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General Outdoors

Stop Trespassers with These Four Strategies

Owning property, particularly a highly managed hunting property, requires security, protection and overwatch.

Mark Kayser April 1, 20243 min read
Photo Credit: Mark Kayser.

While poaching ranks high as a reason for vigilance, you might also be storing expensive equipment on the property, items thieves eye with envy. Safeguard investments with a team approach.

Like a Good Neighbor

Meeting neighbors is a great way to create a neighborhood watch team. Photo Credit: Mark Kayser.
Meeting neighbors is a great way to create a neighborhood watch team. Photo Credit: Mark Kayser.

Start with the inexpensive. Begin a neighborhood watch. Meet your neighbors. Evaluate their character and, if they pass, unite to form a security force to watch each other’s property. Absentee landowners especially benefit from outside help. Expand your protection force by meeting with local conservation officers and sheriffs. Invite them over for coffee to get acquainted and express your property objective.

Rural mail carriers, parcel delivery drivers, utility maintenance personnel and others working in the area can also be good observers. Take the time to meet these individuals and ask them to reach out to you if they see something odd occurring on your land. Consider trading hunting privileges for small game, late-season culling or even spring turkey hunting as a reasonable trade for eyeball time.

Billboard Boundary

Photo Credit: Mark Kayser.
Photo Credit: Mark Kayser.

Your property boundary should be as noticeable as Nevada’s storied Area 51 — or close to it. Post your property with signs bearing ample statements that trespassing is forbidden. Store-bought signs colored with yellow or blaze orange messaging work fine but consider investing in metal signs to lengthen their lifespan. Your signage should be easily read from a distance. Position them at eye level so there is no question as to whether they are being seen. Hang them so you can see from one sign to the other to ensure the boundary is clearly outlined.

If you want an even clearer message, go the extra distance and personalize the signs. Include your name or property name and, possibly, contact information. Make sure the sign clearly states “No Trespassing” in a non-offensive manner.

Smile for the Camera

You already monitor deer with an array of trail cameras. Why not put those investments to work for you, watching buildings, hidden entrances and access points throughout your property? Monitoring your entire property for foot trespassers would be ultra expensive, but you can watch all ingress points and structures easily with trail cameras.

Catching trespassers stealing a ladder from a hunting property. Photo courtesy of Mark Kayser.
Catching trespassers stealing a ladder from a hunting property. Photo courtesy of Mark Kayser.

Sure, you can consult with companies such as Vivint, ADT, SimpliSafe or Ring, but your cellular trail cameras offer immediate signals of trespassers at property gateways without additional expense to an outside party. Light main areas if possible, and do not forget to light any hunting camps while using trail cameras to survey those assets.

Camouflage cameras near buildings and entries. Position them to capture license plate information and entire vehicles for law enforcement follow-up. With cellular service expanding daily across the country, odds are high your trail cameras can work for you to transmit trespassing information in real-time. Sign your property with notices of video surveillance in addition to your army of trail cameras to make gate crashers think twice before stepping across the line.

Fence and Gate Like a Pro

Photo Credit: Mark Kayser.
Photo Credit: Mark Kayser.

Nothing says “no trespassing” like tight fences, strong gates and sturdy locks.

Begin with a good fence. You may have heard the phrase, “Good fences make good neighbors.” Good fences also make most people think twice before crossing illegally. A maintained and clearly visible fence identifies property boundaries, plus keeps errant livestock from entering. Imagine the damage a small herd of cattle could do to your food plots? Adding heavier fencing at gates sends an even more stern message to stay out.

Heavy metal gates prevent fence cutting, as is common with wire gates. Weighty chains secure gates without fear of cutting and solid-body padlocks make thieves work harder or abandon their intentions. The best locks are manufactured with an alloy or boron steel and hardened inside and out.

Taking the extra steps and time to send a message to trespassers keeps most people honest. And if criminals decide to cross into your world, hopefully you have the evidence to deliver them to the courthouse.

Filed Under:
  • Land Management