If you are like us, you’ve already started getting your network of game cameras tuned up, charged up and repositioned so you can start taking stock of the critters on your little slice of paradise.
But have you given any thought to the security of your cameras? Think about it, we wouldn’t leave our cell phone or a nice tablet out in the woods for months, but we don’t think twice about strapping our cameras to some trees and walking off.
This realization got us thinking, how do we secure a game camera? So, seeing as we know people who know people, we asked our industry friends for their tips on how they prevent the theft of their cameras.
Lock ‘Em Up
The most common answer we got was also the most simple one. Lock them up. From branded model-specific trail camera security boxes to inexpensive cable locks, the easiest solution is to simply put your camera under lock and key.
These can run the gamut from $5 up to $60 or $70, but this is still easier on the wallet than replacing that expensive cellular camera. If it’s not, then you obviously make a lot more money than we do. And if so, are you interested in adopting any adult-sized children that like to hunt and have a penchant for blog writing?
Simply attach the lockbox to whatever you are using to mount the camera, and lock it down. Or, toss that little nylon strap the squirrels like to chew on and run a braided steel cable lock though the mounts. Either way, you just made your camera harder to steal.
They Go Low, We Go High
Now if you aren’t willing to invest in a locking mechanism, or if vandalism is more your worry, there is a solution. Look up. Way up.
Bring your ladder along, because one of the most effective means to secure your trail camera is to mount it up too high for the average person to reach. Sure, your camera may be susceptible if the Utah Jazz decide to go on a camera-smashing binge, but your average vandal will be defeated (if they even notice the camera at all).
Yes, we’re told to mount our cameras about nose high for the species we seek, but that’s just a suggestion. Based on the number of squirrels and rabbits that pop up, the modern trail camera works just fine at a down angle.
Who Watches the Watchmen?
If you’re really into keeping an eye on things, double down and mount your game camera where and how you normally would, then mount another one up high watching the camera. Sure, you’ve doubled your investment, but you’ve also doubled your coverage.
To go full-blown life hack, mount your traditional camera as you would, then use a cellular camera set to “instant notify” as your overwatch camera. You might just bag more than a buck.
(We mean catch a thief on camera and then allow local law enforcement to deal with him or her. We in no way, shape or form are suggesting vigilante justice… Unless you are a billionaire tech genius who happens to dress as a bat. If so, then we again ask: Are you open to adoption?)
Low-Tech Often the Best Tech
The other overwhelming suggestion we got was to engrave your name and phone number on every camera. Many of our friends have stories of cameras being returned after they were stolen simply because they had their names engraved.
It takes 30 seconds to do with a screwdriver or scribe. (Ask your partner to help with the spelling. Last names are tricky). This simple act can save you some money down the road.
The Best “Approach”
Finally, if you are really, really concerned… and we mean really… there is one final tactic you can use to fool those sticky-fingered fools. Have your cameras dipped in Approach FX. Your cameras will practically disappear into the background and make them nearly impossible to steal.
At least we think this works. We dipped a bunch of our cameras last year and still don’t know where we put ‘em? Maybe this tactic should be reserved for cellular cameras…
Protecting your trail camera can look challenging, but there are some super-simple ways to deter thieves. Lock ‘em up, hang ‘em high, or keep an eye on ‘em. Give these a try and keep your trail cameras where they belong.