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How to Prevent Your Hunting Gear from Being Stolen

8418 Python Mossy Oak Master Lock Locking Cable in CountryDNA Camo

In the past few years, interest in the outdoors has been on the rise and with that so has the popularity in activities like hunting and fishing. Unfortunately, this also means there’s an increased need to keep valuable outdoor gear secure. A simple lock can often be enough of a deterrent to keep people away – even keeping gear hidden can help. Either way, it’s wise to have a plan to keep valuable gear secure when you are gone.

Here are a few of the most commonly stolen hunting gear items and tips to keep them from being a target for theft.

TRAIL CAMERAS AND DEER STANDS

It’s probably no surprise that trail cameras are a hot item among thieves. They’re small and easy to conceal. And they can come with a hefty price tag. Similarly, deer stands are high-target items, though not quite as easy to steal.

Since many thefts are crimes of convenience, anything you can do to make your gear less convenient to steal can help mitigate the risk of your valuables being stolen.

8418 Master Lock Mossy Oak Locking Cable in Blaze Orange
Hunter securing a 8418 Locking cable around a tree
  • Security boxes not only help keep your camera safe from winds and animals, but also thieves. Using a good cable lock to secure your security box and trail camera to the tree keeps your gear safe and provides you with greater peace of mind.
  • Camera mounts can be used to secure your camera to a tree or post, which also, conveniently, makes it easier to position your camera for use. Once mounted, your trail camera becomes more difficult to steal and is often enough to keep people away.
  • Cable locks, like the Master Lock Python, are great for securing all kinds of equipment, beyond just cameras and deer stands. This type of lock is ideal for the woods because the cable end threads through places other cables cannot and the adjustable locking mechanism holds the cable tight at any position for perfect fit. The camo design helps it to blend in, while its anti-cut materials make it more difficult to open. Longer cables are also helpful to reach more places.
  • Weather-resistant padlocks can be a great investment to lock up a whole range of outdoor equipment, both at camp and at home. These are especially great for use out in the woods because they are designed to protect against moisture, dirt and grime.

When looking to secure multiple types of gear, look for collections of locks and cables designed specifically to protect hunting gear. You can find locks to meet any need – from key locks and combination locks to keypad locks and even Bluetooth options.

CAMP AND OTHER EQUIPMENT

Beyond trail cameras and tree stands, there are lots of items that can catch the eye of a thief if left unattended. So, it's important to lock up sheds, gates, fences, cabin doors and any larger equipment that stays out in the open, including ATVs, boats, motorcycles, bikes and more. A lock is a quick and easy way to make someone think twice before attempting to run off with your property.

Lock boxes are a great way to store your key where you need it. They provide controlled access to your cabin, shed and fences to keep them secure when you are not there. Be sure to choose a lock with a protective weather cover to prevent freezing and jamming.

Padlocks can be used to secure a variety of equipment, both at home and at camp. Laminated locks are ideal for outdoor use because they can withstand harsh weather.

Gun locks or a padlock on your gun or bow case can help to prevent accidents as well as theft.

OTHER WAYS TO PROTECT PROPERTY

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind for any property you are leaving unattended – for more, check out this article from our partner, Mossy Oak:

  • Go camo - When choosing locks to protect your gear, consider products that are made with a camo design. While it’s true, they do look a lot cooler, their real value is in their ability to disguise your gear so it’s not a target in the first place. Be sure to use the gifts Mother Nature gave, like foliage and tree branches, to help your gear blend in.
  • Don’t leave gear out in the open - Leaving gear out in the open or close to trails can give potential thieves easy access to grab and go. Take a few extra minutes to find a good place out of the way to lock it up. If it’s harder for you, it will be harder for them.
  • Mark your territory - Post signs on your property, including no-trespassing and security camera plaques to let people know you are watching. Be sure to check your state regulations to ensure you are following proper guidelines. Write your name directly on your gear and keep track of any serial numbers or registration information to streamline the process in the event of a theft.
  • Store your gear in a high place - Place your gear up out of reach. It will not only make it harder to get at, it will also make it more difficult to see – especially if you use branches or a little foliage to hide it. And, as we mentioned, camo is your friend.
  • Stay vigilant - Use security cameras pointed directly at your deer stand or other gear to deter thefts or, at the very least, capture them in the act. If you are leaving for an extended period of time, ask a neighbor to periodically check on your camp and do your best to make it look like someone is still there.

While theft is not something we like to think about, especially in our sacred sanctuaries in the woods, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. For other ideas on how to keep your gear secure, visit our website.

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