Hiding your trail camera from deer is the best way to capture authentic wildlife footage. However, keeping your trail camera hidden from people is essential to minimize the chance of it being stolen. According to the FBI, there were more than seven million property crimes in the United States in 2018. Of those property crimes, nearly 73 percent were theft. When you invest money and time into your hunting gear, the last thing you want is for your trail camera to become another statistic.
If you don't know how to hide a trail camera from humans, don't worry. We've compiled a guide of everything you need to know about trail camera concealment, including some tips for camouflaging your trail camera, hiding your trail camera from deer and hiding your game camera for security purposes.
Tips for Hiding a Trail Camera
If you're ready to install a new trail camera, follow these tips for finding the best spot and keeping it hidden:
Talk to the locals: If you're hunting or installing your trail camera in a new area, talk to the locals. If camera theft is common in the area, they are likely the first to know about it. They can let you know which areas to avoid and which areas make for great trail cam footage.
Consider the type of camera: The type of trail camera you use makes a significant difference in your ability to hide it. Many newer cameras are designed to blend into their surroundings far better than most older models. Additionally, smaller trail cameras are easier to hide than larger ones.
Leave your information: Put your name and contact information somewhere on your trail camera in permanent marker. In the best-case scenario, the identifying information will help deter a thief. If nothing else, this information may help you find your trail camera if it gets lost or stolen.
Avoid popular places: Although many hunting areas are popular for a reason, avoid installing a trail camera in high-traffic spots if you're worried about it getting stolen. Because these popular areas are well known, they are often the first place thieves check for cameras and other gear.
Place it away from the feeding area: Near a feeder is one of the first places a thief will check for a trail camera. If you plan to place it near a feeding area, take extra care and invest in additional security features to make sure it is not easily accessible.
Install it out of reach: Be sure to place your trail camera at least a few feet above your reach to keep it out of direct sight away from thieves.
How to Camouflage a Game Camera
Once you've found the perfect hiding spot for your camera, consider these tips to camouflage it:
Look for organic matter: The best place to hide a trail camera is in organic matter, like leaves, branches and tree stumps. Because these things occur naturally in the forest and on trails, they are less likely to raise suspicion with deer or humans.
Consider the flash: Camera flash can alert wildlife and possible thieves to your camera's location. Many hunters have turned to low-glow and no-glow game cameras for more subtle snapshots.
Mind your scent: A well-hidden trail camera makes little difference to wildlife if they can still detect your scent. Use a scent blocking spray on your trail camera and any mounting gear to camouflage your scent so deer will not avoid the area.
Put it inside something: Get creative — try hiding your trail camera inside something hollow, like a stump.
Tips for Trail Camera Security
A good quality game camera is an investment. When it's lost or stolen, you lose not only money but also the time spent installing it. In some cases, you might even lose valuable game footage.
Consider investing in the following items to keep your camera as secure as possible:
Security boxes: Trail camera security boxes are rarely subtle, but they offer maximum, reinforced protection for your trail camera. If you choose a security box, opt for additional security features, like padlocks and cables.
Mounting brackets: Thieves are less likely to steal a trail camera if it is well-secured with mounting brackets because to do so would require both tools and time. Mounting brackets also keep your camera stable and level.
Decoys: If you're worried about your high-quality trail camera being stolen, plant a decoy camera nearby. Place it somewhere not too obvious, but easy to access. Place your real trail camera nearby, preferably where the decoy camera is in range, so you can use the footage to help identify the thief. Make sure the real camera is camouflaged and well-secured.
How to Hide a Trail Cam for Home Security
You can use your trail camera to keep an eye on more than just deer — many people opt for game cameras for home security. Trail cameras are often less expensive than home security systems and are naturally designed to blend into their surroundings, making them easier to hide. For many hunters, it's also an excellent way to utilize game cameras during the offseason or make use of old cameras after upgrading to a newer model.
If you're interested in using a game camera for home security, keep these factors in mind:
Size: If you're hiding a trial camera around your home, smaller is better. Small trail cameras are less noticeable and easier to disguise.
Range: Even if you hide your security camera perfectly and it is undetectable, it won't matter if it's out of range. Most cameras come with the ideal range listed, but it's a good idea to check the camera footage for a clear visual from the camera to your front door, garage or other areas you are monitoring. When checking the range, take note of glares caused by the sun or street lamps.
Camouflage: Camouflage isn't just for the trails — you can also disguise your game camera around your house. Consider installing your trail camera in a birdhouse, mailbox or flower pot.
Signage: Keep intruders and thieves at bay by hanging surveillance warning signs around your home. These signs will let someone know that they are being recorded, which may help deter property crime.
Find Trail Cameras and Camera Security Accessories at Moultrie
At Moultrie, we are passionate about using technology to provide hunters and wildlife enthusiasts with convenient, reliable gear that can help you get the most out of your hunting trip. One way we do this is through Moultrie Mobile, an innovative cellular game camera system that sends trail images directly to your cellphone, so you never lose valuable footage, even if your trail camera is lost, damaged or stolen.