How to Make a Simple Snare

Written by Brandon Garrett

Knowing how to make a snare can be very helpful in an emergency situation. Imagine that you are stranded in the woods and need to find food quickly. If you have some snare wire in your backpack or emergency kit, you can easily catch some dinner.

Follow these instructions to learn how to create a snare in order to catch some food!

The first thing you’ll need to determine is where the prey is located. It’s not going to do you any good to set a trap where no animal will be.

You’ll want to look for signs of animals like tracks, droppings, plants that have been eaten, flattened vegetation, etc. The best area is probably around feeding areas or watering holes.

Noose and Loop
The simple snare is the basic tie behind any trap. Ideally, the animal would walk straight through the loop and set off the trap. You can start creating a simple snare by following these instructions:

Snare Wire 1 Wrap the end of the wire a few times around a stick.
 Snare looping Twist the ends of the wire together and over each other a few times.
 Snare tie Remove the stick and you should have a nice loop.
 Tie Simple Snare Thread the other end of the wire through the loop. You should be able to tighten the snare by pulling on one end.

You’ll want to set up your snare near some type of tree or shrub. A young tree is always a good engine because it’s bendable and quick to snap back into place.

You’ll be bending the sapling over and tying it down to the snare in order to act as tension. If you find yourself in an area void of trees or shrubs, you can always use dead weights like rocks.

The trigger consists of two parts: The hook and the leading line. The leading line connects the trigger to the engine – usually a wire of some sort.

The trigger is connected to the noose and should tighten very quickly when pulled by the engine.

You can build an effective trigger by finding two pieces of wood and carving interlocking notches into the sides of each. The base of the trigger should be sturdy and stay in the ground. The hook in the trigger should be able to slip out at the slightest touch, so that if an animal passes through the noose, the trigger will slip out and tighten up by being pulled with the engine.

You can also modify the trigger to connect directly to a fishing line. When the fish pulls on the bait, the trigger will release and the engine will tug on the fish – hooking it in. However, you have to be careful not to have an engine that pulls too hard and rips right out of the fish’s mouth.

Here are a few different options when building a trigger:

Carved snare trigger Carved Trigger. This trigger is very effective but requires a knife or some type of carving utensil.
 Y Snare Trigger Y Trigger. This trigger is great when you’re stuck without a knife or carving tool. You can simply find two sticks and roughen the two edges.
 Peg Snare Trigger Peg Style Trigger. Rather than having a base that sticks into the ground, you can stick a peg into a nearby log, tree or stump. This also allows you to apply bait to the peg.

Thanks to Willow Haven Outdoor for many of these ideas.

Your Ideas
So, have you ever had to use a snare before? What did you find helpful? Comment below to share your knowledge.

Updated January 18, 2013


  1. mr prepper wrote:

    I’ve used snares just like this one and they work great. I’ve seen them catch any thing from a rabbit to a wild pig believe it or not. You can build them in a very short time so you can make several to have a better chance to catch food. Great detailed information. Thanks Mr Prepper.

    January 18th, 2013 at 1:52 pm
  2. Jeff Greenspan wrote:

    Thank you for this information. What a great presentation…

    January 18th, 2013 at 11:36 pm
  3. mrs julie a neary wrote:

    photos very good

    it means a dead or sick animal so we dont encourage in town

    accidents happen in woods walking with the blind
    or with the short sighted

    human anklees are sometimes cut by wire

    and it assumes you want meat and have the power to cook it

    really you want to know your berrys and vegetation
    and know what is safe to eat in small quantity for survival

    and quite honestly

    most people wouldnt want to stay in the great opne outdoors for long

    so a nature trail trip is best prepared for

    and a means of eating and getting home thought about

    i know you write well on shelter too

    January 19th, 2013 at 4:22 am
  4. Sayldog wrote:

    mrs julie a neary, all I can say is , wow.

    January 19th, 2013 at 5:58 am
  5. Bill wrote:

    I was well put together with a lot of good information.

    January 19th, 2013 at 7:22 am
  6. andy wilson wrote:

    Do you have any books on making snares that are for sale.

    January 19th, 2013 at 8:06 am
  7. Chuck wrote:

    Mrs Julie –

    Thanks for your comments and of course all of us readers here value everyone’s opinions, but – I believe this article is geared towards survival in the wilderness, not snaring animals in city parks. If you are in a situation where you need to eat it having the ability to catch a good source of protein and nutrition could mean the difference between life and death.

    Remember the context of the website and article, this is great information we all need to have in an extreme emergency – which is why I read the articles on the Ready Store.



    January 19th, 2013 at 8:31 am
  8. Byron Kerns wrote:

    Remember … your human scent will be all over the wire and any trigger you may incorporate in your snare. Hold all parts of your snare in the smoke of a fire. And, before “smoking the parts” be sure to rub in dirt/mud and take off the “shine.” – V/R – Byron.

    January 19th, 2013 at 9:30 am
  9. Carrie Medford wrote:

    Thanks for this great information. I made sure to share it with my fans!

    January 19th, 2013 at 12:50 pm
  10. bill wrote:

    It is also important to test a snare. If you have access to a school or a playground, small kids are great way to test these out. I bagged a 3rd grader last weekend, and something else. Not sure what the other one was because it chewed off its leg to get out of the snare. It wore size 5 Adidas.

    January 19th, 2013 at 12:53 pm
  11. Greg wrote:

    Keep up the good work with these survival tips and DIY articles. Phots are always helpful. You stand head & shoulders above the other web sites out there. Mrs Julie…seriously? This is for a SURVIVAL/EMERGENCY situation, not play time during recess. Byron: excellent tip!

