The top picture below was taken in 2006. The bottom picture in 2007. The bucks were photographed within 500 yards of each other. Initially I assumed it was the same buck, but, upon closer inspection, it becomes a tough call.
The area this buck lives in has a lot of similar bucks year after year. Like the old days of 19AS, a lot of the bucks are so similar genetically that we have a hard time deciphering which is which from year to year.
This buck's right horn and left horn appear to have switched directions - the one that pointed inward now kicks back and vice versa. This isn't a huge deal because we've noticed that as a buck ages his horns are more susceptible to oddities such as extreme variations and either hooking more forward or more backward than usual. Although, because the horns have switched we can't overlook it.
The 2007 buck is clearly bigger, but this is what we might expect so no alarm there.
The black patch is similar enough in both photos and the hair and stripe patterns aren't clearly visible since the bucks were both shedding.
What do you guys think?