PDA

View Full Version : Public Land Game Camera Usage



tdcour
03-13-2013, 01:13 PM
How many people put game cameras out on public land during the summer to do some "scouting" for them? I have been in a debate with myself about putting some cameras out on public land here in SD where I know there are some deer running around and am unsure on the caliber of deer each year, but I am nervous that my camera might magically grow legs and walk off when I'm not there. I know there are some ways to lock it to the tree/post or whatever it is hung on, but most of them are fairly expensive. Any suggestions on how to make sure my camera doesn't get borrowed without permission?

How often would you check the camera? I'm about 3 hours from where I want to put them and I don't think there would be much foot traffic out there, but I really don't know. The season doesn't start til late in September for archery, so I'm thinking the first part of August should be early enough to put it out there and maybe check it at the first of September then when I go to hunt at the end of September.

What about protecting it from cattle? The area I want to put it is a Walk In Area that has cattle on it all year and I really don't want 98% of my pictures to be cattle. Any type of setup where you can get more deer than cattle or does it solely depend on the terrain/cover for where I want to place the camera? Is it even worth putting the camera out there? I usually don't get much scouting in prior to the season with work getting in the way.

Drhorsepower
03-13-2013, 01:21 PM
I used 3 of them this year on a bighorn sheep hunt. I too was worried. I hid them well and we checked them every 2-3 weeks. We also made 2-3, 2-3 dayers up there and I checked them first day and last. We never saw any human sign on the cameras except for ours so it made me feel better about doing it again this year. It was also 3 hours away from home.

The cool part about it was I have a tc pic of the sheep my friend killed!

CrimsonArrow
03-13-2013, 01:54 PM
I'd throw a couple primos truth 35 cams out with snake locks on them. The batteries will last all summer so you'd only have to check them once or twice. The only downside of these cams is that the sd card is not in a lockable part of the housing.

HuskyMusky
03-13-2013, 02:14 PM
could lock them up... etc... but I would almost expect someone to mess with them, break them, steal them, steal your SD card. I just read in MT they're illegal to use during season...

I almost don't see the benefit in some ways, perhaps you'd learn a big boy is one area that you can focus on, but that doesn't mean much IMO. I might just do it for fun if anything but not expecting any real results.

Tenmilestyle
03-13-2013, 05:10 PM
I use them on a regular basis here in OR on national forest and blm land. I leave them out till the start of gun season,and even use them durring archery season. I have 4 of the 100 dollar moultries.. There is always risk that some body will find them,it's just a chance you take. Thats why i use the cheaper cams,I chain them up but if someone wants it they will get em. Its funny i have stuck plenty of cams not more than 200 yards off main forest roads and never seen a person on those but have cuaght a ton of game. 2 of the cams we packed way down into a drainage over a couple miles of elk trails and a archery hunter found them. He coverd them with brush so they wouldnt take pics other than that no real problems.

packmule
03-13-2013, 05:27 PM
I use them on public land here in TX.. I've had some walk off, some SD cards stolen and then I decided to put them where you can't reach them w/o a ladder and angled them down. Natchez Shooter Supply has refurbished Primos 35s w/ normal factory warranty to try out, if they're stolen you're out $50.

cali_hornhunter
03-13-2013, 05:39 PM
I used 3 of them this year on a bighorn sheep hunt. I too was worried. I hid them well and we checked them every 2-3 weeks. We also made 2-3, 2-3 dayers up there and I checked them first day and last. We never saw any human sign on the cameras except for ours so it made me feel better about doing it again this year. It was also 3 hours away from home.

The cool part about it was I have a tc pic of the sheep my friend killed!
Hey dr lets see that pic and also I use my on public land all the time and haven't seen a human other than me I even used one about 50 yards off of a road

Muleys 24/7
03-13-2013, 06:01 PM
I use cams as well, they give me an idea of what's in the area and save a lot of money and time for scouting trips I wouldn't be able to make. Mine have never been messed with but I do take them down right before hunting season starts. I have the security lock boxes and cable locks. I mainly have the security lock boxes so the Bears don't tear them down and chew them up. That happened to 1 of my friends cameras who didn't have a security box. I set them up 2 hours away from my house and check them every 3 to 4 weeks with a 8 gig s d card. Sometimes the cards will fill up fast with false triggers so you have to find a good location. It's cool seeing bucks lose their horns and then watching them grow throughout the seasons.

tdcour
03-13-2013, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the input everyone. I'm still torn about where to place mine though. Where I hunt here in SD it is open grass lands with some trees and shrubs down in the draws. This is not only where the deer like to hang, but also where the cattle like to hang out. Any ideas for getting more pics of deer than cattle? I really don't want to put it on a trail because I know I'll either have all pics of cattle or have one of them rub on my camera and either bust it or turn it where I won't even get any pictures. Just have it pointing blankly to a bedding spot or an open spot where there is some sign or just bite the bullet and put it on the trail?

