How to Secure a Trail Camera on Public Land

how to secure trail camera on public land

Are you planning to install your trail camera on public land but wondering how to keep it safe? If yes, then today, you have landed in the right place.

In this post, we will give you tips on how to secure a trail camera on public land. Unlike private land, the chances of your trail camera being discovered and vandalized or stolen are high when you place it on public land.

Although most of us hate putting our valuable trail cameras on public land, there comes a time when you have to do it to get specific crucial data.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your trail camera safe on public land.

How to Secure a Trail Camera on Public Land

Avoid Popular Trails

The first rule to keeping your trail camera safe on public land is avoiding popular trails. Research conducted by Penn State University revealed that a vast majority of hunters don’t venture 1/3 miles of the road. This means that if you place your trail camera 1/2 miles from the main road, then the chances of it being discovered and stolen or vandalized are significantly low.

Public land can be accessed by any person. If you place your trail camera in common trails, its chances of being discovered and stolen or tampered with are high. Therefore, it is advised that you avoid common trails, instead look for a trail that is not very popular but will still provide you the information you are looking for.

Hang the Camera Out of Reach

Another great way to secure your trail camera when on public land is keeping the camera out of reach. Trail cameras are expensive and valuable, and that is why most thieves target them. Keeping them out of reach is the surest way to secure your trail camera on public land.

Experts recommend hanging your trail camera by at least 10-12 feet high in a tree, angling downwards to enable it to detect animal motion and take clear pictures. This way, someone can only reach the camera by climbing with a ladder or must be an excellent tree climber to reach it. Hanging your trail camera high on the tree will make it difficult for passersby to easily spot it.

Lock the Camera

Hanging your trail camera high in the tree is a great move to keep it out of reach. However, hanging does not guarantee its safety. Some people can still climb up the tree to steal it. So, in addition to ganging it up the tree, you need to go a step further to secure it with a good trail camera cable lock.

A cable lock will not only hold the camera tight on the tree, thus preventing it from falling but will also secure it making it difficult for thieves to gain access and steal or vandalize your camera. A cable lock does not guarantee 100% safety of your trail camera, but thieves will have difficulty stealing it. Most thieves often avoid trail cameras secured with a cable lock because it is challenging to break them.

Camouflage Your Camera

When you hang your trail camera on public land, its chances of being spotted and stolen are high. Therefore, you need to make it difficult for thieves to spot your trail camera, and one of the best ways to hide your trail camera by camouflaging it. This will make it very hard for people to spot your trail camera with ease.

You don’t have to use real plant leaves to camouflage your camera. Instead, you can use fake leaves. The trick here is to ensure that whatever you use to camouflage your trail camera should look exactly like the surrounding plants to avoid drawing unnecessary attention.

Set Distractions

Setting decoys is also a great way to keep your trail camera safe on public land. You can purchase fake trail cameras, place them in the open to distract thieves, and then place the real camera in a hidden location. People will lose interest once they realize that the trail cameras in the open are fake or obsolete.

In fact, when you use this trick, you don’t have to hide the real camera far away because locating it will not be easy. Using fake or older trail cameras as a decoy is a great way to keep your trail camera safe on public land.

Put Your Identity on the Camera

This trick may seem outdated or ineffective, but in reality, it is very effective. Putting a mark on your trail camera can help to keep it safe on public land. Put your name and address on the camera before you place it on your preferred spot. Research shows that most people, including thieves, tend to avoid devices that are well marked because they can easily get caught.

Additionally, selling products that have other people’s marks on them is difficult. Therefore, if thieves realize that your trail camera is well marked, chances are that they will avoid it.

Marking your trail camera will also make it easy to get it back if a wild animal like a bear grabs it and throws it far away from where you had placed it. In such a case, if another person spots it, he/she way call you and return it. Ensure that the mark that you put on your trail camera is well visible and non-erasable.

Buy a High-Quality Trail Camera

Of course, you may wonder what the relationship is between high-quality trail cameras and securing them on public land. Relax because it will tell you how the two correlate to each other.

If you invest in a high-quality trail camera, you can install it on public land once and leave it there to take pictures or video for days or weeks without worrying that it will get damaged or the battery will die fast. The fewer trips you make to check your trail camera, the less attention you will attract. This will help keep your trail camera secure on public land.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to secure your trail camera on public land can be the difference between achieving your objectives or getting your camera stolen or destroyed. Unlike private land, where keeping your trail camera secure is relatively easy, keeping your camera protected in public land where many people can access it is challenging. However, with the right strategies like those listed above, you can keep your camera on public land safe for days or even weeks.