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      The Nature Report: Next Season's Bucks

      A pair of frisky young bucks spar in the early morning fog in the ranch country west of San Isidro.

      Suddenly, they cease their antics and stare off into the mist.

      Striding in from the gloom with a menacing gait is a massive eight point with ears laid back and threatening posture.

      The young bucks quickly separate and step aside for the dominant deer.

      He is about as impressive as an eight point gets, with thick antlers and long tines, especially one particularly lengthy brow tine.

      After a brief survey of the clearing, he moves off into the brush.

      You just never know what may emerge from the thorny chaparral, and the next deer to skirt the brush is a magnificent buck, with an exceptional spread of antlers, but he doesn't tarry.

      Later, he returns with a couple of other deer, and offers a longer look at his remarkable rack.

      He has some 14 countable points, but it is his antler mass and exceptionally wide spread that is most impressive.

      When he turns back and moves off into the brush, you can really appreciate the breathtaking sweep of his antlers.

      Throughout the day, a number of fine bucks appear, like this wary young ten point that has tremendous potential.

      But it is that awesome spread as wide as a South Texas sombrero that is most memorable.

      And luck is with us| as the sun slips behind the distant mesquites, senor sombrero gives us a final look over his shoulder before vanishing into the chaparral.