Public land hunting has a standard stereotype: hunters all over the place, little to no deer, and anything you leave will be stolen. That is far from the truth. While public land can become heavily pressured during certain days like the opener of firearms season, the majority of the year it is left relatively undisturbed, providing ample opportunity for serious deer hunters.
Though it does have its risks, using trail cameras on public land can give you the edge needed to bag your next trophy whitetail. There are several things you can do to ensure your property remains where you placed it once you leave the area. First, some cameras come with optional lock boxes, also known as “bear boxes.”
Although many hunters have no need to protect their camera from bears, the effort of placing cameras in a secure box will often deter thieves. Even more critical is the use a cable lock. Several varieties are available and selecting one often depends on the brand of camera you are using. These cables not only prevent easy theft from the tree or post, but also holds the camera firmly in place.
Avoid placing cameras in heavily traveled areas such as roads, wide trails, and fields. Getting off the beaten path will protect your cameras, and also put you in a better position to hunt the well educated deer in the area.
Lastly, if you need to place your camera in a highly visible area, try placing the camera at an elevated height looking down onto the area you wish to observe. This will make the camera less obvious, and at the very least make the potential thief really work to get to it!