10 Trail Camera Tactics Every Hunter Must Know


Using your trail camera means knowing how to hide it effectively. Let’s face it, trail cameras aren’t cheap, and you don’t want to draw any unwanted human attention to your device when you leave it at the forest.

There had been lots of cases about lost trail cameras in the forest. If it’s not lost, it’s been damaged by trespassers and thieves. You will also miss the opportunity of capturing better photos of your target bucks.

The Importance of Employing Trail Camera Techniques

Learning how to set up your trail camera is crucial to avoid the device from getting stolen. The last thing that you want to experience is checking your trail camera after a few weeks only to realize that it has been stolen or damaged by poachers. Aside from that, not hiding your trail camera properly will scare the bucks away when the flash goes on, capturing images.

Realizing this dilemma among trail camera users, we researched the top ten expert tips on how to set up your trail camera. The following tips are designed to help you conceal your trail camera better. It will decrease the chances of getting tampered when you leave it at the forest to capture better images.

Factors to Consider When Setting Up Your Trail Camera

One of the common misconceptions when it comes to setting up your trail camera is you need to buy tons of gears to do so. However, here are the following tips that you can consider to increase the chances of concealing your trail camera from anyone.


The first thing that you should consider is the location. Scouting the area is crucial as it can help you to ensure that your camera is well-hidden from prying eyes.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who passes by the area. Where is the most likely to glance? Where can you hide the trail camera when he scans the surroundings without being seen?

The Place

You should also consider the place itself. Evaluation of the place where you’re planning to install your trail camera will help you to hide it effectively. While scouting the area is essential, you can also ask for some advice from the locals.

Familiarize the area before you mount your trail camera. Take note of any possible danger zones that you should avoid while in the forest. It will not only ensure that your camera is secure, but it can also secure your safety when coming back to retrieve your trail camera as well.

Aside from that, knowing the most active time when bucks visit the area is essential. You don’t want the bucks to catch you mounting the trail camera on a tree as it will decrease the chances of them traveling the area again.

High Angle

An expert suggested that when it comes to hiding your trail camera, make sure that it is not within eye level. If you mount it within eye level, someone, regardless if he’s a thief or not, will easily spot the device.

Aside from that, you also risk your trail camera being destroyed by the animals. As much as possible, you should mount it high above the ground to keep it safe from both humans and animals. High angle can detect movements from afar, allowing you to capture images of the bucks while they’re on their way to the trail.

As a rule of the thumb, make sure that your trail camera is mounted ten feet above the eye level. And ensure that you do not mount it to the main trunk of the tree as it can easily be seen by anyone passing by.

Instead, focus on the bird’s eye view of your photos. Mounting it high above the ground will ensure the safety of your trail camera. Not to mention that it will also increase your chances of capturing the best wildlife photos using your game camera.

Low Angle

Aside from high angle, below eye level is also an effective way of setting up your trail camera. However, it can only be done with a surrounding that’s abundant in bushes and plants. In that way, you can effectively conceal your trail camera amongst the bushes.

When hiding your trail camera below eye level, the biggest challenge that you will face is to ensure that the bush will serve as a cover and not as an obstruction to the view. You don’t want to retrieve you trail camera only to find out you have gathered tons of dry grass blades.

If there’s no grass or bushes available, then you need to be resourceful. Use the fallen tree logs, cut a hole in it, and fit your trail camera inside. The stump will serve as both the concealer and protector of your trail camera against thieves and wild animals in the forest.

Tips in Hiding Your Trail Camera

Now that you know the factors that you need to consider, here are the following tips to keep in mind when setting up your trail camera:

Mount your trail camera from heavy traffic areas

As much as possible, you should keep your trail camera away from heavy traffic areas. Areas that receive heavy traffic daily will make your trail camera more active, and it will most likely be seen by anyone.

Aside from that, bucks don’t like to travel in dense traffic areas. You don’t only miss the opportunity of capturing good photos, but you also risk your trail camera of getting stolen when you mount it in dense traffic areas.

Invest in a small trail camera

If you want to hide it expertly, you should opt for a smaller version of the trail camera that you wish to have. Smaller trail cameras are easy to hide and doesn’t draw attention just like the Campark trail cameras which are best known for its compact sizes.

Aside from its small size, we also recommend trail cameras with whisper-quiet operation. If it doesn’t generate any amount of noise when capturing photos, the better it would be.

Turn off the flash option

While flash is excellent in taking photos at night, it can reveal where you’re hiding the trail camera from both wild animals and intruders. We suggest you turn off the flash option of your trail camera.

