Hunting Survival

Build Better Snares – A Complete Guide to Building Better Snares

How to Build Snares that Actually Work

In the modern world of high-tech gadgets and sedentary lifestyles, many people have lost touch with their more primal side. In spite of this, it can still be immensely valuable and rewarding to learn a set of survival skills. You might never need to use these skills in real-world emergency situations, but just knowing that you have them in your repertoire can give you a lot of confidence and peace of mind.

At the same time, if ever you do find yourself in some form of survival situation, knowing how to do things like build effective snares could be enough to save your life. In this article, we’ll go over the ins and outs of snare-building to help you learn and execute this useful technique.

Before we jump right into this method of hunting, I want to take a moment to point out that this is one of the least humane ways to kill an animal. I only recommend snaring if your survival relies on it. If you do have to use snares, check them regularly to ensure that an animal isn’t suffering in them for prolonged periods of time. Also work diligently to ensure that your snare is the right size and in the right location for a specific prey and can’t accidentally trap something you shouldn’t be targeting

Why Snares are Our Favorite Method of Trapping

Why would you want to know how to build snares? Well, it’s no secret that we need food to survive. In short-term survival situations, you’ll be more focused on securing water and shelter, and may be able to survive on whatever snacks and food items you managed to secure along the way. However, if you find yourself in the wilderness for more than a few days, it will become imperative for you to find your own food.

Meat is one of the richest sources of natural nutrition available to us, so catching animals is the smartest way for you to remain in good health. At the same time, you don’t want to expend too much energy in your search for food. This is where snares come in. They don’t take long to set up and can be left to do their job while you focus on other matters.

Identifying a Target and Location for Your Snares

It’s clear that snares are useful, but before we start talking about how to actually make them, there are some issues to consider first. To begin, you need to think about the prey you are trying to catch. You can’t start constructing a snare without knowing the size of the animals you’re hunting. In most survival situations, you should be focusing on small game. The populations of smaller animals tend to be higher than the larger ones, and it will also be much easier and less time-consuming for you to make several small snares than a few big ones.

guide to building better snare trapsYou should ideally be targeting animals like rabbits and squirrels, but small snares are also capable of capturing certain types of fowl. The key to using snares is to keep the odds in your favor. Set up as many little snares as possible, rather than risking it all on one or two big ones.

Now you need to think about the location of your snares. The areas in which you set these traps up can have a big influence on your chances of success. Placing them randomly will simply cause you to waste your own time and energy. Instead, you need to read the environment and look for the signs of animal activity. Try to find the trails that animals are taking, or even try to spot their own dens and homes.

To the trained eye, nature is filled with clues and signs of animal activity. Look for water sources, obvious trails, droppings, tracks, scratches and more. Remember that just like yourself, animals need food and water. They set up their homes and then follow similar routes each and every day to get a drink and find something to eat. If you can find these routes, they are the perfect place to prepare your snares.

How to Make an Effective Snare

Finally, let’s start talking about how you make your snares. There are actually dozens of different designs out there, some more effective and complex than others. Here, we’ll be focusing on one of the most useful types of snare: the spring snare. Used for thousands of years, this snare has proven its effectiveness time and time again all over the world. To prepare it, you’ll need four items.

snare trap guideFirst of all, there’s the noose, which should ideally be made from a bit of wire. There’s the leader line, which can also be made from wire or cord. There’s also the engine, which is usually a sapling that you bend over. Finally, there’s the 2-part trigger which you will prepare yourself from some wood.

The Noose

Let’s look at each of these components in a bit more detail. The noose is self-explanatory. It is designed to go around the neck of the animal and hold it in place. You can use all sorts of wire for your noose, but it needs to be prepared in such a way that it will tighten strongly around the animal when the trap is sprung.

The noose wire you use should be around 20 inches in length when attempting to catch small animals like rabbits. To prepare your own wire noose, make a simple loop at one end and then bend the wire back over itself. You can then run the rest of the line of wire through the hole you have made to finish off your noose.

The Trigger

Next, let’s look at the other parts in closer detail. The trigger is made from a hook and a base. The base will be inserted into the ground, and the hook attaches to the top of the base. The noose will also be attached to the hook. The leader line connects the hook to the engine.

snare trapThe idea is that the animal will enter the noose and thereby disturb the connection between the hook and the base, which will then free the hook. The engine is usually made from a bent over sapling so that it will spring back into position as the hook is freed, pulling the animal into the air and tightening the noose.

It’s important to remember that no situation is the same as the next. You might find yourself with different materials around you, so it’s important to use your own improvisational skills to craft the most effective traps. Different types of trigger can be made by using different styles of branch or other items. Nooses can simply be placed by themselves outside of burrows or dens.

Better Your Odds Through Funneling and Bait

You can also use the items around you to create your own trails and funnel your prey down a specific trail. Use rocks and logs to block off certain areas, forcing the animals to run towards your traps. Don’t change too much though, as animals can quickly become wary of changes in their surroundings.

You can also attract prey to your trap by using bait. Generally small rodents are feeding on game that you can easily collect and use as bait. Things like berries, insects, grubs, meat, carcass, and many other potential food sources will work as bait. Funnel your prey to the bait and increase your chances of landing dinner.

To sum up, we hope that this set of tips and advice can help you to start making snares that really will work. It’s important to remember that snares should only be used in situations of survival. It is neither legal nor moral to set up snares for any other reason. If you do need to use them, remember that the golden rule is to set as many as you can.

Some won’t work, but you need to give yourself the best chances of success. Also, remember to check the snares on a regular basis to potentially end the suffering of any trapped and struggling animals. The building of snares might be something that someday saves your life, so we certainly recommend that you start learning and mastering this skill today.

About the author

Mike Paris

Mike is the editor of NWT Outfitters and as you may expect, an avid outdoorsman... When Mike isn't logged into the NWT backend, he's camping, climbing, hunting, fishing, or doing some combination of the four.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to NWTO

Enter your email address to subscribe to receive notifications of our latest posts by email.