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Anyone got experience with snares?

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  • Anyone got experience with snares?

    So after reading ole Mags' BOB thread, I went out and bought these Thompson self-locking snares. They came with instructions, but does anybody have any good tips / experience snaring small animals (rabbits, squirrels, etc.)? Thanks.

  • #2
    Okay Wildman… snares are very primitive, but they can be very effective. You have to practice with them; if you have a large yard with rabbits or squirrels, you could be having squirrel pot pie by sunset or creamed rabbit and biscuits for breakfast. Several well-placed snares have the potential to catch much more game than a man with a rifle is likely to shoot. I have 0 experience with the Thompson snares; I have always had to make my own. First, understand what a snare is: a noose that will slip and strangle or hold any animal caught in it. Take the pain PETA lovers. You can use inner core strands of parachute suspension lines (aka 550 cord), wire, bark of small hardwood saplings as well as hide strips from previously caught animals to make snares. Personally, I prefer issued trip wire- works great. You can also strip wiring from vehicles and use it and speaker wire works well. Wire seems to work better than cord (my opinion), especially when placing snares on tree branches for squirrels.

    To be effective with any type of snare, you must--
    (1) Be familiar with the species of animal you intend to catch.
    (2) Be capable of constructing a proper snare (practice).
    (3) Not alarm the prey by leaving signs of your presence.

    There are no “catchall” snares you can set for all animals. You must determine what species are in a given area and set your snares specifically with those animals in mind. This is very important; I have found snares most effective for rabbit and squirrel, but again, I have not targeted any larger game with snares; traps are more effective for larger game. Look for the following in the area to determine snare placement:
    (1) Runs and trails.
    (2) Tracks.
    (3) Droppings.
    (4) Chewed or rubbed vegetation.
    (5) Nesting or roosting sites.
    (6) Feeding and watering areas.

    Position your snares where there is proof that animals pass through. I cannot emphasize that enough; a little bait will help also. You must determine if it is a "run" or a "trail." A trail will show signs of use by several species and will be rather distinct. A run is usually smaller and less distinct and will only contain signs of one species. You may construct a perfect snare, but it will not catch anything if haphazardly placed in the woods. Animals have bedding areas, waterholes, and feeding areas with trails leading from one to another. You must find these locations and place snares around these areas to be effective.
    Snare concealment is important. It is equally important, however, not to create a disturbance that will alarm the animal and cause it to avoid the trap. Prepare the snare away from the site, carry them in, and set them up. Such actions make it easier to avoid disturbing the local vegetation, thereby alerting the prey. Do not use freshly cut, live vegetation to construct a snare. Freshly cut vegetation will "bleed" sap that has an odor the prey will be able to smell. It is an alarm signal to the animal.
    If possible and practicable, do your best to remove or mask your scent on and around the trap you set. Nearly all mammals depend on smell even more than on sight. Even the slightest human scent on a snare will alarm the prey and cause it to avoid the area. Actually removing the scent is difficult, but masking it is relatively easy. Use the fluid from the gall and urine bladders of previous kills. Do not use human urine. Mud, particularly from an area with plenty of rotting vegetation, is also good. Use it to coat your hands when handling the snare and to coat the snare area when setting it. In nearly all parts of the world, animals know the smell of burned vegetation and smoke. It is only when a fire is actually burning that they become alarmed. Therefore, smoking the snare is an effective means to mask your scent. If one of the above techniques is not practical, and if time permits, allow your snare to weather for a few days and then set it. Do not handle a snare while it is weathering. When you position the snare, camouflage it as naturally as possible to prevent detection and to avoid alarming the prey.
    Snares placed on a trail or run should use canalization. To build a channel, construct a funnel-shaped barrier extending from the sides of the trail toward the trap, with the narrowest part nearest the trap (use sticks, weeds, or other local vegetation). Canalization should be inconspicuous to avoid alerting the prey. As the animal gets to the snare, it cannot turn left or right and continues into the snare. Few wild animals will back up, preferring to face the direction of travel. Canalization does not have to be an impassable barrier. You only have to make it inconvenient for the animal to go over or through the barrier. For best effect, the canalization should reduce the trail's width to just slightly wider than the targeted animal's body. Maintain this constriction at least as far back from the trap as the animal's body length, then begin the widening toward the mouth of the funnel.

    The most common and easily employed snare is the drag noose snare. It is especially suitable for catching rabbits and squirrels. To make the drag noose snare, make a loop in the string/wire using a bowline or wireman’s knot ( I prefer a bowline). When using wire, secure the loop by intertwining the end of the wire with the wire at the top of the loop. Pull the other end of the string (or wire) through the loop to form a noose that is large enough for the animal’s head but too small for its body; tie the string (or attach the wire) to a sturdy branch. The branch should be large enough to span the trail and rest on the bush or support (two short forked sticks) you have selected. A snared animal will dislodge the drag stick, pulling it until it becomes entangled in the brush. Any attempt to escape tightens the noose, strangling or holding the animal. Yes, the animal will suffer as it dies, but it will still taste mighty fine. When using this snare for squirrels on branches, set several in a row. Squirrels and rabbits are easy to clean, easy to cook and are delicious and nutritious. If you find warbles in your game, you can choose to not eat that particular animal and go hungry, or cut the warbles out and drive on with your meal. Hope this helps.
    LH
    Last edited by Long_Hunter; 03-26-2010, 12:00 PM.

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    • #3
      Hey I really appreciate it, man. Good stuff. I'm gonna try it out this weekend.

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      • #4
        hey i know here is plowboy again but any way my grand paw showed me a trap called a dead fall it is made out of three sticks and looks like this 4 on the back youput your bait well here this may give you an idea 4\ the four is your triger and the forward slash is your big rock or box hey when i can post a pic ill make one and show you. this snare or deadfall is for small game like rabbits and such. in the back county this less thing you have to pack just three sticks . oh how long well the ones pap always made were about 5 to 6 inches long you knoch the stick so that they stand on there on. look for pics later when i can post

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        • #5
          back in the 70's and 80's I would use snares and deadfalls ("figure four" dead fall is described above by plowboy). I would use these methods when I ran out of legholds and conibears. Most of my snare sets were on runs or under the ice on muskrat runs. They work quite well. The deadfalls only needed to be in the general area, as they were bait driven and would bring the critters to the set. If you stick to Long_hunters advice, you should catch something. You can also use US Army trip wire for the small stuff..

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