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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 7:16 am
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Location: Pennsylvania
This is kind of a weird question? But when setting up your DSLR camera traps in the field (whether just overnight or for several days), do you ever have the concern of them being discovered and stolen?

Just wondering where you guys usually set up your traps. Private property, public property, real remote places...

I know if you have your camera in a pelican case, you could always chain it to a nearby tree or something to provide some form of deterrent against theft if it is found. But what if there's nothing around to secure it to, and there is the possibility it could be found? Do you just cross your fingers and hope it's not discovered, or if it is, it's found by honest individual(s)?

I have a place in mind to do a set up (a large mainly grassy field, with numerous well traveled game trails), but there are occasionally people who walk along the edges of the field. I think it's unlikely anyone would spot it during the day, but my fear is if the flashes go off at night, and someones walking (highly unlikely I guess) and sees the flash and go and investigate... There's also a road on one side of the field.

Just a bit uneasy about leaving $1000 worth of equipment out in a field. :D I guess I'm wondering how some of you guys feel about leaving your equipment on public (although perhaps rarely occupied) land.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:38 am 
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west5trapper wrote:
This is kind of a weird question? But when setting up your DSLR camera traps in the field (whether just overnight or for several days), do you ever have the concern of them being discovered and stolen?

Just wondering where you guys usually set up your traps. Private property, public property, real remote places...

I know if you have your camera in a pelican case, you could always chain it to a nearby tree or something to provide some form of deterrent against theft if it is found. But what if there's nothing around to secure it to, and there is the possibility it could be found? Do you just cross your fingers and hope it's not discovered, or if it is, it's found by honest individual(s)?

I have a place in mind to do a set up (a large mainly grassy field, with numerous well traveled game trails), but there are occasionally people who walk along the edges of the field. I think it's unlikely anyone would spot it during the day, but my fear is if the flashes go off at night, and someones walking (highly unlikely I guess) and sees the flash and go and investigate... There's also a road on one side of the field.

Just a bit uneasy about leaving $1000 worth of equipment out in a field. :D I guess I'm wondering how some of you guys feel about leaving your equipment on public (although perhaps rarely occupied) land.
West .. I have been dormant for a year now trying to build remote photography gear, buggy - done ( im also offering this custom.machines one order commercially) , raft - done ( with some.issues ) , camera traps - halfway thru the building. All these options have a risk of damaging or loosing the gear .

All u guys are experts in sure u guys would have made a risk Vs benefit analysis :)

My calculations were simple , 500f4 + flagship camera even used ones are $10000 .. and getting the same shots as 100 others Vs $1000 X 10 camera trap set ups do do something different , capture wildlife moments, perspective which are otherwise not possible.

More than loosing gear it's hurts more to loose the data / images :)

I'm so happy to join this awesome group, as new guy would help me learn lots .


Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:23 am 
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I have had three stolen in a natural 'World Heritage Site' forest in Thailand...this is deep into the Western Forest Complex...so yes, it does happen...I'm presently making a "catch a thief' camera trap that I will post here soon...it will incorporate a Canon 600D with a 200mm lens set on a tree a distance away and a wireless sensor located at the point of interest; a camera trap to lure in wanna-be thieves...!!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:44 am 
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It's always a risk when you put things out but it's just part of the game. There are things you can do to deter theft, such as lock boxes, chains, and locks. But when it comes down to it, if someone wants it bad enough, they will find a way to get it. I've always said; "A lock only keeps an honest man, honest." A thief is a thief.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:19 am 
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tiger hunter wrote:
I have had three stolen in a natural 'World Heritage Site' forest in Thailand...this is deep into the Western Forest Complex...so yes, it does happen...I'm presently making a "catch a thief' camera trap that I will post here soon...it will incorporate a Canon 600D with a 200mm lens set on a tree a distance away and a wireless sensor located at the point of interest; a camera trap to lure in wanna-be thieves...!!

:old
Great .. must expose the thief

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:59 am 
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 7:16 am
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Location: Pennsylvania
Thanks for all the responses! I think I'm going to go ahead a give it a try sometime and just cross my fingers. I still need to purchase/build some things to get it set up in that location. Hopefully, I get everything together before I get any snow in the forecast...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:07 pm 
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anjani.singamane wrote:
west5trapper wrote:
This is kind of a weird question? But when setting up your DSLR camera traps in the field (whether just overnight or for several days), do you ever have the concern of them being discovered and stolen?

Just wondering where you guys usually set up your traps. Private property, public property, real remote places...

I know if you have your camera in a pelican case, you could always chain it to a nearby tree or something to provide some form of deterrent against theft if it is found. But what if there's nothing around to secure it to, and there is the possibility it could be found? Do you just cross your fingers and hope it's not discovered, or if it is, it's found by honest individual(s)?

I have a place in mind to do a set up (a large mainly grassy field, with numerous well traveled game trails), but there are occasionally people who walk along the edges of the field. I think it's unlikely anyone would spot it during the day, but my fear is if the flashes go off at night, and someones walking (highly unlikely I guess) and sees the flash and go and investigate... There's also a road on one side of the field.

