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.

Recommended for You

North America

The Best Units for Hunting Elk, Mule Deer & Antelope

Chuck Smock

These are the must-apply units for trophy elk, mule deer, and antelope in the West.

SHOT Show

HUNTING's Booth Babes of SHOT Show 2014

David Draper - January 21, 2014

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention

News

The Ticks Making Hunters Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 13: Forest Buffalo

Craig Boddington returns to Mozambique's fame Coutada 10 for a shot a forest buffalo that's eluded him for 10 years.

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 10: Snowbound Chamois

Host Brittany Boddington gets more than she bargained for on what turned out to be a grueling, snowbound and extremely physical hunt for chamois in Romania's Carpathian mountains.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Ammo

Is the .308 the Perfect North American Big Game Cartridge?

Richard Mann - January 26, 2015

Books have been written, stories have been told and lies have been concocted in an effort to

North America

5 Great Last-Minute Public-land Hunts

Joseph von Benedikt - October 16, 2017

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can still make a 2017 mule deer hunt. According to...

Guns

Remington Timeline: 1963 - Remington Model 1100 Autoloading Shotguns

Hunting Online Staff - August 09, 2016

It was the fall of 1962, and a meeting was underway at the Remington firearms plant in Ilion,...

See More Stories

More Survival

Survival

The Best Hunting Boots This Season

PH Online Editors - October 15, 2013

Nearly every hunter can tell at least one story about stalking prey for miles, only to cover...

Survival

Les Stroud: How to Survive When Facing a Predator in the Wild

Les Stroud - May 30, 2012

Nothing gets as much play in the media as people getting mauled or killed by animals. And...

Survival

Becoming a Huntlete: How to Manage Extreme Hunting Conditions

Jace Bauserman

Looking to eliminate the fatigue, brain fog and poor decision-making that comes from improper...

See More Survival

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×