Public Land Tactics – Trail Camera Camo Mod by Dave Mullins

Bow hunting public land comes with many challenges unique to the endeavor itself. Not only do you have to successfully outsmart the quarry you are hunting, but you also have to be a step ahead of fellow public land hunters as well. To me, this simply equates to developing better woodsman ship skills and better skills contribute to being the best hunter possible.

Over the years I have discovered several trail cameras while scouting public land. For whatever reason most of the cameras I have discovered have been attached to a tree with little, or no attempt to conceal them. Now I have no interest in someone Else’s property. However, and unfortunately so, that doesn’t apply to all who frequent public lands. The sad truth is, there are opportunist’s out there.

Usually when I find an out of the box trail camera, in an attempt to offer a “gentle lesson”, I always carry a note with me. It’s says, “Fortunately for you I’m an honest person”. However, you may want to consider camouflaging your trail camera, so only YOU can see it.” I will hold the note up, while in front of the camera, so it’s included in the pictures.

Adding camouflage to a trail camera can be accomplished several different ways. Some choose to simply “Brush in” the trail cam, once in its fixed position. Applying spray paint in a camo pattern is another way to do it. Still, some may choose to apply camouflage tape to the camera. I have used all of the aforementioned applications in the past.

What follows is my favorite way to camouflage a trail camera that will be used exclusively on public land.
I want the most economical unit available. In the event it does get stolen by someone, my financial loss is minimal. That’s the chance taken when on public land.However, that is a great, motivating factor to develop/improve covert strategies to avoid being detected by others.

Trail Camera Used
#1- Cover the lens,sensors, flash (or l.e.d.’s) with masking tape, or blue Painter’s tape. This will leave virtually no residue, once removed.

Cover lenses with protective tape
#2- I like to apply a silicone based caulk to the unit. This adds contour, and breaks up the outline of the camera. This is the foundation for the “cloaking layer”. After application is to my liking, I allow to dry for 24 hours.

Adding Caulk
#3- I like to collect dead leaves, bark, moss, and twigs from the forest floor. Since the trail camera I prefer to use is rather small, I like to process the material in to smaller pieces. I suppose there are numerous ways this could be accomplished, here is my preferred method.

I fill a large ziplock bag full of the material, get out as much air as possible and then seal the bag. I then place that bag into another zip lock bag, also removing as much air as possible. “Why do you bother to get the air out of the bags?”, you might ask. You’ll see why momentarily. Let’s just say I learned that hard way, & had quite the mess to clean up, the first time I tried doing this. Next, I will take an old towel & wrap it around the double bagged material. This is where the steel hammer comes into play! Pound away, to reduce the size of the material to the desired consistency. It doesn’t take long, and everything is reduced to small, pencil eraser sized particles.

Camo Material
#4- Liberally apply adhesive spray to the outside of the camera. Followed by repeatedly covering the camera with the camo material. I do this with the camera in an old box, to minimize clean up.

#5- Allow to dry for 24-48 hours, and this covert cam is ready for public land! Below is the finished product, as well as what the unit looks like in the field.

Allow to dry
Pics of the camera on public land.

Hidden Camera
Hidden Camera2
For your convienence I have also created a video detailing the entire Camo Mod process. I hope you enjoy.

For many more useful tips, and a vast database of knowledge, regarding bow hunting public land please visit Public Land Bowhunter’s Forum.

Please check out the offer below to help us offset costs


  1. Interesting method of camo job on your trail cam Dave. Since I have had a highs locked cam stolen I always try to hide them but keep foliage aways from sensors. I will try your method on a steel security box for my Spypoint Tiny W and see how that works. My only concerns are will the silicone leave an odour deer find offensive and/or will the glued on foliage eventually rot and cause issues.Something to consider but lets see how it works. I will send you a link to my Ripple Outdoors website when done. Maybe we can do a Hunt Talk podcast about it to.

  2. Sounds good. There is no smell, after cured. Something I have thought of, is to spray the finished product with a clear sealer. I believe that would preserve everything nicely. All the best- Dave

  3. Never used a trail cam waiting for the bugs to shake out. Your excellent vid will make it safer & easier to conceal. I’ll try it. Thanks much.

  4. Excellent read ! Great , usefull info ! I’ll give it a shot , as 90% of my hunting is on Public land .


Leave a Reply