ProjectCO87
03-13-2013, 09:34 PM
I actually was just thinking about this the other day so it makes me feel better to hear that others are doing it as well. I guess I had the same thought because I have done it on private land that we have leased before but doing it on public land always has that same fear. I agree though that if I had a few that were cheap refurbished ones, I wouldn't lose sleep over something walking away. Plus it isn't a 100% guarantee they will be gone since it seems like most make it out alive. :)

packmule
03-13-2013, 10:05 PM
No ideas on getting deer over cows on cam with them both being there for the same reasons. You might concentrate the cams on the edge of the thicker brush down in the draws. We have that issue on one of our places and I usually will drive around after a rain and pick up main trails that have mostly deer tracks on them and put the cams after other trails have met up with the main one. It's really a crap shoot until you start getting pics and figure out how to adjust the cams from there.

llp
03-14-2013, 11:03 AM
You will always get a high percentage of "non-targeted species" photos. Just delete the photos of the cows and move on. It doesn't really cost you anything. Do not put them in a place where the cows can rub on them. Either too high or otherwise protected from rubbing.
llp

sjsmallfield
03-15-2013, 04:34 PM
We have been putting out trail cams for about 5 years now and haven't had any problem with people taking them. Here in CA we like to take the cameras up to the high country some time around July 1. As far as the cows go I wouldn't worry to much. Like was said before, just get 8GB card and delete the pics you don't want. It is a pain in the rear but it's just part of the game. Good luck!

spark
03-19-2013, 02:42 PM
I have smiled and waved at quite a few game cameras over the years. That is not saying the next guy will. As previously mentioned a variety of locks are available to make the mind feel at ease but in the end, it's a gamble. Use cheap camera at first and if not molested maybe you can step up if quality of photos need improved. Good luck and share some photos.

Spud
03-19-2013, 04:00 PM
I just heard of a deal in Idaho where an outfitter had a camera over "crack salt", no, not rock salt, but salt with crack cocaine in it. The animals were addicted and kept coming back for more. Hard to believe, but my friend found out when they took his camera that was locked to a tree because it had been near salt. So Fish and Game are monitoring cameras over salt anyway and it is illegal now. Probably "crack salt" is too. Crazy world we live in.

packmule
03-19-2013, 04:27 PM
You'd get 1000s of pics in a day from tweaking animals on meth salts :D

Spud
03-19-2013, 05:15 PM
Now we'll have hunters going around licking the salt blocks. :p

kcaves
03-19-2013, 05:17 PM
I found one on public land last year, only problem with that is you have to go through my friends place to get it and he was with me, he took it down and I kept it. Not the nicest thing to do but trespassers don't deserve to keep their stuff

CrimsonArrow
03-19-2013, 06:03 PM
I found one on public land last year, only problem with that is you have to go through my friends place to get it and he was with me, he took it down and I kept it. Not the nicest thing to do but trespassers don't deserve to keep their stuff
If the camera was on public land, that's stealing. If the dude who set it out was trespassing, that is a separate issue for the authorities.

Muleys 24/7
03-19-2013, 07:09 PM
I wouldn't take someones cam because of karma, but I've heard different about personal property being left on public land... But I agree that taking someones property that isn't yours is not right. If it was on my property that would be a different story. That's why I always use locks. I look at it this way...how many poeple do you know that hike 3 to 4 miles in with bolt cutters?

packmule
03-19-2013, 07:54 PM
I found one on public land last year, only problem with that is you have to go through my friends place to get it and he was with me, he took it down and I kept it. Not the nicest thing to do but trespassers don't deserve to keep their stuff

I have that problem pretty much every year. We've got a large section of public land landlocked and it never fails that people find a way onto it. The majority of times the cams are set up on feeders with stands set up (which, the feeders and stands left over 72hrs are illegal here) because ppl seem to think that no one can get there to check up on what they're doing. I won't take their stuff, but their SD cards get handed over to the game warden.

kcaves
03-20-2013, 07:09 AM
Well it would be destroyed by my friend so why not keep it??

tdub24
03-20-2013, 09:03 AM
If the camera was on public land, that's stealing. If the dude who set it out was trespassing, that is a separate issue for the authorities.