Just a bit uneasy about leaving $1000 worth of equipment out in a field. :D I guess I'm wondering how some of you guys feel about leaving your equipment on public (although perhaps rarely occupied) land.
West .. I have been dormant for a year now trying to build remote photography gear, buggy - done ( im also offering this custom.machines one order commercially) , raft - done ( with some.issues ) , camera traps - halfway thru the building. All these options have a risk of damaging or loosing the gear .

All u guys are experts in sure u guys would have made a risk Vs benefit analysis :)

My calculations were simple , 500f4 + flagship camera even used ones are $10000 .. and getting the same shots as 100 others Vs $1000 X 10 camera trap set ups do do something different , capture wildlife moments, perspective which are otherwise not possible.

More than loosing gear it's hurts more to loose the data / images :)

I'm so happy to join this awesome group, as new guy would help me learn lots .


Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk


Interesting logic... Very true though.

I know I often take "risks" and do things that present danger to my equipment for the sake of the shot. I guess what's different in this case, is that usually the risk factor is in "me". Like if I flip the kayak while floating down the river, or if I drop the camera while attempting to climb high in a tree without a camera strap - it's my fault. But in this case the risk factor isn't the result of my error, but someone else.

It's probably just more of a mental thing though :) , and honestly the risk is probably less than some of the things I've done with my camera.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:23 pm 
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My camera traps are always locked to a tree or unmovable rock with a Python lock. But, those locks can be cut -- that's why,as much as I'd like to, I've never built a DSLR. Most of my camera traps are on public land and some aren't very far from a road. Five times they've gotten photos of humans, three time the people were looking at them and one apparently tried to take the camera (they were unsuccessful); as soon as I get a photo of a human I pull the camera.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:21 pm 
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First off I'll explain a bit about my equipment and methods.

All of my cams are enclosed in steel Bear cases and are either camo painted, camo duct taped or camouflaged with a 3M camo wrap material. Most of my HPWA sensor lens are either black or Jiffy markered black to reduce visibility. I use 2 x 3" SS lag screws when mounting my steel cases to trees and padlock it. Then camouflage the cam case with natural materials nearby, such as branches, twigs, bark, moss etc.

Now with placing a cam in areas where people may happen by, I do the following.

I often tilt the cam down when mounting which helps to reduce the reflection of the sun off of the glass lenses. I usually mount my cameras about 45 degrees to a game trail, log crossings to reduce the direct line of sight from people walking past. I place my cams lower down which also helps reduce detection. Most people look at the ground or eye level when walking. Deactivating the flash reduces the chance of the flash going off on those dull overcast days. Which may draw the attention of passer-bys. If a flash is a must then your risks increase but and that's where we have to decide if the risk is worth the reward. A very good rule of thumb here is to place your cam in a location where the eyes of the hiker are distracted. Such as those open vista sets where people usually have their back to your cam. Obstacles such as fallen logs, log crossings, creek crossings, and objects impeding the path. Animals will often slow down at these obstacles which is good for picture taking as well. Paths that are uneven, slippery, rocky, steep, loose surface etc. are also to be considered. Any place where would be folk are prone to look downward rather than elsewhere are good choices for sets.

I have also done the following with good results.

* Place a few signs out in the area of your set. For example.........Wildlife research area, this area is monitored by trail cameras. Giving the impression that you have more than one camera in the area when in fact you only have one. Nobody wants to steal a camera when they think that they may be photographed by another camera.

* I often introduce myself to hikers that I have seen in the area before. Letting them know what I do and why I do it. Offering them pics via email of the animals that I get is always a kind gesture and shows good intentions. If they find my cams, which some have on occasion. They usually smile, wave, laugh or :mooning me as they walk past.

* Placing another cam aimed at your expensive cam is often a good idea. Personally, if I ever did this, I would use a store bought infrared video camera for this purpose.

I guess the best advice that I can give, aside from securing it properly. Would be to camouflage the gear the best you can. Avoiding detection is the key here.

Here's a collage of pics taken in a 2 day period from a recent set I had placed in a fairly high profile park. I had them going both ways but I don't want to show their faces. Everbody was too distracted looking at the log when crossing, their step onto or off of it or they had their eyes to the creek. About 1/3 of the people saw my cam and either smiled or scrammed out of there.

BTW, in 7 years I've had 3 cameras stolen and 1 confiscated and then returned.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:52 pm 
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This subject periodically stirs strong emotions here on the forum, esp when someone gets seriously ripped off, but you've gotten good advice. You can search the forum for more true life stories and sympathetic comments. Where I live there are a lot of "low-lifes" who use the public trails, so I always set my cameras well off the beaten track. Also, never let anyone see you setting up. A old friend of mine set a cam for otters thinking all fly fishermen were honorable citizens. Yes, a smiling fly fisherman nearby feigned total disinterest, and guess what? The next morning my friend's Nikon was gone. Security boxes and "bear guards" (spiked angle iron frames) are the only protection I use. I do set cams in more peopled places, like private property with vigilant owners. But I'm a bit of a hypocrite; I have to confess I just set 3 commercial cams this evening on the public road where all the neighbors put their garbage cans. The garbageman comes at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. I want footage of garbage raiding bears bad. (All the cans are strapped shut and spiked with ammonia -- I'll be quite happy to get a bear just sniffing and walking away.)


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