Trail cam security - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Trail cam security

I am a new trail cam user and I am trying to decide the best way to mount my new camera so I can try to prevent myself from becoming a victim. You all know what I am talking about, any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 12:34 PM
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I am anal about this. I got my first trailcam when I was about 15 and it was stolen the first time I put it out. Knock on wood, I haven't lost one since, but I take a lot of precautions. I like to think it's karma as I walk by about a dozen a year and the thought of nabbing one has never ever crossed my mind. I've only got one picture of another dude, early this spring, I guess he must have been shed hunting, and he just cheezed for it and moved on, so thanks dude!

Most important, far and away, make access difficult. If you put a camera up and think there's a good chance other people will walk by, there's a good chance it's going to walk away. No one sees it, no one steals it. There are some heavily used tracts of public you just don't put cams on, just common sense. Our family camp borders a heavily used gamelands in 2D and I would never put a camera there and expect it not to walk away. Scout the old fashioned way there.

There are some things you can do to hide it. Avoid the black straps, they stick out like a sore thumb. I buy brown cameras with brown straps, and I use a sharpie to DIY my own ASAT camo pattern on both. It doesn't make a difference if you walk right up on it, but back up to 15 yards or so and you would be surprised what a difference it makes. It disappears at 30 yards, you cannot see it.

I also will hide some cameras 8-10 feet up in the trees using climbing sticks or webbing aiders. I make 360 degree adjustable mounts from hardware store materials. Even there you want to pick the right tree so the profile doesn't just jump out at you, because the mount sticks out from the tree that can make it easier to spot. It's better to be well hidden at eye level than stick out like a sore thumb at 15 feet.

I also brush in my eye level cameras. A lot of times what I will do is lean a dead branch up against the tree, and with a little bit of brush make a little "nest" to hide the profile from the side. You have to be careful here...less is more...too much and it just makes it stick out even more. You have to make sure the brush you use isn't going to shift and block the lens also.

Some guys use locks, I avoid them. To me they just make the camera much more conspicuous, and if someone really wants the camera, they are going to get it regardless.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 02:10 PM
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I've lost three cameras in three years. It is incredibly frustrating. I was on the brink of booby trapping with pepper grenades, but I was informed that would result in legal trouble for myself (still think that is ridiculous but whatever).


I don't go as far as brushing mine in, but I have learned to pay attention to where and how I set mine. My problem this year has been bear. I went three straight weeks where a bear messed with every single set that I had. Again, the pepper grenades pop into my head, but I don't want to be a sued by anyone, especially a now blind bear.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 03:37 PM
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Knock on wood, I have never had one taken. As others have said, try to not set up in a high traffic area like a hiking trail or logging road. The only thing I do is that I made a thin cable lock that I attach to the camera and I wrap around the tree. My cameras have a plastic "latch" on the side so you can lock the camera shut. I use a small padlock on there and lock the end(s) of my cable on it as well.

Like other's have said, if someone really wants it, they're going to take it...but in my mind, my system would keep someone from simply walking away with it(or my camera card). Anyone with a pair of wire cutters would probably be able to defeat my cable, but someone with a pocket knife would probably have a harder time. That's good enough for me.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 07:13 PM
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Been running trail cams for three years and have only lost one, so far. I always put a python lock on my cams and usually have them about ten feet high in a tree or in a spot that is so far out in left field that very few people will see it. I just try to get a general inventory of what lives in an area and I document what direction the wind was when the picture was taken. This helps to let me know when would be the best time to return to the camera to fetch the card and also when to hunt that area. The one that was stolen had a python lock on it strapped firmly to the trunk of the tree....locks only keep the honest people honest. That thief had to carry a set of cable cutters nearly a mile back in the game lands to steal my camera, but he did it!

Bigfoot saw me but nobody believes him!
5D
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 07:59 PM
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Are you guys losing cameras on private or public ground?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 07:43 AM
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 08:14 PM
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Public land

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 08:02 AM
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I saved this last summer to buy a trail camera so I could see what's running around. I hung it on a tree and never saw it again. I never thought someone would take it. You should hang it high and camo it as well as make it hard to take.

look around and tell me what you see.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 08:18 AM
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We had a problem with cameras being stolen on a private farm in Maryland that we leased. We kind of figured it was trespassers who thought their picture was taken. I was at a fire and there was security cameras everywhere. When they demoed the building I asked them if I could have the cameras and they gave them to me. The wires were melted off of them but the camera itself looked fine. We heavily posted the property. And screwed those cameras around the property by the posted signs pointed out. We have not had trouble since. Obviously they're not functional. But no one knows that
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