    January 19th, 2013 at 4:30 pm
  12. SchemaByte wrote:

    Greatly useful, and appreciate the visuals. Thank you.

    January 20th, 2013 at 3:13 pm
  13. Tom wrote:

    great article but nothing like a little comic relief!


    January 20th, 2013 at 8:59 pm
  14. charley wrote:

    My Grandpa taught how to make this snare when I was a kid. I saw him catch a squirrel with it.

    January 23rd, 2013 at 5:39 am
  15. redgypsy wrote:

    Bill–you made my day!
    (Sick. We’re both sick, I tell you) (and Tom is, too!)

    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:28 pm
  16. cliff wrote:

    So, animals just walk into the trap – no bait or anything?

    January 24th, 2013 at 8:01 am
  17. Rooinek wrote:

    Good basic article on the use of snares. A word of warning though. While rabbits would be a seemingly obvious target for capture with a snare a diet of rabbit meat alone will kill you. Seriously, it will, unless you can introduce fat into the diet as well as vegetation. It is a condition known as rabbit starvation where the hopeful survivor starts with diarrhea that dehydrates the body. A continued diet of rabbit and water will hasten the death. Food for thought. Lesson learned? Fat is an essential part of a survival diet.

    January 24th, 2013 at 9:08 am
  18. Ray White wrote:


    That’s why you need to site the snares along a game trail–which means you need to know how to spot a game trail like the article said.

    January 26th, 2013 at 9:13 am
  19. Vern wrote:

    the neat lincoln logs make great hook and base parts. All you have to do is cut one side down into a point for the base and for the hook if you so want to with the hook. Just an idea for people putting together a bug out bag.

    February 19th, 2013 at 1:13 am
  20. Louis wrote:

    All you need to make sure of is that animals pass by more than once in a blue moon.

    January 8th, 2014 at 5:20 am
  21. Northwoods Cheryl wrote:

    I have actually snared a duck using one of these. And yes, I ate it!! It works very well. Just be sure you have another way to dispatch of the animal you snared.. I caught the duck by a leg. I hope someone gets Mrs. Julie Neary a good survivalism manual.

    January 8th, 2014 at 8:29 am
  22. oldtc78 wrote:

    LMAO…. testing on a play ground!!!!

    January 8th, 2014 at 11:20 am
  23. Jack Parzatka wrote:

    Best laugh I have had in a while Bill.

    January 8th, 2014 at 1:11 pm
  24. Jade wrote:

    If you are interested see “” for good additional information as well as snare material…

    January 8th, 2014 at 1:46 pm
  25. Doug wrote:

    My concern with snares, is if the snare is constantly filled with blind and shortsighted folks, and third graders… How many snares would a person need to have set to make sure an animal is found in a snare?

    January 8th, 2014 at 2:37 pm
  26. jon wrote:

    Fish hooks and line can also be used to catch ducks or upland game birds. Just bait the hook with an insect, like a grasshopper, and tie it to a tree. When they swallow it, they are hooked.

    January 8th, 2014 at 4:20 pm
  27. Michelle Sharpe wrote:

    @Doug: LOL! Good question! ;)

    January 8th, 2014 at 6:04 pm
  28. Chad wrote:

    @ Rooinek if you cook and eat the liver,heart,brains,marrow out of the bones, ect. of the rabbit there will be enough fat in the diet to ward off protein poisoning and it’s life threatening effects. just remember if in a extreme emergency situation eat it all and use the pelts to keep you warm.

    January 9th, 2014 at 3:40 am
  29. Rooinek wrote:

    Good basic article. Remember that in most States it is a legal requirement to check your snares/traps once per day, then there are trapping seasons to be aware of as well. In practice in a genuine survival situation seasons and bag limits would not apply.

    January 10th, 2014 at 3:15 pm
  30. Drew wrote:

    Thank you for this. I was just as surprised as many of you by Mrs. Julie’s post. I have to say that, sadly, I think this represents a wide majority of our population. Many folks think that if the big one hits, their commercially purchased, never tried out, bug out bag is going to keep them comfortable as they are at home. Too many folks just don’t get it. Glad I’m not one of them!

    January 31st, 2014 at 3:44 pm
  31. I. P. Daily wrote:

    Nice stuff…. but it’s not yours. You copied another’s work.

    August 14th, 2014 at 6:49 pm
  32. Stewart wrote:

    What type or size (diameter) of wire works best?

    October 15th, 2014 at 10:07 am
  33. Storm wrote:

    Good article.

    @ Stuart – I make EDC emergency kits into paracord keychains and bracelets. I include fishing tackle, fire starters, blades, and wire good that is good for snares. I use 22 gauge wire coated steel wire in green. Blends into environments pretty well.

    @Bill – Love the playground comment! Awesome.

    October 15th, 2014 at 1:21 pm
  34. tapley jerry wrote:

    Yes they work well but not all the time…It takes time and you will not gain a lot of poundes ha ha…

    October 15th, 2014 at 6:57 pm
  35. Robby wrote:

    There’s to many ignorant development and city people on here. call on your home shopping network or government when your in the dark, cold and hungry. while were surviving we can laugh at you dummies, that will keep our spirits up!! as for the serious people, please keep the comments up, we will learn together and survive!!!

    October 16th, 2014 at 4:28 pm
  36. Nadanme wrote:

    at 260 lbs I have fat I need protein. you could boil the bones and skin to drink any fat.

    October 17th, 2014 at 8:23 pm

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