After checking the recent pictures from my trail camera I was pleased to see that several young bucks are hanging out in the area. The following pictures were all taken with a Cuddeback Capture IR trail camera. I edited a couple of the pictures by cropping and zooming in to get a better view.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is implementing antler restrictions for the county I hunt in this year. The restrictions are designed to protect younger bucks to balance the age ratio of the deer herd. To be a legal buck, it must have an inside antler spread of 13" or greater (outside the tips of the ears in the alert position) or have at least one unbranched antler (a "spike").
This first deer will be protected by the new restrictions. I have passed on deer like this several times over the last several years, but I don't think the hunters on the surrounding properties have been passing on these young deer. So I am glad to see the new restrictions and I hope that TPWD enforces the regulations for people who do not abide by the new rule.
This next deer will definitely be protected under the new restrictions.
This last picture is the best buck that was in any of the pictures so far this year, but it is the only one I have of this particular deer. Unfortunately this is the only viewing angle I have of him right now. It looks like he will be a 9-point, but I can't tell much about how wide he will be. He is definitely at least borderline on meeting the antler restrictions. Whether I would take him if given the opportunity or not is another story. He might need to grow another year or two - we'll see.