My thoughts as well. Instead of the landowner taking his/her camera, he could have done something else to inform the individual that he/she was crossing private property and it is not tolerated. Make a sign, leave a note to where they can get the camera, something other than stealing his/her device. Taking the camera doesn't stop the person from going in there, it just pisses him/her off.

trkytrack2
03-20-2013, 02:54 PM
You can place a camera up high and angle it down to take pictures; cows can't rub it. Nothing will stop a camera thief. Some bolt cutters are small enough to carry in a backpack.

87TT
07-09-2013, 10:54 PM
My thoughts as well. Instead of the landowner taking his/her camera, he could have done something else to inform the individual that he/she was crossing private property and it is not tolerated. Make a sign, leave a note to where they can get the camera, something other than stealing his/her device. Taking the camera doesn't stop the person from going in there, it just pisses him/her off.

I think land owners blocking access to public land is wrong and treating it like it's theirs is as bad as stealing. If someone is hunting or fishing on posted land, that's one thing but harmlessly crossing it is another.

packmule
07-09-2013, 11:09 PM
FWIW...that's the origin of our high fences here.

tdub24
07-10-2013, 09:08 AM
I think land owners blocking access to public land is wrong and treating it like it's theirs is as bad as stealing. If someone is hunting or fishing on posted land, that's one thing but harmlessly crossing it is another.

I will not disagree with you at all. Public land should be accessible by all, regardless if it is surrounded by private.

NorthT
07-10-2013, 09:43 AM
I usually take 2 lone wolf ladder sticks with me, try to get them high. I have had one taken, but that just the risk you take.

ivorytip
07-10-2013, 10:01 AM
idaho is bad wit land locked pub land, rich fellows buy just enough land to land lock. as far as im concerned public is public. i know there are a few on here that have their own priv land that land locks public land and they love the idea of it and will try their damnedest to keep people out. i mean no offense, but if its public land its just that, public land. if i was lucky enough to have some land locked land i may think diff:D id hope not though. there has got to be something we can do as avid outdoors men to change some laws concerning this prob.

87TT
07-10-2013, 01:07 PM
Look at it this way. Suppose you owned (bought and paid for) a piece of land and some rich guy had your property land locked. How would you feel about it. I'm a vet and served my country. That "public" land belongs to me. No one should be able to keep me from using and enjoying it. If some landowner steals my property be it public land or a camera, I'm araid I might become his worst nightmare.

ivorytip
07-10-2013, 01:59 PM
amen, im surprised there hasn't been some bill or whatever passed concerning that. even if its horse or walk access only through private to public land. id settle for that.

packmule
07-10-2013, 03:34 PM
I'm all about some landowner rights, private means private. I don't let people come through my house to get to the public park behind it...I also didn't spend a ton of money on roads and bridges to let folks tear them up and leave trash along. Then there's the liability & lawsuit potential. Now if the gov wanted to lease an easement to build and maintain their own rd then that should be the option taken if they truly want people to access it.

tttoadman
07-11-2013, 02:16 PM
I have lived the agony of one of these giant lumber companies locking up 20000 acres of forest by my house when i was in high school. The next owners keep it locked up, but allow walk or bike in access but no camping. There are always the bad apples that want to break in and go mess around. Hunters never really fall into that catagory, so I really hate it when we get put in the same bucket as those people. That area is now considered one of the best hunting areas in Oregon for elk and blacktails.

If somebpody finds a game camera on private land, put your own camera on theirs and then give your SD card to the game warden. We had a bunch of renters near my house poaching deer for about a year. One of my neighbors is a retired state trooper. He set up cams and they are "DONE".

I got my first cam this last year. I have it on my own property now. My brother in law who is a hunter says he moves any of them he finds. I don't like the guy anyway, but I never thought a fellow hunter would mess with a guys hard scouting work.

My folks had a small place in eastern OR (800 ac) for about 10 years. Having isolated access to private land has its advantages like working with young kids in a more controlled environment until they get some experience under their belt. There are certain things like hunting etiquette, ethics and safety that are nice to work out without worrying about other hunters and the issues that may arise.

I don't know if it makes sense and I may be off track on this, but I think big pieces of private land managed by good people tend to give animals a little safe haven and may help to keep the herd counts up. The ethical hunters are the ones that get permission to hunt those properties sometimes year after year because they respect the land owners.