Thieves hunting for items to steal from camps, leases

Officials say hunting camps are usually in rural areas and off the beaten path, making them perfect targets.
Thieves hunting for items to steal from camps, leases
Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 at 11:41 AM CST
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SABINE COUNTY (KTRE) - Local game wardens say they have seen a rise in thefts reported at hunting camps and leases in San Augustine and Shelby Counties. In Sabine County, game wardens say there have been four within the past month.

“We pay money to lease the area,” Sabine County resident Miles McDaniel said. “When you can’t leave anything there without worried about it being stolen, it’s pretty sad.”

McDaniel says he and his friends had some high dollar items stolen from their camp sites.

“We come in and we leave our four wheelers and stuff there,” he said. “Most thieves know that. They broke into my camper. There wasn’t anything there to steal, but they broke the windows just to check it out. I had a buddy with a Honda Foreman stolen; a 2008 camo four-wheeler. They stole my buddy’s safe. There wasn’t much in it I don’t believe, but I think a lot of people have this problem.”

“At the beginning of hunting season people are coming back, and they’re noticing their things are missing because they’ve been gone for months.” Texas Game Warden Ryan Svehla said.

Svehla says another factor comes from thieves knowing some hunters are from out-of-town, leasing only on the weekends , which leaves time throughout the week for items to be stolen.

“A few of the items that have been reported stolen are going to be your ATVs, side-by-sides, four-wheelers and then obvious firearms, Svehla said.

He recommends setting up multiple cameras at camps and leases not visible to people.

“Now when you do these cameras, I recommend going with a higher quality camera that’s has better pixels,” Svehla said. “Because when we’re looking into these photos, we want to see photos with good identifying features of these individuals who are stealing. Hopefully around eye level is where you going to put it and camouflage that in.”

“Depending on where you’re at, you can buy cameras now that can send photos to your phone,” McDaniel said. “That’s what we’re going to try to do. We’ve already got some out so if they come back, hopefully we’ll catch somebody.”

Game Wardens say while you are away from a hunting camp or lease, to either take your valuables with you or to get a storage container to lock your equipment in For your firearms, he says to bolt down your gun safe to a foundation.

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