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Nittany Lion
10-08-2010, 02:56 PM
What gauge wire is best for wire snares? I'm working on my survival kit and I've never had anything in it for trapping. Since small game season is upon us I may try my hand a making a few snares to test my tracking and trapping skills. I have some 30 gauge wire and I was wondering it that will be strong enough for wire snares for rabbits and squirrels.

Rick
10-08-2010, 03:23 PM
30 gauge is pretty small stuff. You probably need to be in the 18 - 24 gauge solid wire in brass, copper or stainless steel for small game like squirrels and rabbits. Large gauge, like Thompson snares, for bigger game.

Alaskan Survivalist
10-08-2010, 03:45 PM
I've never been a one to advise snares unless you are trapping for fur. Unless you are constantly checking them rigor sets in and rodents are deseased little critters to begin with. One thing I never see mentioned is if you do eat rabbits and such inspect liver and spline for solid color. Don't eat if spotted. You need 20 or 30 snares to make it worth while and there are better ways that expend less energy than checking trap line constantly. To me snares are just one step up from eating bugs.

Swamprat1958
10-08-2010, 05:03 PM
I've never been a one to advise snares unless you are trapping for fur. Unless you are constantly checking them rigor sets in and rodents are deseased little critters to begin with. One thing I never see mentioned is if you do eat rabbits and such inspect liver and spline for solid color. Don't eat if spotted. You need 20 or 30 snares to make it worth while and there are better ways that expend less energy than checking trap line constantly. To me snares are just one step up from eating bugs.

I agree with Alaskan Survivalist on needing 20 - 30 snares, but my opinion of the value of snares is far different than his. It is pretty easy to set a good number of snares and monitor them once or twice a day. This is a very efficient means of gathering food and is far better than hunting when it come to getting food in an emergency situation.

I suggest you Google R&P Outdoors and look at their snares. They are relatively inexpensive and work great. Get very few if any snares that are not rated for beaver size animals or bigger. One beaver provides a lot of protein.

Rick
10-08-2010, 05:25 PM
I'd be hard pressed to HAVE to use them but the only way I'd use snares around here is as squirrel poles. Less distance to travel and squirrels are everywhere (unless I'm actually hunting them).

Alaskan Survivalist
10-08-2010, 05:56 PM
It would have much to do with game situation in your local area. It's not the end all to every survival situation and to most will be about as useful as thier fishing kits in the handle of thier knife. I would urge prior usage before commiting it to your kit but I always say that. The have thier use and purpose but you should know thier practical application in your area.

For survival you can go without food quite awhile for the short term and for long term survival you need to put up larger quantities of food.

Rick
10-08-2010, 06:13 PM
All true and well put. Know your abilities and your limitations.

The only reason I say I wouldn't use them around here is I can walk a couple of miles in any direction and hit a road. Starving to death is not in my foreseeable future. There's a golden arch around every curve. Sort of like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but completely different.

SARKY
10-08-2010, 06:18 PM
I use .020 or .025 stainless steel safety wire. I get it at auto performance stores.

kyratshooter
10-08-2010, 09:54 PM
What gauge wire is best for wire snares? I'm working on my survival kit and I've never had anything in it for trapping. Since small game season is upon us I may try my hand a making a few snares to test my tracking and trapping skills. I have some 30 gauge wire and I was wondering it that will be strong enough for wire snares for rabbits and squirrels.

Check your local game laws. In most states trapping requires an addidtional liscense and the type traps are specified. In some places snares are illigal.

EdD270
10-08-2010, 10:09 PM
I like traps and snares for survival purposes since they keep working on their own while go do other things, like make camp furniture, eating utensils, improve shelter, boil water, etc. It's easy to check them one or two times a day, and they are more productive than hunting on a game per hour basis. Same goes for fishing. One poster said they see squirrels ll the time except when hunting. I know I and many others have experienced that when hunting and fishing. I'll set traps and snares whenever I can in a survival situation.
Sadly, for game snares are illegal in AZ, and traps are only allowed on private property with a special trapping license, and fish traps and weirs are illegal, too, except for crayfish. To practice skills I have to set up a snare or trap, test it, using a stuffed animal or just a representative stick, then tear it apart.

