Outdoor Channel using MSU's BuckScore tool
Mississippi State University's BuckScore software is now the official scoring system for the Outdoor Channel.
BuckScore is a software package that uses digital images to estimate the age and antler score of white-tailed deer. Developed by scientists in the university's Forest and Wildlife Research Center and Extension Service, MSU licensed the product in 2010 to NBFog, a Texas-based company focused on outdoor business.
"This is a success story for the university on many levels," said Chase Kasper, associate director for the university's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer. "NBFog has been a great company to partner with and has vigorously marketed BuckScore."
Affiliating with the Outdoor Channel will increase the potential for the BuckScore brand, Kasper added.
Developed as a management tool for landowners and biologists, BuckScore can be used to estimate the deer population accurately. The patent-pending software uses physical features and statistically-driven models to estimate the antler size and age of photographed deer.
BuckScore is the newest in a line of products developed by MSU's Deer Ecology and Management Lab.
"BuckScore is the result of more than 30 years of research on white-tailed deer," said Steve Demarais, professor of wildlife ecology and management and co-developer of the BuckScore brand. "Prior to its development, we studied the variation in antler size and body size based on geographic region and antler trait heritability."
MSU's Deer Ecology and Management Lab, in cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, also developed the Deer Management Assistance Program, which is currently used throughout the nation. The program, referred to as DMAP, consists of data collection and cooperator education to improve deer health.
Randy Russell, CEO of NBFog, said he is enthusiastic about the agreement with the Outdoor Channel and the development of future products.
"With the great minds at the MSU Deer Lab, there is no limit to the number of innovative products that we will bring to market under the BuckScore brand," Russell said. "We are really pleased to market and grow such a great brand."
The BuckScore brand includes the name, website, intellectual property and software. The software and intellectual property were developed by Demarais; Bronson Strickland, associate Extension professor of wildlife ecology and management; and graduate student Jeremy Flinn, who now manages BuckScore for NBFog.
Karen Brasher | Forest and Wildlife Research Center