If you’re not familiar with antler restrictions, let me just say that they do work! In Texas, certain counties have restrictions on white-tailed bucks, meaning only bucks with inside spreads equal to or greater than 13 inches OR bucks with at least one unbranched antler (i.e. spike on at least on one side) can be harvested. Growing up, I spent a considerable amount of time hunting a parcel of land located in Colorado County.
From the time I was old enough to hunt up until 2000, the county bag limit was 1 buck per hunter. After that time, antler restrictions were implemented. Why, you ask? Well, under a 1 buck bag limit apparently only the best young bucks were harvested each deer hunting season and the cull (inferior) bucks were left on the range.
With legal bucks now limited to unbranched antlered bucks and those with an inside spread exceeding 13-inches, many young bucks now enter older age classes and inferior spikes are harvested. Of all those years I spent hunting that tract of land in Colorado County, rarely did I see a buck over 2 1/2 years old. Now, to see several high quality, young bucks in a hunt is common place. In fact, the hunter pictured above was lucky enough to harvest the 4 1/2 year old 9-point buck on that same parcel of land.