The first buck to emerge from the brush couldn't be much smaller.
He has two little button antlers that just barely protrude from the top of his head.
With his large ears swiveling like radar, big brown eyes alert to any movement and glistening nose aquiver, the young buck is poised to flee at the slightest hint of danger.
The next buck to stroll in is a big, mature 10 point, and he is quite a contrast to junior.
With his heavy rack and thickly muscled neck, he towers over the young buck that briefly passes before him, barely registering a glance.
The imposing buck is on the prowl, searching for a doe in heat or any potential rival.
As he moves into the open a timid doe scurries away.
Soon, he too moves back into the thorny chaparral.
But before he vanishes, he peers back over his shoulder for a final look around.
Some twenty minutes pass before he returns, and he has freshly broken branches tangled in his antlers.
He has obviously been working his rack in the nearby brush making a rub to mark his territory, and he is carrying the evidence in his rack.
Another buck suddenly appears and sniffs the air for scent.
The big 10 point stalks menacingly by with coat bristled and ears laid back.
The potential rival also moves off, but wisely in a different direction.
A handsome 12 point shows up in the fading light of late afternoon, and soon he is joined by the big 10 who has managed to rid himself of the tangled branch.
For a moment all three bucks are lined up, but something spooks them, and they vanish into the gathering dusk.