How To Make Hunting Snares

Do you want to know how to make hunting snares? Snares can be an effective way of catching game. They are illegal in many places without special permits, so care must be taken to use them legally. Most often they are discussed as part of a survival situation where legality is a moot point compared to survival. There are various types of snares but in a survival situation you will most likely use what you have on hand which may not be much so we will discuss the basic noose snare.

Items needed to make a noose snare:

  • Cordage
  • Animal trail
  • Sticks for bracing and making funnels
  • Tree or strong stakes

The process to make a noose snare is like this:

  1. Study animal signs. This step is often forgotten or assumed in books and articles on how to hunt or trap game. We won't assume this because it can be important. In order to know where and how to find animals, and what animals you are finding by their tracks or scat, you need to have studied them before hand. Think how important this might be if you set up a strong rabbit snare and come back to find a grizzly caught in it. Could be an important difference. So take time before heading to the wilds to learn animal sign, and their behaviors and foods, at the very least it could mean getting a meal or not.
  2. Obtain cordage. According to Les Stroud, aka Survivorman "The basic snare is a simple device:a looped cord or rope tightens around an animal as it passes through." Simple device indeed, and the most basic need is cordage, enough cordage to make a large enough loop for the animal you are hunting. It can be made from twisting grasses, it can be shoelace, it can be para-cord, it can be wire or cable. It has to be able to be thin enough to not be seen, yet strong enough to hold the animal in place while it violently tries to escape.
  3. Find animal trails. For your snare to work you need to know where the animals will be. Look for animal trails, along edges of open areas, and where two types of forest meet. Look where animals will travel to and from feeding and bedding areas. It is best to know what kind of animal you are trailing so you know how large or small to make your snare.
  4. Create funnels.  If possible use sticks and natural debris to make a funnel along the game trail to guide the animal to your snare.
  5. Set up snare. Make your slip knot from the cordage large enough for the animal to pass its head through. Using a forked stick or overhead branch dangle the loop head high for the animal  you are trying for. Tie off the other end of the snare very securely to some a tree or a couple of strong stakes pounded deep enough to hold the animal you are hunting. Do no underestimate how strong and desperate they will be, so this is important to make strong enough. You can also make a simple drag noose snare which uses a large crosspiece attached to the snare. The animal drags the crosspiece through the brush until it gets caught up and stops it.
  6. Check snare set often. You will want to check your snares often, but not so often you disturb the animals natural movement. One reason to check is that you want the animal for yourself, not to give some other animal a free meal.

You have now set up your snare set. If possible set up multiple sets or other traps or fishing sets at the same time. It is best not to leave all of your chances on one way of catching food if your survival depends upon it.


Stroud, Les. Survive. Harper Collins Publishing, 2008.

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