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Types of snares


If you ever inadvertently find yourself in a survival situation, the ability to find and recognize forage foods is an excellent skill to have at hand since they will fill your stomach and they will provide you with much needed sugars, starches, vitamins, and minerals. However, Man does not live by rabbit food alone! In fact, the Human body absolutely requires the intake of sufficient protein to maintain its health and provide the body with energy and this is especially true in a survival situation. In fact, scientists have determined that our ancient hunter/gatherer forefathers actually consumed four to five times the protein the average human does today! Consequently, this has led some archeologist to believe that the reason that so many of the ancient animals that used to inhabit North America are now extinct is due to over-hunting by our ancestors! Thus, while the ability to use primitive hunting methods in a survival situation is also a very valuable skill, the fact is that setting simple traps and snares can do your hunting for you while you concentrate you limited time and energy on other matters and thus, they are an excellent way to obtain the protein your body needs in a survival situation.

So, let’s discuss setting snares first since they are quick and simple to construct. However, it should be noted that in order to be successful at snare hunting, you must first be able to locate and recognize game trails. Therefore, you need to be aware that game trails have a wide range of appearances that range from faintly worn paths through leaf litter to deeply worn depressions in bare earth. Next, you need to be aware that snares are divided into two categories consisting of those with spring mechanisms and those without and, while those without spring mechanisms are the easiest to construct, they are less reliable. So, to set a non-spring loaded snare, you start by selecting and cutting a slim, straight, sapling and then you remove the limbs. Next, you cut two sections approximately 18 inches in length leaving one stub approximately one inch long near the top of each stake and sharpen both ends. Then, you drive both stakes into the ground on either side of the game trail. Then, you cut and sharpen a third stake and drive it into the ground adjacent to the tail. Last, you take a piece of thin wire or cord and make a noose which you then suspend across the trail by hanging it on the two stubs you left on the top of the stakes and you connect the other end to the third stake. That way, when a game animal comes along, he will enter the noose and, when he feels it around his neck, his first reaction will to be to withdraw which then pulls the noose tight and asphyxiates the animal.


Simple Snare


However, this type of snare is not always reliable and thus, adding a spring mechanism can greatly increase your chances of catching game. Thus, you start by locating a place where there is a small sapling beside the trail and then, cut and sharpen two stakes with stubs as mentioned before and drive them into the ground on either side of the trail. But, before you set the stakes, you need to carve a deep notch in one near the top in such a way that one side of the notch is level while the other extends downward at a sharp angle. Then, you take one of the limbs that you removed and locate a strong branch near the base of the limb. Next, you cut the branch so that you leave a stub approximately one inch long and then, you cut the limb off immediately below the fork leaving about an inch and then cut the limb off above the fork so that it extends approximately four to six inches. Then, you proceed to bend the aforementioned sapling down over the trail while you tie a length of cord to the sapling so that it dangles over the trail. Next, you tie the other end of the cord to the extended end of the limb with stub you created and then you tie a shorter length of string or wire to the bottom end of the limb and then tie an noose in it. Last, you bend the sapling down far enough to enable you to place the stub you left on the limb into the notch that you carved in the stake and then, you release the sapling and use the stub and notch to hold the sapling in the bent position. Then, to complete the set, you simply drape the noose across the trail by suspending it on the two stubs you left on the stakes. That way, when the animal feels the noose and attempts to back out, it will pull the limb loose from the notch in the stake and allow the sapling to spring upwards; thus pulling the noose tight.


Spring Snare


Furthermore, simple squirrel snare can be made by attaching multiple loops of snare wire to a pole which is then leaned against a tree that has squirrel nest in it and, when the squirrel runs up or down the pole, his head will become caught in one of the loops.


Squirrel Pole



Plus, a simple bird trap can be made by a and weaving together small saplings to create a large basket with a loose weave which you then place inverted on the ground. Then, you suspend one end by placing a short stake between one edge and the ground and then, you bait the trap by strewing the ground beneath and around it with grass seed or similar seed. Last, you tie a long string to one end of the stake and retreat to a hiding place and, when one or more birds enter the trap, you pull the stake out to drop the basket on them; thus trapping them.


Bird Trap


Last, you should be aware that there are several different types of simple fishing traps. For instance, in saltwater tidal areas, simple fences with a holding pen and a funnel facing into the current can be constructed to trap fish as the tide recedes. Also, this same technique can be successfully used on small streams where the fish can be herded into the trap by wading noisily through the water. However, a more elaborate type of trap can be constructed to catch both fish and crayfish by first cutting numerous saplings and then using two of the limbs to form two circles; one significantly large than the other. Then, you lash saplings all around the outside edge of the larger loop and then lash the ends together to form a cone. Next, you lash more, much shorter saplings to the inside edge of the large circle and then, lash the other ends to the much smaller circle to form a funnel. That way, the fish can swim in easily but, they become confused with trying to swim out and become trapped.

So, although the traps and snares mentioned above are only a few among many, they are all relatively quick and simple to build with the natural materials at hand combined with a good survival knife and a little wire, string, or cord from your survival kit. Plus, as mentioned previously, most types of traps and snares can hunt for you when you are not there which leaves you time to improve your survival shelter, gather firewood, and hunt forage foods to broaden your diet. Thus, they are well worth leaning to build and the time they take to construct.



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Written by,


Bill Bernhardt

Outdoor Professional