New Berlin, WI (November 5, 2019) – Here’s the scenario: Despite the locked driveway gate into your hunting camp, along with all the PRIVATE PROPERTY & NO TRESPASSING signs, a bold bandit is undeterred. He goes in on foot, or even resorts to cutting down small trees around the gate to gain ATV access into the property.
Satisfied that the camp is unoccupied at the time, he goes to work. He’ll bust down doors or break glass to get into the cabin, barn or sheds. He knows right where to look to find the loot. That camp .22 you keep for shooting varmints? You know, the one under the mattress? He’ll look there to find it. Nothing is safe, including the antlers on the wall; the utensils in the kitchen drawer; the decoys in the shed; even the clothes in your closet.
If the intruder is a real jerk, he won’t stop at stealing. He might vandalize too, just for the heck of it. And the next time you return to camp for some R&R and outdoor adventure, your heart will sink to see what’s become of your favorite place on earth.
Before that happens, there are several things you can do to help prevent the unthinkable from occurring at your hunting camp or other recreational property. They’re quick and easy deterrents against those who wish to do your property harm.
- Post the Property
At the very least, your private land should be “Legally Posted.” Check your state regulations for what that means. It will require that an appropriate NO TRESPASSING sign be hung in an approved manner, with the recommended distance between each sign, around the legal border of your acreage. Hanging more signs is always better than having too few. Remember also to routinely walk your property line to ensure that no signs have been tampered with or fallen down.
- Lock the Gate
A secure, swinging gate with a hefty padlock or a chain lock like the DuraSafe Chain/Wheel Lock is an excellent barrier to prevent people from driving into your land with a truck, ATV or snowmobile. Some trespassers don’t let that stop them. They’ll sometimes carve a path with a chainsaw around the locked gate to gain access. Extending barbed wire fencing on both sides of the driveway gate is often a good idea.
- Conceal the Camp
If your hunting camp is visible from any road, it’s often obvious if you are there or not. Do what you can to plant trees, create berms, erect fencing, etc. to conceal the compound from prying eyes.
- Lock Down your Gear
Some of the easiest targets for thieves are the high value items that are outside of your residence. ATV trailers, boat trailers, farm implements, extra tree stands or blinds are all relatively easy to get away with if they’re not secured. DuraSafe’s full line of Trailering Security products including the Stainless Steel Coupler Lock, Coupler Ball Accessory and the 5’ Chain Wheel Lock will lock down most things in your yard or driveway.
Good illumination, especially with motion-detector activation, can send trespassers scurrying like cockroaches when the lights go on. There are plenty of great brands and systems available to landowners. A little Internet research and a consultation with a security professional can steer you toward the set-up that’s right for your property.
Trail cams aren’t just for taking pictures of big bucks. They’re also ideal for securing the photographic evidence you’ll need to press charges against trespassers. Set your NO-VISIBLE-FLASH trail cameras high in strategic locations, and conceal them well. This will help prevent camera detection and theft.
Also, enhance your deterrence strategy by hanging highly-visible signs warning THIS PROPERTY UNDER VIDEO SURVEILLANCE. No thief wants to take risks with that if they think you’re not messing around.
Here’s a great way to take action against someone who has disregarded all your deterrents and is taking what’s yours. Keep one trail camera in plain view, like right by the camp entrance or front cabin door. It’ll be just begging to be stolen! Particularly if the trespasser thinks it has already taken his picture. You WANT it to be taken, because inside you will have hidden a GPS tracking device that will lead the law right to the culprit.
- Be Neighborly
Good neighbors are the best anti-trespass tools around. When landowners who share borders work together to look after one another, word spreads in the county that this is not property to be messed with. So, go out of your way to get to know the folks around you. Bring them some venison tenderloin as a neighborly gift. Become friends and allies in the fight against outlaws.
- Know the Law
Just as you get in good with your neighbors, get in good with local law enforcement. That includes police, sheriffs, game wardens and city/county legislators. You want them on your side from the very beginning. By doing so, they’ll be more apt to execute drive-bys of your property and listen to your trespassing complaints if you encounter issues.
- Make it Easy
If you make securing your property easy, it’s more likely you and your hunting partners will take the necessary steps each time you close up camp. All the precautions in the world won’t make a difference if you don’t put them into play. Stock up on multiple DuraSafe locks with Keyed-Alike Capability, so you can quickly lock/unlock every item with the same convenient key.
Some other things to remember are pretty self-evident. Try to avoid leaving valuables at camp, including heirlooms that are important to you. Have insurance coverage on your personal property, along with photos and serial numbers for the items. It’s smart to engrave your name and phone number on those things too, so if they’re recovered they’re clearly identifiable.
Not every trespasser or thief can be turned away at the gate. But if you put all these tactics into practice, you’ll substantially increase your chances of keeping your hunting camp exactly as you left it.