Don’t worry about night photos; it can still take photos in clear resolution as long as you keep the lens clean. That being said, you need to check your trail camera after every rain for moisture buildup.

Another option is you can buy a trail camera with a no glow flash. These trail cameras are designed to capture great nighttime photos without producing blinding lights.

Look for a strong support

You need to get away from the main trunk of the tree when mounting your trail camera, yes, but that doesn’t mean you need to install it in one of the branches. You need to find something that will provide strong support for your trail camera.

For instance, mounting the trail camera in a strong stem hidden underneath the vines will ensure that your trail camera will be safe even after the storm. It is risky to mount your trail camera on one of the branches because the strong wind might destroy it along with your device.

Do not use the straps

If you are to choose between mounting and strapping your trail camera around the bark of a tree, choose to install. Straps, especially the black nylon ones, can easily attract the attention of someone. Strapping your trail camera is easy, but you risk your camera of being seen by someone who’s just passing by.

Instead, you need to mount your trail camera on a tree or wherever it will be adequately concealed. It may take some time, but it ensures the safety of your device. Plus, thieves are most likely to look for strapped trail cameras rather than mounted cameras.

Create a disguise for your trail camera

If your target area doesn’t have an ideal place to set up your trail camera, you should consider creating a disguise then. There are many ways that you can disguise your trail camera.

For instance, you can create a birdhouse and place your camera safely inside. Or you can create fake rocks that can protect your trail camera. It is ideal for the rugged environment.

Make sure that it looks natural and can easily blend with the surroundings. In that way, it will not draw the attention of anyone passing by.

Lock your trail camera

Let’s face it; there are persistent thieves who will scout the area looking for possible trail cameras to steal. But even if they find it, you can still do something to keep your device from getting stolen.

For instance, a reinforced metal box is a good idea to lock your trail camera. In that way, the thief cannot access and tamper the internal parts of your trail camera. You can even lock your trail camera using a metal cable, ensuring that the thief wouldn’t be able to strip it off from where you’ve mounted the trail camera.

Camouflage your trail camera

While there are models of trail cameras that come in a camouflage exterior, it is best to add some real camo patterns. And by that, we mean gluing some leaves, twigs, and mud to your trail camera. It will look more natural compared to the printed camouflage skin and can deceive keen observant in the forest.

You can also pull a vine, wrap it around your trail camera, and create natural vegetation. Just make sure that you’re going to get the vines and leaves from the area where you’re planning to mount your camera. Even if the person is ten feet away from your device, this natural camouflage pattern can trick them into thinking that there are no trail cameras in the area.

Just make sure to check your trail camera for dead leaves and wilted vines as it can reveal your camouflage pattern.

Eliminate any scent or human tracks

Smart thieves scan the areas by looking for fresh foot trails and cleared paths as an indication if a trail camera is nearby. Since you’re going to check your trail camera every few weeks or so, it is essential to eliminate any scent or human tracks from the area.

When checking your trail camera, as much as possible, do not clear the vegetation along the way. Footpaths are the first thing that thieves look for. Aside from that, clear your footprints especially if the ground is muddy because it will quickly lead the thief to your trail camera.

You can also increase the chances of getting your trail camera stolen right after the snow. Wait until the snow starts to melt before you check your trail camera. Or if you can’t help it, clear any evidence that you’ve been in the area. If you can, do not take the same route twice and approach your trail camera from varying angles.

Do not tell anyone about your trail camera’s hiding spot

If it’s not necessary, do not tell your friends about the location of your trail camera. Instead, show them the results of your hard work. Keep the hiding spot of your trail camera to yourself. You can increase the chances of your camera being completely hidden from the world.

And when you share photos that your trail camera has taken, make sure that the GPS coordinates of each picture are not displayed. Otherwise, people can use it as a guide to track your trail camera and steal it.

Bottom Line

You’ve invested time, money, and effort into buying the best trail camera for you. Not to mention your hard work in mounting it and angling the camera. The last thing that you wanted to happen is to have it stolen by thieves. You could lose hundreds of dollars and a rare chance to strike a trophy buck in the process.

Follow the abovementioned tips we’ve to discuss, and it can help you to improve your tactics when it comes to setting up your trail camera. Unfortunately, you can never be sure that your trail camera is safe, so you need to ensure that it’s protected from the world as it takes excellent photos of bucks traveling.

Along the way, you may pick up some new techniques and styles in setting up your trail cameras aside from what we’ve discussed earlier. A good trail camera user is the one who knows how to expertly hide his trail camera from the wild animals and thieves in the forest.

Let us know how you setting up your trail camera in the woods by leaving a comment below!