1. Mount and Secure Them
Trail cameras have become an important part of a hunter’s arsenal and they are often left on their own in the woods. That is what they were made for in any case but they do not come cheap, especially the high-end models. Recently, trail camera theft has increased and this is why proper mounting and keeping them secure is important for modern hunters.
2. Faith in Humanity
Most of the time, trail cameras are left hanging on a tree and hunters place their trust on the hunters’ moral code and hope that nobody steals their equipment. This sometimes works but there are several unscrupulous hunters who often trespass into another’s territory not just to steal their hunt but also to steal their equipment.
What to do:
There are several ways to keep your trail cameras secure; this can go from mounting them correctly to adding some security features that will deter any attempt to steal it. The main goal is to mount them and secure so that it doesn’t get stolen or damaged by animals.
3. What’s in it for you?
First off, you get to sleep at night knowing that your equipment will still be there when you go back to check on the pictures.
Secondly, you get your peace of mind knowing that it will never get stolen and that your precious data will still be there when you need it to track that big buck.
And lastly, your equipment will not get stolen, that’s the true benefit of this exercise. You get to protect your investment, not just against other humans but also against curious animals that have been recorded while destroying cameras that violate their territory.
4. Mount it and ride with it.
Out of the Box
Most trail cameras would have instructions included with the box that it is shipped with and majority of these would have your standard nuts and bolts, while some would include a Python lock in the deal.
It is always best to follow these instructions as different companies would sometimes have different ways of mounting their cameras. Some would require special equipment, while some would only take a couple of steps.
Do-it-yourself projects are a fast growing trend and the ability to customize projects to fit your needs is very much applicable to trail camera mounts. A sample trail camera mount project can cost less than a dollar and you would only need a few screws, nuts and bolts to build it.
- 1/4” x 2 1/16” eye screw
- 1/4” x 2 1/2” eye bolt
- 3/8” hex bolt
- 1/4” wing nut
- 3/8” hex nut
- 3/8” flat washers
Insert the eyes of the eye screw and eye bolt into the hex bolt while putting flat washers in between. Tighten the assembly with pliers or a box wrench. Normally, trail cameras would have a slot provision for tripods and this is where you should insert the eye bolt. Adjust the size of the eye bolt to fit the tripod slot.
Attach the mount to a tree or post using the eye screw while using the hex bolt as the pivot to angle your cameras to your desired position.
Another project involves using customized steel stands for the camera mounts.
The most effective way of securing your trail camera is placing it in a location with minimal human traffic. Game animals would not be present in these locations anyway so it would be best to place your cameras in trails and paths with high game traffic and low human activity.
Another benefit of properly locating your cameras is getting better and more useful photos. Remember, these cameras operate using motion detectors and nobody wants a thousand images of humans crossing in front of the camera, these are just spam for your device and you’d be wasting battery life and maintenance time getting rid of these.
Now, most trail camera models already come in camouflage colors that blend in perfectly with the environment but it does not hurt to add some more embellishments to it. Additional camouflage techniques include:
- DIY Nest – Some hunters would craft camera housings out of twigs and branches to make it blend more with the tree. One thing to note when making these is to angle the materials as if it is coming out of the tree. Others would place dried leaves on top and on the side of the housing.
- On the Ground – Areas with limited tree foliage benefit from using the terrain to hide the cameras, most hunters from these areas would create a rough rock structure where they could place the cameras inside, while some would add some weeds, lichens and straw around the structure to make it look more natural.
- Using the Terrain – Another example of using the inherent terrain is by partially burying the trail camera into the side of a natural wall. Trail cameras are placed into a water proof casing and are embedded into the ground; some would even smear mud across the casing. This makes it hard to access the memory card though.
- Improvise – Some models would have a basic gray or brown finish which makes them stand out, this is why some hunters would opt to cover the camera in their own special camouflage, either by attaching lichen or spray painting the unit. You have to be careful though as you might damage the lens or the interior and this can gravely affect camera performance.
Another thing you can do to secure your cameras is invest in modern security measures like Python Cable locks and Security boxes. While these may be an additional investment and can cost a sizeable amount of money, they are made to protect your equipment from theft and accidental damage.
Python locks ensure that the cameras remain in place no matter how hard the pressure around it increases while security boxes allow you to put in padlocks and chains and whatnots to protect your cameras.
You can also do a DIY security box project from a variety of materials. Some would create a steel cage sized to fit the trail camera while some would go to the extent of fabricating a case out of fiber glass and aluminum, and then spraying the contraption with camouflaging paint.
7. Sleep Soundly
These are just some back tips and tricks on how you can mount your cameras and protect your investment wisely. Proper mounting, finding the right location and securing them tightly can definitely give you a better peace of mind and enable you to sleep more soundly.