So you have a trespassing problem?
By: Cole Mountain Seitzinger
It never fails, every single year one way or another hunters and land owners deal with trespassing. For me this is happening right now, the nice weather is showing its face and so are the random people showing up on my cameras on private property. Just last week a camera was stolen that had only been out for less than 5 days. Shame on us for not locking the camera up, but shame on them for first trespassing and second stealing! I saw one picture going around of a shed poacher on a warm day, he was dressed head to toe 100% covered so he wouldn’t be identified on camera while he was trespassing. Take some steps to help keep trespassers from picking your property.
Start with setting aside some trail cameras solely for the purpose of seeing who is using the property. Location is going to be important for using your trail camera to deter trespassers. Any known road access or gates should be under surveillance. You will want these cameras to be hidden if possible and certainly locked up. Keeping them hidden will better your chance of capturing a trespasser and allow you to take the next steps in keeping them out of there. If you choose to however, you can put the cameras in plain view, I recommend at least placing them high enough that no one can damage or steal them easily. By placing the camera in plain view it will send a message to anyone that doesn’t belong there that the risk of trespassing and being caught is much higher. Post signs at entrances or along road frontage that state the property is under camera and video surveillance.
If you already know you have a problem with trespassers you will want to get proof. First you want to make sure your cameras are hidden and locked up good. Second you need to make sure when you get a picture or video you have the camera in the best place to capture the person including their face. Without a good video or picture you won’t be able to identify the person so keep that in mind when you setup the camera. Once the camera has done its job you can use that to confront the person with or without the police being involved. Sending a message to them letting them know that they are trespassing and it will not be taken lightly in the future. There is no denying a picture and when that spreads around the town you can bet that it will make others think twice. It is impossible to patrol your property 24/7, but what you can’t do all day your trail cameras can. In extreme cases you might want to use the cameras as a setup to catch a trespasser. Using multiple cameras set them up to lure them in while having another camera well hidden to capture them in the act or trespassing or stealing.
Get the word out
Once you have cameras setup to help patrol your property then it is time to spread the word. Let your neighbors know you are running cameras to catch trespassers and patrol the property. You may not know who is coming onto the land but if enough people hear that you are very serious about keeping trespassers out then you stand a good chance as scaring them off before they come or before they think about coming back. Think about it, if you were going to trespass you wouldn’t pick the property that is known for busting trespassers and having trail cameras all over it. So let it be known that you run cameras for surveillance and that alone could deter people from your property.
Keep in mind some people just won’t care and will continue to trespass because it’s who they are. If you are lucky enough to catch them, then hopefully the law can take care of the rest. In the meantime get those cameras out and hidden, and spread the word your property is off limits and patrolled 24/7. One great Peace of mind with running an Exodus camera will be the 50% off theft replacement in the unfortunate circumstance a trespasser takes one of your cameras.