinion, become necessary to preserve the integrity of the contest and/or to protect participants and/or sponsors.
* Woods ‘n Water is a registered trademark of Woods ‘n Water Magazine, Inc., a Florida corporation.