Trail cameras are great for hunting, wildlife research, and even for enhancing home security. Unfortunately, trail cameras are prone to vandalism and theft.
If you want your trail camera to serve its purpose, you need to know how to keep it safe from thieves and animals.
In this article, I will give you tips on the best way to secure a trail camera.
5 Best Ways to Secure a Trail Camera
Elevate your Camera
One of the best ways to secure your trail camera is to keep it out of reach. Place them high in the tree, where people can barely notice their presence. I usually place my trail cameras at least 10 feet off the ground, facing downwards towards the wildlife.
If you are not a good tree climber like me, use a ladder to get to your desired height. Installing your trail camera high in the tree will make it extremely difficult for thieves to spot it. Even if they spot it, they will have no way to reach it unless they are walking with a ladder on their back.
People don’t look up often, especially when hiking or walking through the woods; the risk of being knocked by a tree or falling down the cliff is high. So, elevating your trail cameras is a sure way of keeping them safe from thieves.
Lock the Camera
Elevating your trail cameras high on the tree is a great move, but it does not make them 100% secure. Some people can still climb the tree to steal the camera. Animals like bears are also good tree climbers and can remove your trail camera if it is not enclosed. For this reason, you need to do more to make it extremely hard for thieves to steal it even when they spot it.
Once you have installed the camera high on the tree, you need to go a step further and lock it up using suitable cable locks or a lockbox for trail cameras.
Nowadays, most manufacturers make lockboxes for their trail camera. If your trail camera came with a lockbox, you should use it to secure your trail camera. If not, then you should purchase one. Choose a lockbox that is made of steel because they are sturdy and durable. Lock your trail camera inside the box before bolting it high to a tree.
The disadvantage of using a lockbox to secure your trail camera is that they are bulky, meaning you have to use strong material to hang it high on the tree. It is also challenging to carry the box because of weight. You are also likely to forget the box keys at home. However, the benefits of using a steel lockbox outweigh its cons by far. A steel lockbox will make it extremely difficult even for the most determined thief to steal your trail camera.
Some people prefer locking their trail cameras using chain locks or cable locks because they are form-fitting, lighter, and flexible to the tree regardless of its shape. Additionally, they also cinch tighter to the tree, thus providing a more secure hold. These cables are super strong and can only be cut using special cutting tools. If you don’t like using a steel box because of its weight, cable locks or chain locks can be a great option.
Camouflage your Trail Camera
Securing your trail camera does not only involve locking it in a robust steel box. The best way to secure your trail camera is to place it where it won’t be easily seen. For instance, if you use a trail camera to enhance your home’s security, you could put it inside a bird feeder where thieves or burglars cannot easily identify it. This technique is most effective when you use something that looks like it has been there for a while.
If you are a hunter, you can hide your trail camera is a tree stump or a fake rock. If you use this technique to hide your camera, try as much as possible to make it look like the natural surroundings. Some hunters use human-made nesting boxes to disguise their trail camera.
Install a No-Glow Camera
Securing your trail camera means making it invisible as much as possible. There are three main kinds of flash for trail cameras, including white flash, night photos, infrared and black flash.
A black flash (no glow camera) is highly recommended because it emits a flash that is not visible to the naked eye. Both IR and white flash are easily seen by anyone close to the camera. When hunting, I mostly use a no-glow camera because they are less likely to be discovered by thieves.
Although no glow cameras don’t take high-quality photos and videos at night, they are worth it because they keep the camera secure by making them invisible.
Buy a Trail Camera with a Security Code
Another great way to secure your trail camera is by buying one fitted with a security code. Therefore, if you plan to purchase trail cameras, you should consider purchasing one equipped with a security code. Generally, trail cameras with security codes are highly secure because an individual can only gain access if he/she has a valid password.
This means that even if thieve manage to steal your trail camera, they will not make use of it unless they know the security code. Most thieves usually avoid stealing trail cameras with security codes because they know it will not benefit them. Most modern trail cameras have security codes.
Wrapping It Up
Trail cameras are costly equipment, and since they are primarily installed outdoors, it makes them vulnerable to vandalism. The best way to keep them safe is by securing them. We recommend that you follow the tips given above to ensure that your trail camera does not get stolen by thieves or destroyed by wild animals.
Also, avoid installing your trail camera in conspicuous places where people can easily discover it. Instead, place it where it will not get found by anyone but still give you the information you want.