By Blake Alma
If you are in a short-term survival situation, food is not a priority. However, if you know you will be stuck in the woods for a few days, trapping some meat will do you much good. If you are anything like me, you cannot think or operate without food. Food will give you the energy to build a shelter, collect some water, start a fire, or even escape the wild. In this article, I will show you how to construct the basic snare to trap some small game.
Where to put your snare?
By a Hole
Searching for hole outside can sometimes be hard or easy. You might have seen a chipmunk come out of nowhere. Well, it came out of a hole not from nowhere, Duh! That might be a good spot for a snare. Also Rabbits
have holes. So putting your snare in front of the hole is ideal, for when it come out it smells the bait. Look in the woods, your yard, or at a park for these holes.
Some might find this gross, some might have the art of the outdoors-man by their side so they are not grossed out. DO NOT WORRY, YOU DON’T HAFTA TOUCH IT! So fear not. When you find scat, it might mean an animal travels though that area. Henceforth, it might be a good spot to set your snare.
Now, we all have seen footprints in the snow before, but do you know what kind of animal it is? Setting a snare where the footprints are might lead to a food source, which will make you success rate much higher. Searching on the internet different animal footprint will be helpful!
Look for white and red oak trees. They most likely have acorns, meaning squirrels and chipmunks will feast on them. So it might also be a good place to set your snare.
You might see grass in a park or in your yard all trampled (bent over) down. It is like that because something travels over it often. It is called a game trail or path. If it is not very wide of a path, squirrels, chipmunks, or rabbits most likely travel that way, making it a great place to set a snare.
Now that we got that covered, we now need to talk about constructing your snare.
• 24 gauge wire
• A pencil
• A strong stick
Note: There are laws regarding trapping.
1. Using your pliers, cut about 15 to 20 inches of wire. Grab your pencil and the wire. Loop the wire around the pencil twice. Twisty tie the loop by rotating the pencil around. Pull the pencil out.
2. Put the other end of the wire through the loop, and for squirrels make that loop 2 ½ inches in diameter (which is the size of your fist). Rabbits 4 inches, Groundhogs and opossums 5 inches.
3. Grab your stick and attach the snare onto it by wrapping the extra length of the wire to the stick. Then twisty tie the rest back around it. Carving a groove, with a knife, in the stick is ideal so your snare stays in place.
4. Stake your snare in the ground in desired location. Make sure your snare is sitting up correctly.
5. Now you need to test the snare and see how and if it works. Make your hand as if you are putting on a mitten and slide your hand through the snare. Your thumb should be pointing down and the snare should tighten around your hand.
Hopefully, this good ol’ snare will trap for your life correctly. I have got several animals with this snare and I know you can too!
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About Blake Alma:
Blake is the host of The Outdoorsman’s Art Radio Show on WRVO Radio and the founder and managing editor at The Art of an Outdoorsman.
I’ve used this technique with great success. But instead of stiff wire, I keep a roll of picture hanging cable in my pack. It’s easy to manipulate without having to use pliers.
Thanks for this article, Blake! It’s clear, concise, and the pictures make it easy to understand. It also looks like something a less-than-strong person can do! I’m looking forward to trying it.
The best snare I have ever seen was made with guitar strings. So save the next pair that you remove!!!!!!!
Be careful using snares in places where domestic pets may roam unless you want to eat someone’s dog or cat . These traps are designed to kill and are not selective .
I think I understand your concern. However, pets should not be “roaming”, a responsible animal owner should always keep their animal fenced or on a lease. If someone’s animal ends up in my traps, on my property, I am not to blame. Fault belongs to the owner for allowing the animal to “roam”.
Could not agree with you more, Ten. I, too, declare myself not responsible if the neighbor’s mutt ends up in my snare. Should have kept it on a leash or inside a fenced yard.
Note: There are laws regarding trapping.
Not after SHTF.
Thanks for this….they are very clear instructions.
Guitar strings and all strings are the same as piano wire. I was told by a person who hand builds musical instruments. For those who want something cheap and easy, you can also buy those pre-cut fishing leaders at Walmart and other places. That’s what Dave Canterbury uses. You can see his video on YouTube where he demonstrates how to create a snare.
Another option is to buy or re-purpose some wire or buy some and use terminal connectors and ferrules or crimping beads to creates loops and locking mechanisms.
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