JACKSON, Mississippi — If history repeats itself, hunters can expect to see a rise in burglaries in the coming weeks.
"Your deer camps, of course, because of the nature of what they are, they're in rural, isolated areas," Martin Pace, Warren County Sheriff, said. "They do fall victim to property crimes."
And as hunters begin to bring more gear to camp for hunting season, camps become more attractive targets for thieves.
"You see an increase essentially two times out of the year," Pace said. "One is during the season itself on weekdays when no one is there, and they are stocked.
"The other is after the season when they are essentially abandoned."
During the season, one of the biggest concerns is gun theft.
"First and foremost, we always encourage people to not leave firearms when they are away from camp," Pace said. "Firearms need to go with the hunter."
While most hunters don't leave guns at camp, there are plenty of other items thieves are interested in. Protecting that property is a matter of basics.
The most obvious line of defense is keeping everything locked. Check windows and doors before you leave camp.
Another step Pace recommended, if possible, is to form what amounts to a neighborhood watch. Let neighboring camp members or landowners know when no one will be at camp, and ask them to call law enforcement if they see something suspicious.
If your camp is burglarized, knowing exactly what was stolen is critical.
"Always know the make, model and serial numbers of items in the camp," Pace said. "Have that properly recorded somewhere.
"That dramatically increases law enforcement's chances of recovering the property and identifying those responsible."
Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com