If you are ever stranded in the wilderness, or deliberately trying to survive on whatever you can forage, hunt, or catch, then you’ll have to know a few basics about catching wild animals.
While there are many methods for hunting that span back to the beginning of known time, your options might be pretty limited, especially if you did not intend to be looking for food in the wilderness. If you can hunt with a firearm or a bow, this is ideal, but you either might not have that option, or you might want to supplement whatever food you can kill this way.
Snares are a classic mode of catching prey, and everyone should know how to set and use one. They are relatively simple to construct, can be made using mostly foraged or very basic supplies, and have a good likelihood of catching you some dinner.
They way they’re made is simple. You will need wire or a thin, sturdy string or twine. Create a noose or slipknot style knot, so you have a loop that will tighten when pulled upon. The size of the loop should be about the size of your fist. Using small sticks, tie the free end of the string to a stick so that it will hang down, perpendicular to the ground.
You want to place the snare somewhere that an animal will have to pass through it, and then be caught in the trap as the loop tightens on it. A common way to do this is to bow one end of the stick so that it will shoot up when triggered, tightening the noose.
The trick to a successful noose is to check it regularly. When a wild animal is trapped, it will fight for its life to get free. If you’re able, set several of them in a certain radius of your camp, and make frequent rounds between them all.
To decide where to put them and how to bait them, try to establish the game that is most common in your area. For a snare, you will ideally want to go for small game that is likely to be on the ground, such as certain birds, rabbits, squirrels, etc. If you can identify a game trail, set your traps along this, or near a lake, river, or stream.
Being able to set a snare is a vital survival skill, and it’s never too early to know how to do it. Give it some practice now, and it might save your life one day.
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