Alaskan Survivalist
10-08-2010, 10:30 PM
they are more productive than hunting on a game per hour basis. Same goes for fishing. apart.

Just not so. A two hour soak of my subsitence long line will feed you all year. Your statement needs to be clarified by saying best way to hunt rabbit, left it at that and stayed away from fishing all together. Pound for pound big game hunting takes less time and effort as well. You just can't justify that statement.

Camp10
10-09-2010, 06:54 AM
Just not so. A two hour soak of my subsitence long line will feed you all year. Your statement needs to be clarified by saying best way to hunt rabbit, left it at that and stayed away from fishing all together. Pound for pound big game hunting takes less time and effort as well. You just can't justify that statement.

A long line is more like trapping than fishing, right? You run it out and come back to check it later...thats a lot like a snare.

Big game in Maine really are two animals, moose and white tail deer. The deer herd is small and flighty in my part of the state and are a tough and challenging hunt. Moose are a different story and will provide plenty of food but there is quite a bit of work involved in processing one, especially in a survival situation when you will have very limited equipment.

It would still seem more of a benefit in my area to build snares and try fishing then to hunt a large animal and then deal with it before it spoils. I am an opportunist though and if something edible wandered to close to me, it would be on the fire.

Rick
10-09-2010, 08:32 AM
I don't know what you do with all the meat from a big animal in a survival situation. Seems a waste but then so does starving to death.

beetlejuicex3
10-09-2010, 11:35 AM
I've done a little snaring. Even if it's not effecient it's fairly passive.

kyratshooter
10-09-2010, 12:21 PM
In vast parts of the lower 48 game is not plentiful, big or small. You do not just go out, sit down and 2 hours latter have your year of food on the ground. In my area you can hunt all day and not see a rabbit or squirrel, only the coyotes that ate them scooting along at 200 yards. I see more deer on the freeway than in the woods.

You would have a better chance living on road kill than living off the land. Some of my favorite comedy writing is the work of people in the eastern U.S. talking about "living off the land". My state is not heavily populated but we still have 88 people per square mile.

This is another of the environmental variations from one end of the nation to another.

The first rule of survival is that one does not expend more energy obtaining food than the food provides.

In one area you can fire one shot, hang the kill in a tree to freeze and live on it for 6 months. In another environment one can walk for miles and never see game. In some areas you can kill an animal at 9am and by 11 am it has maggots working in it. Sometimes we forget that the U.S. is not uniform after one leaves the urban areas. There are still vast differences in climate and game density.

I have food preps stockpiled and little chance of "wilderness survival" in my future. What I do not have stockpiled is meat except in canned form and that gets boring quickly. I know that I will have snares set and will eat anything I catch in them, just to get a break from Spam. I will also have lines set for fishing. In my area a trout line will not feed me for a year in one set. One can not walk across the river on the backs of the fish in north KY. In fact, we have one river from which you can not eat the fish. People pull fish with three eyes and two heads out of that water!

I can expect one or two fish a day in the lines and a rabbit, squirrel or chipmunk every two or three days on the snares. That is the norm in my area. Checking the snares in known locations is more productive than walking 10 miles hoping to see something that whatever weapon you happen to be carrying is suitable for shooting at the range involved.

Rick
10-09-2010, 12:54 PM
to get a break from Spam

Blasphemer!

klickitat
10-09-2010, 01:17 PM
I will start this off by saying that I LOVE snares. I have ran trap lines on and off in my life and with out a doubt, once learned there is nothing more effective and efficient for hunting mammals as is snaring.

You can set snares to take what ever game you want while letting other game pass. You can snare weasels to bear and everything in between including dear and elk. I have even seen moose caught in snares.

In a survival situation, everything should be done at the same time. What I mean is that while you are checking snares, you should be gather edibles, collecting fire wood and hunting at the same time. You should also be scouting new sources of wood, water and even a better location for camp.

