3 Hacks to Combat Trail Camera Thieves

It’s frustrating — and expensive! — losing a trail camera to a thief. Here’s how to combat the problem this fall.

3 Hacks to Combat Trail Camera Thieves

Unless you pursue whitetails only on private land with no trespassers, you have to think about trail camera theft. The problem is not only frustrating, but also expensive. And when you consider that other “hunters” are the culprits, the topic is infuriating.

During the past decade, my buddies and I have come up with the following three hacks to combat trail camera thieves.


1. The Decoy

With the rapid evolution of trail cameras, odds are you have some early models that are no longer functioning correctly. These otherwise out of commission cameras can still serve a purpose. The strategy is putting the non-functioning camera in plain sight and a working camera a short distance away in a more concealed location pointing at the non-operating one. If you have a problem with trespassers or thieves, the evidence you can gather is impressive. Thieves tend to be opportunistic by nature, so they see the camera in plain sight and seldom think to look around for others within close proximity. It’s a little more leg work and uses more equipment, but using an older trail camera as a decoy provides new surveillance.


2. Hang Them High

When you hang your cameras, take a climbing stick with you. Climb up on the stick and attach the camera pointing down toward the desired direction of travel. With the camera at least 9 feet high, it will be out of people’s natural line of sight, and out of reach for anyone standing on the ground. Use a Python or bike lock to attach the camera to the tree for added insurance.


3. A Little Extra Camo

Going even more covert than using natural vegetation is the use of fake leaves and moss. A little glue can go a long way to break up the shape of a trail camera on a tree and help it blend into the surroundings better. An assortment of fake leaves or moss can be purchased inexpensively online or usually in the decoration section at Walmart. Attach the leaves and moss in a way that break up excesses of solid color and the rigid silhouette of the camera body. Be sure you don’t forget about arguably the most noticeable feature, the infamous black strap. Black straps contrast against tree bark, causing them to stand out from any direction around the tree. Swap black straps out for green or brown ones. You can also give straps a custom camo makeover by spray painting them with a mixture of earth tone colors to help them blend into their environment.

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