Zeke Wilson

As autumn approaches, a number of outdoor-related events occur to further prime and prepare the hunters and trappers in the area for the pursuits to come.

The popularity of outdoor traditions is strong, and such events embrace and encourage those with an interest in the outdoors. While many of these events are geared towards the recruitment of youth, others are used to provide a gathering for like minded individuals. The month of September is popular for such events as it just prior to the majority of opening days for big game, small game and furbearers.

On Saturday, a youth trapping school will be held by the Pennsylvania Trappers Association District 1 at the Tionesta Dam Outflow. The event is free for youth ages 10 and older, and parents are encouraged to attend.

Proper outdoor clothing is recommended and all participants will receive three traps, tools and a trapping lure.

Contact Jim Stoops at (724) 992-1143 for more information.

Also on Saturday, District 2 of the PTA will hold its Fall Expo at the Butler City Hunting and Fishing Club. Inside dealers will be on hand offering new trapping equipment and demonstrations will be offered throughout the day, in addition to raffles, food and tailgaters.

Contact Paul Murray at (724) 919-3862 for more information.

On Sept. 21 a youth field day will be offered at the Open Door Baptist Church in Greensburg and is open to youth ages 6 to 16.

Seven stations will occur throughout the day with lunch and a T-shirt provided to all participants. Already 24 of the 100 spots are filled and pre-registration is required.

Also on Sept. 21, a customer appreciation day/ hunting bash will be held at East American Motorsports with the chance at winning a free Bank’s hunting blind in addition to a free meal.

• Archery hunters are beginning to prepare and practice regularly as the first day fast approaches.

Today’s modern bows shoot at high speeds with nearly indestructible arrows and those who practice in populated areas should only do so with a safe backstop. The other day I witnessed an individual shooting in his front yard with his house as a backstop. If his mechanical release were to fail, or he accidently touched the trigger during his draw, the arrow was heading towards the center of town. Nearly every community has a sportsmen club with an archery range, and I would strongly encourage those who live within a city, borough or town to consider joining one. On the weekends it is quite common for such a club or organization to hold a 3D archery shoot that allows for realistic hunting situations.

If you hunt from an elevated tree stand you should practice shooting from one and now is the time to inspect your stand and safety harnesses for any defects.

• As the temperatures begin to cool, the migratory bird hunting begins to heat up for those looking to ad dove or goose to the menu.

The opportunity for some quality wingshooting in the weeks ahead is available for those willing to put forth the

effort. Scouting is essential for having a good shoot and the majority of hunts this month will be for resident birds rather than migratory.

Hunting resident birds is more difficult as they are more familiar with the landscape and quicker to notice anything out of place or unnatural. Luckily the vegetation is still thick and choosing a spot to hide in the cover available is usually easy. Simply hunkering down in some goldenrods is often good enough concealment, although one should be careful to not trample down the cover, creating less cover and an unnatural look.

A larger tree or bush can help breakup your silhouette, although it will also inhibit your visibility from that direction. Taking into consideration the sun’s location and wind before setting up will allow for better visibility and easier shots.