Snares

Again a force multiplier in so much that a trap line is a setup, go home, do other things, and return later. I was very much a set up traps just after sunset, and retrieve before sunrise trapper.

Anyway, it’s an art, easily taught, can be hard to self teach,.
Although making snares is dead easy to improvise.
The ‘LEGAL’ snares all have stops (as shown below).
If you are caught without stops the fines in the UK are sometimes HEAVY.

Tying locking snares (Caution illegal and all over the UK).
First thing you’ll notice is no metal work, no bent washers or strips of metal, all these pictures show is how to tie (line or cord) or twist thin wire to make lockable snares. With rabbit you need to be thinking a minimum breaking strain of around 10 kg, hare 15 kg.

UK legal requirements call for a stop.

 

 

 

This is a retention snare. It job is to hold the catch not kill it. It also allows deer, dogs and cats to escape a leg hold.

You can fabricate snares out of just about anything from boot laces, fishing wire, para-cord, to electrical cable and stripping out the cores.

0.5 to 1 mm  is ideal for squirrel,
1.25-1.5 mm for rabbit / hare.
You do not need to use the brass wire, commercially produced snares!
I’ve tried brass and didn’t like it, preferring twisted strand stainless steel or old piano wire. I also use galvanised. Not to protect from corrosion, more because it’s ‘slippy’.

Squirrel. Basically stupid, will climb anything. this is a classic setup ,a leaning post against a larger tree is so easy. Don’t short change on the length, if the dangle is too close to the post, they can re-mount the post. One thing you should always remember. When a squirrel is still, not moving, it is not necessarily DEAD, and those teeth are like razors.

Lastly always think DANGLE and STRANGLE.
A springy sapling or a counter weight to lift the prey off the ground. (Note not required for squirrel posts). I always multiply the prey’s weight by 5.
Over kill? Maybe, but works for me.

Two reasons.
Firstly a quick kill is humane AND a prolonged struggle doesn’t spoil the meat as a build up of toxins always follows slow strangulation.

Secondly to get the prey off the ground stops ground predators like rats or fox from eating your supper. The smaller the prey, the better. Squirrel, rabbit, or rat, you can use a sapling (I use about an inch thick (25mm) sapling.

Snares are held in place using a tealer.
This one was made from a coat hanger, but a slotted stick is usually sufficient.

Where to set a rabbit snare.
They are creatures of habit that make clearly identifiable tracks.
To learn them, don’t walk in them but to one side. After a while you’ll see ‘something like’:

A tick is good, a cross is bad, and a large plot is where a rabbit browses so they aren’t moving at speed. Only that’s what you need, a rabbit moving at speed.

Fox snares.

Anchor notes. Determine what type of end you want on your snare.
Never skimp on anchors. Think of the prey weight and times it by 5.
10 kg fox, you need something that will hold 50 kg minimum. The same for the breaking strain of the wire. Always used twisted stainless steel. As opposed to a twist joint, try to use a crimp joint.
Whether you prefer to use a rebar stake , earth anchor, tree, or fence post. the anchor twist is best left as a sliding loop and locked onto the anchor with a heavy duty snap link.
Swivels are a must to avoid tangles as the animal as it rolls and fights. If you want to live catch anything, or preserve your snare, a swivel is a must. Only remember, prey weight times 5 as a minimum breaking strain.

Deer Stop: A standard deer stop makes a 65 mm diameter loop. The deer stop allows a leg caught deer to pull its leg free, while the stops shown are fitted to RETAIN the animal until you dispatch it. So that’s protected the deer, but what if that’s what you are after?

Size of a deer snare? two feet wide and three feet tall.
Bottom of loop to be at belly height. That is determined by the breed you are after. As for the snare rating? I still use body weight times five. 100 lb prey, 500 lb cable and ALWAYS using crimped loops on loops. As for a swivel? Deep sea and shark fishing swivels are usable but use way bigger than you need to as you should never underestimate the fighting power of a deer trying to get free.

Your anchor should be nothing less than a tree.
Some use drags. They are not so safe, especially when you approach a deer.
A drag is a felled tree with the branches towards the snare.
Think of it as an abatis. AKA natures tank stoppers!

Except  the criss-cross is for vehicles.
You only need one tree for your drag. Lopped branches about 6 feet across, (two meters).

Caution. Everything I’ve scribbled about is going to be illegal somewhere. Some counties (states) call for a licence. Others not, but most have strict laws on how to do (and not to do) things. Plus a list of things you are allowed to catch and when.