I’ve always thought of September as the prelude to things to come.

Looking forward to the change in the foliage for some, changes in birds, but for most of the readers to my column it is waiting for the hunting season. Antlerless licenses have been on sale for some time. With this new license period there are changes this year. The one that will be noticed the most around here involves Greene County.

In the past, in 2B, you could shoot a doe during the two weeks of the season, if you had a doe license. In the past, in 2A, you couldn’t shoot antlerless until the second week of the season. The change is now both are the same. In other words, you can shoot antlerless the whole two weeks in both. One still needs an antlerless license in the management unit you are hunting in to do this.

One of the earliest seasons is limiting the hunter to a bow or crossbow this year. Please be careful when hunting from a tree stand. Falls from a tree are one of the highest statistics of injury from hunting during any season. People fall every day from excitement, misjudgment or boredom. Many times, in a rush of adrenaline, the hunter forgets where he is at and steps off the platform. Or they fall asleep from boredom and out they go. I must admit that I have fallen asleep many times while hunting.

At least two weeks before the season you should be putting out your trail cameras. Hunters used to scout deer on foot in the woods to try to pattern a big buck’s habits. Today’s hunters have the luxury of using a trail cam. I like to place my cameras out in such a way as to prevent theft. Trail cams are easy prey to thieves. I recommend placing them in areas where you want to see how much human pressure there is and how many buck there are.

The size and the number are useful, so good visibility is important. The best trail cameras are rated, as are all things these days, and available depending on your budget.

Today’s trail camera is much more sophisticated than in the past. Like all technology it is advancing fast. You can get cameras with low flash to help prevent theft and scaring away of the animals. Some cams can record video and sound. They make trail cams today that are solar and never need a battery, but I am not sure how reliable that is. Some cameras are very fast, which is very important to catch animals who are moving through the area. You can see birds in flight in the day now, which used to be just bright glare and blur.

I use cameras all year. When I am placing a camera in a tree in an area, I have permission to hunt but suspect others might hunt there, too I usually place that cam about eight feet up. I aim the camera to the spot I want to film and turn it on. You might be surprised by what you see.

I once recorded a flying squirrel who wouldn’t stop investigating and gliding about my camera. Many times, we see coyotes in areas where we didn’t know they were. A friend of mine once showed me a bear caught on a cabin trail cam. The first photo was the bear coming toward the camera. Then just his nose. The last? Nothing – he ate the camera. You never know what you will see.

Fall is coming and with it the buck will be shedding off his velvet. Trail cams this time of year will show us the buck with his raggedy velvet-covered antlers in groups and pairs venturing out to feed on the ripening apples and gardens. Some big bucks you will see one time but never again. The trail cam allows you to spy on the buck who returns over and over.

Now is the time to replace the batteries and work out perfect spots for the cameras.

Technology has allowed us to spy on nature as never before. Sometimes I miss going out and walking in the woods trying to figure out Mr. Big Buck’s habits. But this week, with all the rain, I think the trail camera is a great invention.

George Block writes a weekly outdoors column for the Observr-Reporter.

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