Published by gmoore on 10 Oct 2011 at 11:47 am
You wouldn’t tack a wad of cash to a tree and return a few weeks later hoping that it will still be there. But that is exactly what a lot of people do with their game cameras. We invest $100 or more dollars into a new digital trail camera, hang it to a tree with a flimsy bungee cord or mounting strap, and walk off. Hopefully, no body happens past that trail camera, because it is a crime of opportunity just waiting to happen.
In the past, traditional scouting cameras have typically had some form of locking hole allowing you to use a padlock and a standard security cable on. While this would not prevent a determined thief with a pair of bolt cutters, it does prevent that crime of opportunity, and offers you some piece of mind.
This problem has only gotten worse in recent years thanks to the introduction and increased popularity of the small form factor game cameras. Many of these micro cams have a very small lock hole, or more likely no lock hole at all.
I recently purchased and tested the Wildgame Innovations Micro 6 Red. Not only does this game camera have no lock hole, there is no way to secure the camera door which holds the batteries and the memory card. It can be easily accessed by opening two small latches.
In order to adequately protect the new micro format game cameras, you need to also consider using a security lock box or add on security bracket. These are often available directly from the manufacturer or from third party companies. In recent years, companies have formed that manufacture and deal in security lock boxes to meet the needs created by the lack of native physical security features on these new cameras.
The need to protect your game camera from theft, and the additional cost involved, is something that you should consider when preparing to purchase any game camera.
- Check the manufacturer’s specifications to see if any mention is made to security lock holes. If so, ensure that a larger gauge lock can be used.
- See if the camera has a through-housing cable lock channel that will accept the popular Masterlock Python cable.
- Find out if the manufacturer offers a security bracket made for your specific model of game camera. Some (like Cuddeback and Leupold) may not offer security brackets, but do offer lock clips that can be used to secure your trail camera to a tree.
- If none of these options exist, check to see if a security lock box is available for your specific model of trail camera. Not only do these protect from theft, but they can also protect your game camera from damage from two or four legged vandals.
While game camera theft may not always be avoidable, it is preventable if you plan ahead and take the appropriate precautions. Theft can even occur on private land due to the increased number of trespassers as hunting continues to gain popularity. Don’t be a victim… Be prepared.
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