The DIY Hunter

Browning Trail camera mounted to tree with metal strap and colored with markers.

This shows my preferred way to mount a trail camera to a tree using a metal strap. Yes, you are right this camera does have an odd color. This old Browning Recon Force Trail camera has faded in the sun so I have used sharpie markers to color it.

I often get asked about how I set up my cameras. In this article and the images attached, you can learn my preference in mounting trail cameras on trees.

I like to use a short piece of 3/4" by 1/8" steel with drilled holes in it for my camera "strap." You can find pieces of this metal at a hardware store that are a couple of feet long. I cut the metal from 6 to 10 inches long and drill holes on the ends. I have been preferring to drill multiple holes so that I have options on which hole to anchor the screw through to the tree and I have various lengths of the straps in my pack so I have options for the length I may need.

I anchor the strap to the tree with Torx bit decking screws. Yes, this does require that I take a small cordless drill and Torx bits with me but the extra weight of the drill is worth it.

I use this metal strap mounting method with Browning Recon Force trail cameras that have a solid metal mounting bracket on the back that I run my metal strap through. With the metal strap going through the metal bracket and then screwed to the tree the cameras are locked on solid... they aren't moving unless you break the camera.

If you look at the photo below you can also see a zip tie locking the door shut. Sadly the newer Browning Trail Cameras do not have the padlock slot for my zip ties anymore. I like zip tying the door shut because bears and other animals will mess with your camera and often open the door exposing the SD card and electronics to moisture. I also like the zip tie to keep people from opening the door and taking your SD card or just messing with your camera. Leave the camera alone people, that's what the zip ties help tell people.

Browning Trail camera mounted to tree with metal strap and zip tied shut door.

In this setup, I am using the metal strap and I am also securing the door shut with a plastic zip tie.

I like these metal straps for a number of reasons. Security-wise I think traditional straps around trees are the biggest factor for people finding cameras. A strap going all the way around a tree is a dead giveaway from any angle you look at the tree. My metal straps hide the cameras better and a thief is going to need some equipment to remove my metal strapped cameras without damaging the camera. 

Browning Trail camera mounted to tree with metal strap and set at an angle to the tree.

In this setup, I am using an external battery pack to keep the camera taking video longer. Notice that I am able to solidly mount this camera on an angle on this less than a straight mahogany tree. With regular tree camera straps, it is difficult to mount a camera on an angle different than the direction of the tree.

Browning Trail camera mounted to tree with metal strap and set at an angle on the base of a pine tree.

Here I have a camera mounted low on the trunk of a pine tree. From this height on the tree, I am unable to run a strap around the tree because of the sidehill being higher up on the uphill side of the tree.

Browning Recon Foce Trail camera mounted to tree with metal strap.