When entering a survival situation you will have to work for every meal. Fats and proteins are essential to provide the energy required to survive brutal Mother Nature. Most inexperienced hunters will struggle to trap a meal in the wild. In this class I will teach you the best way to make a rabbit snare, which may be the deciding factor when facing a sticky situation. The main benefit of trapping your game is that once your traps are set you can focus on other important survival needs such as fire, water, shelter and signaling for rescue.
There are dozens of different ways to trap small game whether it’s pit falls, using boulders, deep pits and so on. I have always preferred snare traps as they are one of the most effective and fastest to setup. When trying to catch a meal in the wild, the more traps you have the higher the probability of your success. We are going to concentrate on small game like rabbits as they are usually the most abundant animals and easiest to catch.
A simple snare can be built with things you can find in the woods such as a small vine or thin tree branch which is a huge plus when in a true survival situation. However, the most effective snares are made with thin wire, cord or rope. I prefer to use 20 gauge steel wire. I always suggest you take some wire with you in your survival kit when heading into the deep woods.
Types of Snares
There are two common types of snare traps, a hold snare (Left) and a flip snare (Right). One method will hold the rabbit on the ground and may or may not strangle the rabbit. The second design will flip the rabbit in the air using a bent tree branch causing it to suffocate. While they are both fairly easy to make, both have their strengths and weaknesses. Each technique requires a loop in your wire which is free moving. This allows the loop to tighten to strangle the animal as they move forward into the snare.
I prefer to use a hold snare as they are a little easier to setup and the spring snare can be triggered accidentally. A spring snare can also fail in colder weather as most branches tend to lose their flexibility in the cold. However, a spring snare is a very effective technique and simply requires using a bent branch as the anchor point connected to a trigger as seen in the photo. It has always been my belief that it is a numbers game in the wild, and the more traps you can have set the more luck you will have. Thus why I usually use a hold snare.
Building the Snare
Step 1 – Cut a piece of wire (vine, rope, or cord) about the length of one arm.
Step 2 – Bend the wire in a small loop about an inch from one end. Twist the wire until the loop is tight enough that it won’t come lose or your whole trap will be a failure.
Step 3 – Bring the other end of the wire through the loop. This will form the larger loop that will lock around your preys neck.
Step 5 – Find a solid anchor point. You can drive a branch into the ground for this or with a spring snare the bent branch will act as your anchor point.
Step 6 – Place the snare.
Rabbit Snare Tips
No matter what type of snare you decide to use, you should set the diameter of the snare for the animal you plan on catching. I suggest a diameter of about four inches or the width of your fist for a rabbit. The height you set the snare off the ground also plays a critical roll as you are trying to catch the animal by the neck. For a rabbit I suggest about the width of your hand.
Another critical factor just as important as the snare itself is where you place it. You should look for animal tracks or droppings and try to find the natural path they travel along. Usually I will look for a place where animals go to drink such as a small stream. Look for a small opening in the brush or where branches and small sticks have been pushed to the side. This is the ideal place for your snare. Once you set your snare its on to the next. Remember that this is a numbers game, the more you place the more chances for success. I usually will set a dozen or more traps.
Check your traps every morning. When approaching the traps make sure to have a club or something to kill the animal as not all animals will be dead yet. Even the smallest animals can inflict wounds which can be deadly in a survival scenario. Always expect the unexpected in the wild.
For some people snaring may seem to be a cruel method or unpleasant. However, this simple technique could save your life when in the outdoors. Some hunters will trap and snare as a sport, and if you do please take the following precautions. Check with your local natural resource department on licensing as in most states a special license is required. Also please be responsible and pick up all your snares that didn’t trigger if you are out for sport! I hope you enjoyed this class on how to build a rabbit snare. Let me know how it works out for you.