Protecting your Property against Trespassing Thieves
Posted on October 04 2013
I feel your pain. Each time I read a story about trespassers encroaching on hunting land and sometimes even stealing game cameras, I re-live my own experience with thieves. Mere words cannot express the anger I felt during this ordeal. Here are some lessons I learned, and I hope they will help prevent a trespasser from stealing or entering your property.
If you own the property where you’re placing your game cameras, post “No Trespassing” signs. You can pick these up at any hardware store for a few dollars. It may not seem like much, but just posting the signs protect you and makes it obvious a person is entering private property. It won’t keep a thief out, but it does keep an honest man honest. In my experience, the first question law enforcement will ask is if you posted “no trespassing” signs.
Some property owners post signs stating “Video Surveillance In Use.” I advise against this practice because you’re just advertising that you have valuable cameras on the property. All a thief has to do is put on a ski mask and go on an Easter egg hunt across your property collecting trail camera “eggs.” The thief, knowing you will have little resources to identify him, will do as he pleases. There’s no need to create an incentive for money-hungry individuals looking to sell a few cameras on the internet. The less information they have, the better.
Speaking of cameras, camouflage your game cameras with natural vegetation and be smart about where you mount your cameras. A CAMBUSH-covered trail camera is better concealed from sight. Trespassers will have difficulty spotting it, and you might even capture an image of the thief.
Clearly mark your property’s boundaries with fencing, signage or spray-painted striping on surrounding trees. Be sure to know exactly where your property starts and stops so you are informed and can control access. Use gates or some form of warning at all entrance lanes and access points.
Keep your state’s poacher hotline number in your cell phone. Use caution if you decide to confront a trespasser, and definitely get law enforcement involved. Keep yourself safe.
Make note of the trespassers’ physical description if you see them, vehicle description/license plate number and any other details that would help law enforcement track the intruder. Use your cell phone to take photographs of the area as evidence.
And finally, PROSECUTE all violators. You have to walk the talk. Actions speak louder than words, and if you do what you say, you will see the problem dissipate. If nothing else, you might save your neighbor from dealing with worse offenses by those same trespassers.