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How to Make a Simple Snare

Knowing how to make a simple 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:

How to Make a Simple Snare Wrap the end of the wire a few times around a stick.
 How to Make a Simple Snare Twist the ends of the wire together and over each other a few times.
 How to Make a Simple Snare Remove the stick and you should have a nice loop.
 How to Make a 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.

How to Make a Simple SnareEngine
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.

40 thoughts on “How to Make a Simple Snare”

  • mr prepper

    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.

  • Jeff Greenspan

    Thank you for this information. What a great presentation...

  • mrs julie a neary
    mrs julie a neary January 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    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

    • Rick

      If you were close to town, why would you build a snare at all? In survival situations especially, meat is a great source for energy. Why would you walk in the woods unprepared and not have a knife or a couple of sources to start fire? While snares are good, it's better to walk in the woods with a firearm. The firearm will quickly dispatch the animal so it doesn't suffer and you don't have to wait for a snare to work, but if a snare is all you have, then go with it.

  • Sayldog

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

  • Bill

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

  • andy wilson

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

  • Chuck

    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.



  • Byron Kerns

    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.

  • Carrie Medford

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

  • bill

    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.

  • Greg

    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!

  • SchemaByte

    Greatly useful, and appreciate the visuals. Thank you.

  • Tom

    great article but nothing like a little comic relief!


  • charley

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

  • redgypsy

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

  • cliff

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

  • Rooinek

    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.

  • Ray White


    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.

  • Vern

    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.

  • Louis

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

  • Northwoods Cheryl
    Northwoods Cheryl January 8, 2014 at 1:29 am

    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.

  • oldtc78

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

  • Jack Parzatka

    Best laugh I have had in a while Bill.

  • Jade

    If you are interested see "" for good additional information as well as snare material...

  • Doug

    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?

  • jon

    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.

  • Michelle Sharpe
    Michelle Sharpe January 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

    @Doug: LOL! Good question! ;)

  • Chad

    @ 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.

  • Rooinek

    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.

  • Drew

    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!

  • I. P. Daily

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

  • Stewart

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

  • Storm

    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.

  • tapley jerry

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

  • Robby

    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!!!

  • Nadanme

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

    • mel

      Body fat doesn't count. The fat needs to be eaten with food so the fat soluable nutrients are absorbed. The setting and checking of the traps is where our pre existing body fat comes in. :)

  • Tim Nolting

    I've used snares, but instead of a sapling for power, a tarp strap or spring will work better.
    I once caught a 'possum after an ice storm, and the sapling was too frozen to do anything but lift one foot off the ground. (Didn't want a 'possum, anyhow).

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