Penalties For Trail Cam Theft Could Increase in PA

Few things sting as bad as losing hunting gear. And when it’s one hunter stealing that gear from another hunter, it hurts all the more. It’s a sick feeling to walk up and discover that your hunting gear is no longer where you left it. It’s happened with treestands for decades.

trail cam theft

A bill introduced in PA could help hunters protect their favorite scouting tools – trail cameras.

But in more recent years, trail cameras have been the target gear that thieves tend to be honing in on. These situations continue to happen because very few regulations are in place to punish such thieves. For the most part, a verbal confrontation, finger pointing, or a slap on the wrist is about all one would receive if he or she were to get busted stealing a trail camera. But that may all be changing in the days ahead. Particularly for the hunters in Pennsylvania as a new bill has been introduced to make trail cam theft a crime.

On February 14th, State Rep. Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill County) introduced House Bill 484. 484 is designed to ramp up the penalties for anyone stealing trail cameras.

“In recent years, the use of trail cameras has increased and given hunters a new tool to identify and pattern wildlife,” says Goodman.

“Unfortunately, a result of the greater number of these cameras in the woods has been a spike in the number of cameras being stolen.”

trail cam theft

We check our trail cameras with anxious expectation of a big buck being on camera. It’s a low-blow when you find that your camera has been stolen.

This new bill would make the theft of trail cameras a specific crime within the state Game and Wildlife Code. The crime would fall under the same code that governs the theft of tree stands, blinds and decoys.

Let’s be honest the police really don’t have the time or desire to mess with cases like stolen trail cameras. They’ve got more important issues to deal with. I think we can all understand and appreciate that.

So reporting a stolen trail camera to the police will rarely ever get the time of day. Under this new bill, stolen trail cameras could be reported to the state conversation officer, a department specifically focused on our neck of the woods.

What would the penalty be for stealing a trail camera?

Goodman’s bill would make the theft of a trail camera a first-degree summary offense, which carries a fine of up to $1,500 and potential jail time of up to three months. There would also be a one-year revocation of the hunting license for anyone caught stealing a trail camera.

stealth cam on tree

Would laws designed to prevent trail cam theft make a difference in the minds of potential thieves? PA hunters may find out the answer with new bill.


Maybe now justice can and will be served. Maybe now thieves will realize that there is too much on the line when attempting to snatch another person’s gear.

The question is, will other states follow suit? Is this the new standard on how to deal with bandits in the deer woods?

Comment below and let us know your thoughts on this new concept of law enforcement for the hunting community regarding trail cam theft.


  1. Derek Belgarde says:

    I have a Patent Pending invention called The Trail Warden – Ladder Stand Alarm Device for exactly this purpose! Let me know what you think.

    World Patent Marketing Reviews A New Alarm Invention. Will Trail Warden Be the Next World Patent Marketing Low Cost Success Story?

    World Patent Marketing, a vertically integrated manufacturer and engineer of patented products, introduces The Trail Warden, an alarm invention that warns people of stolen equipment.

    “The outdoor recreation industry is worth $646 billion,” says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing. “This market is undervalued and continues to grow. It will benefit from environmental preservation efforts.”

    “Many people like to spend a lot of time outdoors, and they take a lot of equipment out there,” says Jerry Shapiro, Director of Manufacturing and World Patent Marketing Inventions. “Unfortunately, this can lead to those things being stolen, so this alarm invention was created to help prevent that from happening.”

    The Trail Warden is an alarm system that will prevent thieves from taking outdoor hunting products. Devices such as tree stands and trail cameras are very expensive so they are stolen often when left unattended. This invention consists of two flexible and adjustable braided cables that are meant to hold objects in place and are securely fastened together with a detachable buckle. The buckle has a built-in alarm system, remote control, digital camera, camera flash, memory card, and magnetic sensors. In the event that the buckle and magnetic sensors are separated, the alarm will activate and sound off immediately. Placing the buckle back together will not shut the alarm system off. The alarm system will only shut off with the remote control present. There is a release button also on the alarm system that allows the buckle to detach. Upon pressing the release button, the digital camera will activate. Anyone pressing the button will take an instant photograph of themselves prior to separating the buckle, which will then store the photograph in the internal memory card. This will help identify anyone tampering with the device before the alarm system is activated. The Trail Warden is waterproof and will be able to withstand very harsh weather conditions. The alarm invention gives people great peace of mind knowing their hunting equipment is safe while they are away and not able to use it.

    “Creating The Trail Warden was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” says inventor Derek B. “ It’s nice to know that I can leave my personal property on any given day and when I return to use it, it’s still securely fastened in the exact place that I left it. No more theft and no more worries. If there was ever a product that I’ve believed in, this is it!”

    The Trail Warden is an alarm invention that helps prevent equipment such as tree stands and cameras from being stolen.
    link to
    Also use “The Trail Warden” Ladder Stand Alarm Device to protect personal property that may be outdoors in your yard such as ATV’s, Utility Trailers, Bicycles, Boats, Patio Furniture, Grills, Golf Carts, Lawn Mowers, Etc…. The Trail Warden can attach to nearly anything so it’s versatility is endless!

  2. Donald Dietz says:

    I had a camera stolen so I put another one up with a back up watching the new one. I got stolen and I got their on other camera. Call game commission they said cant do anything call police. Thought this article said call game commission ???. Police came and showed him the pictures and guy got arrested. Some one needs to get facts right!!!!

  3. Skyler Gordon says:

    There is this new product called TrailCam SHIELD that is super effective in preventing your trail cameras from being stolen. It’s basically a durable theft deterrence decal you place on your cams that says the camera is being tracked by a GPS tracking system. It’s like an ADT security system sign in your yard but for trail cameras. The “SHIELD” gets in the head of thieves by telling them “you could get caught if you steal this”. Seems really simple but can be really effective. Plus, its only 5 or 6 bucks.
    Check out the website:


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