Big buck contests are often split into different divisions, with separate competitions for youth and adults, different weight classes, typical versus non-typical antlers and different weapons, such as firearms, bows and crossbows. Many big buck contests use the Boone and Crockett system of scoring.
There are often restrictions on where the bucks are allowed to be killed, and they are often not allowed to be killed within high-fenced enclosures. To prevent cheating, some contests submit their hunters to polygraph tests. Hunters are always subject to the game laws of whichever state the contest is held in. The way a tie breaker is determined varies between contests, with some using a random drawing and others giving the tie breaker to the hunter that registered his deer the earliest. Some contests allow their cash prizes to be replaced with items of equal or higher value.
Since big buck contests take place over large areas, there are weighing and measuring stations set up throughout the contest zones; however, the stations are only open at select times. It is common for contests to not allow the bucks to be weighed, measuring and entered into the contest later than 24 hours after the buck has been killed.