Skip to main content

Les Stroud: How to Build a Rabbit Snare

Les Stroud: How to Build a Rabbit Snare

The notion of catching game in a survival situation is an attractive one. The reality, however, is that catching game is difficult, especially if you're talking about anything larger than a rabbit. Without a gun, ammo, and hunting experience, the idea that you might kill big game is wishful thinking at best. So what does that leave us with? Small game.

The advantage of trapping and snaring small game is the same as that of fishing: You can set a series of traps that work while you don't. Done properly -- and in the right situation -- these simple devices can add enough sustenance to your diet to keep you going for a while.

In addition to hopefully providing you with food, the other benefit of creating traps and snares is that it is proactive and enables you to feel like you're doing something to better your situation. Another benefit of traps and snares is that they're effective anywhere in the world.

There's strength in numbers when it comes to traps. The more you set, the more luck you'll have. If you can set 45 rabbit snares, do it. You'll have to invest more energy at the front end, but you're also setting yourself up for greater rewards at the back end. Although many people tout the benefits of complex traps and snares, my philosophy is to follow the KISS method: Keep It Simple, Stupid!


The elaborate ones require tremendous effort and expertise and often don't yield any more than the basic ones. You'll increase your chances of success if you use bait in your traps and snares. Begin by scattering some of it around your trap. This will encourage the animal to develop a taste for the bait. When the outer supply is exhausted, the animal will likely venture in to the trap; its desire for more of the bait overcoming its natural sense of caution.


If you are lucky enough to snare or trap an animal, remember that you're not looking for a few choice pieces. In a survival situation, you eat everything on the animal except bowels and excrement.

A basic snare is a simple device: a looped cord or rope that tightens around an animal as it walks through. Getting a snare to work exactly as designed often requires a bit of fine-tuning, though. The loop must be big enough for the animal's head, not so big that the animal walks through unscathed, and at the right height off the ground for the animal's head.

Always position any trap or snare in a location where there is evidence of animal activity: runs and trails, tracks, droppings, chewed or rubbed vegetation. Try to disturb the area as little as possible when setting the trap; otherwise, you will tip animals off to your presence.

To build a rabbit snare, use a rope or cord to make a noose and drape it loosely over some foliage growing close to the ground.


Attach the lead rope of the snare to a bowed branch overhead. Then continue the lead rope to a trigger mechanism that will release at the slightest movement. If you're lucky, the rabbit will walk through the noose but catch the rope with a leg or paw. This releases the trigger, sending the bowed branch skyward and catching the rabbit in the noose.

To build a squirrel snare, lean a long pole or branch against a tree at approximately a 45-degree angle. Loosely wrap three or four wire nooses on the top and sides of the pole. The squirrel will use the pole to climb the tree. Should it feel the noose on its neck, it will try to leap to safety and hang itself.

This story is an excerpt from the book Survive! by survival expert Les Stroud, best known for his hit show "Survivorman" on the Discovery Channel.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

If you're tired of the same old jalapeno and cream cheese poppers, here's a completely different take on the popular party appetizer. Easy to make, and incredibly delicious, these mini cheeseburgers, wrapped in bacon, make the perfect one-bite-fits-all snack for your next tailgate party or hunting camp.

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

B&C Typical Mule Deer

B&C Typical Mule Deer

Doug Burris Jr's typical mule deer taken in 1969, could just be one record that will never be broken.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong Optics

3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong

Tony J. Peterson

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns.Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense? Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are created equal. How to Properly Grill Venison Steak Recipes

How to Properly Grill Venison Steak

Hank Shaw

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are...

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians; learn more about this tick-transmitted problem.Ticks Making People Allergic to Meat News

Ticks Making People Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians; learn more about this...

See More Trending Articles

More Survival

The first decision you'll make with regard to a shelter -- no matter how long you think you'll needLost in the Wild: How to Select a Site for Your Shelter Survival

Lost in the Wild: How to Select a Site for Your Shelter

Les Stroud - July 02, 2012

The first decision you'll make with regard to a shelter -- no matter how long you think you'll...

Think of your complete survival kit as something that should evolve and change according to yourHow to Adapt Your Survival Kit to Your Destination Survival

How to Adapt Your Survival Kit to Your Destination

Les Stroud - August 06, 2012

Think of your complete survival kit as something that should evolve and change according to...

When under shelter-in-place orders and not going anywhere, your vehicle should be fueled and ready to go in case things change. In this lesson, “Hollywood Weapons” host and former Green Beret Terry Schappert shares some tips on how to prepare your car or truck for the next time you might need it. Shelter in Place - Prepare Your Vehicle

Shelter in Place - Prepare Your Vehicle

Outdoor Channel Public Service Announcement - April 10, 2020

When under shelter-in-place orders and not going anywhere, your vehicle should be fueled and...

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns.Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense? Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

See More Survival

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now