If you hunt extended sufficient you will most most likely encounter some difficulties along the way with gear turning up missing. I am not referring to placing a thing away in a spot you overlook about sort of missing either. I’m speaking about other individuals stealing your stuff in the woods. However, gear theft is an ugly reality hunters need to come to terms with. 1 of the most well known victims appears to be trail cameras.
To supply diverse perspectives, I reached out to some close friends and notable hunters in their personal suitable, to incorporate hacks they’ve created more than the years to protect against their cameras from expanding legs and walking away. The superior news is it normally does not take a great deal to deter a thief, but taking some preventative measures absolutely aids maintain your gear exactly where it belongs in your possession.
1. Lock It Up
I am a huge fan of Python or cable locks for trail cameras. The advantage to a Python or cable-style lock compared to a thing like a chain lock, is they are generally far more versatile and kind-fitting to the tree regardless of shape. They also cinch the camera tighter to the tree for a far more safe hold, generating it far more complicated to match cutters or other tools about the cable.
two. Hang Just Out of Attain
Aaron Warbritton of The Hunting Public makes use of a method I’ve exercised numerous instances myself, which is placing trail cameras and transportable stands out of physical attain of possible thieves.
“Trail cameras appear to be a widespread piece of gear that gets stolen,” stated Warbritton. “To combat it, we bring climbing sticks and hang our cameras about eight-10 feet higher in a tree angling downward. This way, a particular person can only attain it with a climbing stick. Then we’ll throw a bike lock or a thing on it as added insurance coverage. Considering that it is properly out of all-natural sightline, it is also properly-hidden at that height.
“Write your name, quantity and any other pertinent information on your gear as properly. I like to maintain track of serial numbers on cameras so law enforcement can determine them in the occasion they are located at a later date.”
three. Set a Decoy
If you have a tiny added cash or old trail cameras that have stopped operating you can attempt the decoy method. Whitetail Properties Land Specialist, Stephen Stockman of Missouri has had superior luck obtaining rid of thieves in the previous by putting a non-functioning trail camera in the open, then working with a operating trail camera positioned so it captures any movement about the “decoy camera.”
“I’ve had superior luck placing a camera in plain sight and a camera far more concealed a tiny methods from it pointing back at it,” says Stockman. “I really got a image of a guy and his girlfriend stealing the camera in plain sight. They in no way noticed the hidden camera, and they have been caught. It is a tiny far more leg function and makes use of far more gear, but working with an older trail camera as the decoy aids. I’m positive to place my name, address, and telephone quantity on my gear as properly so anything can be clearly identified as my house.”
four. Use the Energy of Social Media
When it comes to thieves and his gear, Stockman likes to use the energy of communication and networking to track down stolen cameras and caution any future trespassers and thieves.
“I had a couple of trail cameras and stands stolen from a house I had permission to hunt,” says Stockman. “A tiny later, I fortunately got images of them on a camera that they had missed. I just created a post on Facebook with identifiable images saying that I had my stuff stolen and if it was returned to the sheriff’s workplace inside 24 hours, I wouldn’t press charges. It really worked like a charm. Inside 5 hours, my things have been returned, and that was that.”
“The good issue about social media these days is individuals are fairly prepared to assistance other individuals out. It is remarkable how immediately a automobile or particular person can be identified from a image. I really feel like seeing far more of this sort of networking involving truthful hunters shows that properties are becoming watched far more closely than ever. Hopefully, it continues to be a greater tool to assistance maintain individuals off of house they shouldn’t be on.”
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five. Camouflage Your Camera
When it comes to generating each trail cameras and treestands difficult to obtain, I enjoy working with evergreen trees. For treestand setups they supply good concealment though hunting, but they also do a good job of generating stands complicated to see considering that the limbs normally stick out additional than the platform, breaking up the silhouette of the stand. I like to reduce tiny holes in the boughs to spot cameras against the trunk as properly. From a distance, the trunk is shadowed by the surrounding limbs generating a camera complicated to see. They also do a good job of hiding the straps that normally give away a trail camera’s place.
A tiny glue can go a extended way to assistance break up the shape of a trail camera on a tree and assistance it blend into the surroundings greater. I like to use fake leaves and moss that can be bought inexpensively on the web or in the decoration section at Walmart. Attach the leaves and moss in a way that breaks up the strong colour and rigid shape of the camera physique.
Arguably the most noticeable giveaway of trail camera’s place is the infamous black straps. The black straps appear to contrast against the bark of just about any tree causing them to be apparent at eye level from any path. To combat the contrast, I like to give straps a custom camo makeover by spray painting them with a mixture of earth tone colors. It is even greater if you can get your hands on the suitable sized camo strap so you do not add a foreign paint odor to your gear that could potentially deter game.
six. Make Your Mark
It may perhaps appear inconsequential, but placing your name and make contact with data on your gear can be the distinction involving maintaining it or losing it forever. Mark Kenyon of the Wired to Hunt Podcast and MeatEater Inc. has labeled his trail cameras for years, and it is paid off.
“I like to use a knife or screwdriver to etch my name and telephone quantity into the plastic camera physique with the hope if a person came across it or came to possess it, they’d return it, rather than maintain it,” says Kenyon. “A couple of years ago, I had a trail camera stolen off a house I hunt in southern Michigan. A couple of weeks later, I got a telephone contact from a Cabela’s place about an hour away. The buyer service representative on the telephone stated he had my camera. I could not think it. Whoever stole my camera brought it to Cabela’s and returned it for money or in-shop credit. Only following getting the camera as a return did a person at the shop understand that it had my data on the back and that it was naturally stolen. Cabela’s ended up mailing it back to me, and I nevertheless have the camera nowadays.”
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7. Use Genuine-Time Surveillance
Cellular cameras that can send trail camera pictures straight to your telephone via a information strategy are rising in reputation by leaps and bounds. They can be extremely addicting to keep posted on which deer are regularly working with your hunting region and when new deer show up. The more price to your information strategy and wireless cameras themselves are absolutely far more of an investment. Dan Johnson of the Nine Finger Chronicles Podcast hopes they’ll assistance him determine some thieves he’s been attempting to catch red-handed for the final couple of seasons.
“The final 3 years I have had seven trail cameras and one particular treestand stolen from the similar farm,” says Johnson. “I have been in make contact with with the county sheriff and the DNR officer that handles the region. I have also talked with other hunters in the neighborhood as properly as landowners who have neighboring properties. I have implemented locks, cables, and cell cameras to attempt and protect against any far more theft. My target is to attempt and use a couple of cell cameras to catch them really in the act of the theft. Then even if they steal the camera, I will have strong proof.”