Please post ideas for security features, mounting brackets and stands. Please include photos and designs for everyone to see.
By brownie9582
#281211
I live about 2 hours away from my hunting property, and last year I had 3 Trophy Cams walk away on me. They had no security on them at all, and were out in plain sight on the edges of food plots watching for late season feeding patterns.

I have replaced the cameras with 3 more Trophy Cams and 2 Recon Force. I am looking for a way to protect my investment this time around obviously.

The first is to no longer set cameras in plain sight, and the next step I am contemplating are lockboxes.

How effect have lock boxes been for you, and is it worth the ~$160 investment I would have for the 5 cameras? Or should I simply slap cables on them to keep someone honest and figure if they really want them they will get them anyways?
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By MI Hunter
#281212
Not as much as some lead you to believe. If someone wants it, they'll get it including chopping down the tree. I think they're really like locks on a house, they keep the honest people honest but really don't stop someone intent on getting in.
#281213
Your first step is correct not to have the cameras out in plain sight.

Lock boxes are easy to pry off a tree with a tire iron or crowbar. It takes about 2 seconds. A thief will stop at nothing to steal your camera.
By Pain
#281216
Not sure how your property is laid out, but for me it would be worth it to put in security boxes.

I know the argument that thieves will take what they want, but I also believe there are thieves of opportunity and thieves with lots more time on their hands. The thieves of opportunity will certainly take the cameras strapped to the tree and probably will take the ones with cables... assuming we're talking about the trophy cams where the back cable brackets will snap off the camera like a twig. Put those cameras in a security box and it's going to take a lot more effort.

Now, if your property is surrounded by roads and they can drive up to it, then you're probably out of luck with anything you do. But if they have to hike an hour then they may not be willing to go get a crow bar or lock cutter and come back for the cam.

For me, $160 is worth the investment, and if you live in bear country then chances are good you'll lose a camera to bears soon enough anyway.
#281218
If they want it, they'll get it. However, I believe that most trail cam theft on private land comes from trespassers not wanting you to see their picture, and if they can't just walk away with it, once they see it's locked they figure it's best to just leave it alone rather than try to return with the necessary tools. I've gotten plenty of pictures of people checking out my cameras, one even took a piece of tape I had covering a light and put it over the lens, and a group of kids took the strap loose, but I haven't had a cam taken since I started using lock boxes (and lock brackets on the old stealth & wildview cams). I don't bother with lag bolts I strap the box to the tree to aim it, and just use a regular cable with looped ends around the tree to lock the box to the tree. I figure the padlock is the weak point anyway (on heavy duty boxes anyway) and if they can cut the lock or otherwise get into the box they can cut that cable as well.

Not only does it provide better security, but I would use the boxes just for the convenience. Take the camera out of the box to change cards, change batteries, change with a different camera of the same model, whatever you want to do, and it's a lot easier than having the camera strapped to the tree and it goes back aimed at the same spot. Also, it's very easy to add angle adjusters to the boxes and I add them to every box I use.
By Pain
#281219
What scdeerslayer says is true, and once you mount the box it's easy to get to the cam and put it back where it was without much effort.

There are camlockboxes for most cams and they have heavier duty boxes available, too. Don't mess with the bushnell brand boxes. If you're going to get a box then buy a decent one. The browning branded boxes aren't bad, but just use camlockboxes if you can get them.

I lag bolt mine to the trees and if you use 4-6 inch lag bolts with large washers then it would be harder to pry off the trees.
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By bobcat
#281220
I think it's best to forget the security boxes and mount the cams up high angling them down. A thief is a thief and they will find a way to get it regardless.
#281222
Additionally, you can mount your cameras up high, 7-8 feet, out of reach of the passer buy and not as easily noticed. If it is a continual problem, place a very well hidden camera on a dummy camera or an "el cheapo" and try to catch them stealing one. But, it sounds like you are definitely at the lockbox stage.
#281224
I plan on buying the camlockboxes if I decide to get them. I just don't want to lose a camera and have them cutting my trees down too just to get the cam.
#281227
Nothing short of you standing there with a shotgun will keep your cameras safe. Give a thief 2 minutes with a cordless sawzall and a diagonal wire cutters and I would bet on the thief to have 99% of all cams hung.
#281250
out of sight,cables+lock boxes,and my name, town,phone# on the box+cam has worked for me so far.not fool proof but make the low lifes work for it and take a chance getting caught with my property :twisted:
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By bobcat
#281282
I also leave a note at the base of the tree with a rock on it in a zip lock bag that states:

This is a MMS camera and has already transmitted your photo to my email. Steal or destroy this camera and you will be prosecuted.
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By MI Hunter
#281298
I agree with some of the others, the best defense is to have it well camo'd. The one cam I'd had stolen years ago I'm convinced was because it was spotted by the 2" black strap around the tree that could be spotted a mile away. Lesson learned, luckily it was a cheap cam.
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