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Does anyone have experience using trail cameras on public land? I hunt 2 areas. One that's 2,400 acres, another that's 16,000. I

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  • Does anyone have experience using trail cameras on public land? I hunt 2 areas. One that's 2,400 acres, another that's 16,000. I

    Does anyone have experience using trail cameras on public land? I hunt 2 areas. One that's 2,400 acres, another that's 16,000. I scout on foot, and typically hunt as far away from roads and paths as I can, so it takes a long time to cover ground. I'm wanting to know if its worth it to pick up a camera, or if these things get ripped off easy. Any good security tips?

  • #2
    It will be stolen in a heartbeat. I wouldn't try it.

    Anyway you secure it to the tree, someone else can take it off, with the right tools. If you insist on putting them out, I would spend more time hiding them than securing them.

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    • #3
      I almost exclusively use public land. I bought and then modified a bear box to make it a little less friendly should someone(or a bear) decide they want to help themselves. I just put roofing screws into it from the inside out. I think the box has a total of ten; two on top, two on either side and four facing forward.

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      • #4
        bjurgens, all my black bears photos were taking on public land. I never had a trail camera stolen. These are my suggestions on public land.

        1. Buy a trail camera that is camouflage.

        2. Buy a python cable that will lock it to the tree.

        3. Buy a small Stanley lock to lock your trail camera door. Some crooks could steal your memory card from the camera.

        4. Put tree branches with leaves or pine branches inside your python cable in the back and on the side of the tree that is holding your camera. You can also use camo cloth. This hides your camera from thieves.

        5. As you stated in your question above, walk into the woods deep and get away from the lazy road hunters.

        6. If you’re real paranoid put a second camera up in a tree facing your other ground camera. If the ground camera is stolen the camera in the tree will have photos of the robber so you can give the evidence to the Conservation Officer to prosecute the low life scum bag.

        Good Luck, I’m looking forward in seeing your trail cam photos in the Field and Stream Trophy Room or in the trail cam contest.

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        • #5
          Many of our trail cam pics at www.deer30outdoors.com/hunting/deer/trail-cam-gallery/ came from public land. We also "go deep" to avoid high pressure areas and to find the big deer sign. We have never, knock on wood, had a problem with theft. If you are that far off the beaten path, it takes someone's dumb luck to stumble across your camera, notice it, and be of such low account as to steal it.
          Not saying it doesn't happen. I use cameras that require a security code to operate. I then write my name and state the fact that it needs the code to operate on the camera. There are also "bear proof" camera boxes that are good theft deterrents as well as you can lock them to a tree. If the person is willing to walk that far with bolt cutters you may be out of luck.

          It is often worth it but there is always risk. If you can't trust your fellow man, or come to terms with the fact that you may lose your camera, you may be better off relying on traditional scouting methods.

          Unfortunate.

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          • #6
            I hunt public land almost exclusively and use trail cams. I also setup and check tail cams for a guide I know in exchange for the knowledge and his help on hunts. I have had a total of 2 cam stolen and one was returned to me by a conservation officer who saw the man cut the tree to steal it. Remember to always try and hide you cams and to write your info in the housing and bear box if you use them. People can always steal your cams but make it harder for them.

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            • #7
              I would say your chances of theft are high because wee had one stolen on private property. Fact is most people can be trusted it just takes that one that can't be to screw up a day.

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              • #8
                Lock 'em up tight...I would share another tip that has worked for me, but I don't want the damn thieving bastards to learn my secret.

                The sad part is there are GPS devices small enough to equip to a trail camera, cheap enough to make it worthwhile, and they can send a txt message to your phone when your camera is stolen as well as track the camera's location sending you subsequent GPS locations so you can catch the thieving bastards that stole it. I have submitted this idea to several camera companies. It's only a matter of time before these devices become standard issue with trail cameras, and then we can get some revenge!

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                • #9
                  Bioguy, I like that idea but I don't think the trail camera manufactures really care if a camera is stolen or not. The more cameras that get stolen the more cameras that get repurchased again. It is all about monetary gain with the large companies.
                  If they did make such a tracking device trail camera I would buy it in a heart beat.

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                  • #10
                    I went ahead and bought a camera. I also bought a security box and a cable lock for it. Found a tree that was off the beaten path. Concealed it as best I could so it couldn't be seen from a nearby horse trail. Got pics of 3 good does and a solid 8 hanging around for a while. thanks for the advice. camera is safe and sound so far.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gary Devine View Post
                      Bioguy, I like that idea but I don't think the trail camera manufactures really care if a camera is stolen or not. The more cameras that get stolen the more cameras that get repurchased again. It is all about monetary gain with the large companies.
                      If they did make such a tracking device trail camera I would buy it in a heart beat.
                      "The more cameras that get stolen the more cameras that get repurchased again." well not really since it works both ways. The crook does not need to make a new purchase.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Knife Freak View Post
                        I would say your chances of theft are high because wee had one stolen on private property. Fact is most people can be trusted it just takes that one that can't be to screw up a day.
                        "Fact is most people can be trusted" I don't know where you live but where I come from in the NYC area, the reverse applies multiplied over many times.

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