SARKY
10-09-2010, 11:15 PM
I ahem! seen deer taken with snares. Ive also seen them taken with Apache horse traps.

hunter63
10-11-2010, 10:48 AM
I done a little snaring myself , mostly to remove "those wascally wabbits" out of the garden.

When using wire, it helps to add a fishing line swivel some where on the tie wire.
I have had whatever literally twist off a solid tied wire.

I prefer soft wire, (still have some 10-17 iron wire about .020) as you can "preform" the loop and and will hold tight. (should have stolen more before our plant closed, LOL)
Sold as "tie wire", or picture wire.

klickitat
10-11-2010, 10:58 AM
Why does everyone in the survival "industry" suggest wire for snares? Why not use what professional trappers use, cable? You can get all different sized cable from your local hardware store. Buy a handful of washers and nuts and you can prefab a bunch of locking snares to throw in your pack. Down rigger cable is ideal for small game and 1/8" cable is suitable for bear and such.

Rick
10-11-2010, 11:43 AM
I'm sure there are lots of ways to snare game. Wire has always been cheap and easy to acquire for me and, truthfully, I'd never given much thought to anything else. I do have Thompson snares but I've never used them.

randyt
10-11-2010, 07:07 PM
I like using s.s. trolling line for rabbits, squirrel and such. I've used thompson snares for coyote, beaver, bobcat and such. the thompson work really well. I like their locks and swivels but I've heard they are stiff but I've not noticed. I like the trolling line because it is light weight and incidental catches will break through. but I'll use whatever I have handy.

Swamprat1958
10-11-2010, 07:55 PM
Why does everyone in the survival "industry" suggest wire for snares? Why not use what professional trappers use, cable? You can get all different sized cable from your local hardware store. Buy a handful of washers and nuts and you can prefab a bunch of locking snares to throw in your pack. Down rigger cable is ideal for small game and 1/8" cable is suitable for bear and such.

That was what I was referring to with R- P Outdoors I mentioned previously. Here is a link to the snares page of their website http://www.rpoutdoors.com/animalsnares.html.

I have done business with these folks since 1991 and they have excellent equipment. I never purchase anything less than a snare which will trap a beaver. One beaver is a lot of meat although they are a pain in the a$$ to skin, but if you aren't wanting to save the pelt it is a little easier.

klickitat
10-11-2010, 08:39 PM
done my fair share of beaver trapping. Ate my first beaver for Thanksgiving when I was in the 7th grade. We were poor and my Dad shot it just for dinner. I make all my own snares. I have not bought snares after I was shown how.

Swamprat1958
10-11-2010, 08:47 PM
done my fair share of beaver trapping. Ate my first beaver for Thanksgiving when I was in the 7th grade. We were poor and my Dad shot it just for dinner. I make all my own snares. I have not bought snares after I was shown how.

I have made them and purchased them When I was trapping a lot I purchased a spool of cable and made them, now I only trap a little and have long since ran out of cable, so I buy a couple dozen every year or so.

flandersander
10-27-2010, 08:04 PM
I've picked off rabbits with snares lots. My auntie makes rabbit stew or "hausinfeffer". I've caught 30 rabbits in 34 snares. Only once did I do that. Then again I've caught 0 rabbits lots. I use 19 gauge steel wire. I bought a 160 yard spool at home depot for like $4 bucks. Always good times catching rabbits.

Wise Old Owl
10-31-2010, 01:52 AM
I think you nailed it, one can have a good day or bad, In a survival kit this has always to me been dead weight. One also has to hide the human scent, and have a suitable bait, or the knowledge to properly set and hide the wire.

Has anyone here had an opportunity to set traps with a wire and not used bait? Honest how successful was it?

Rick
10-31-2010, 10:09 AM
I actually do it all the time. We have a boat load of chipmunks around here. I set a live trap with no bait and they trip it themselves. I set it up along a runway like the foundation of the house or on top or along the landscape timbers in my garden. Anywhere they would naturally run and they catch themselves. I even caught a small squirrel in one last week. I turned him loose for Ken's sake. Make no mistake, you can go days without catching anything and bait might attract more of them but traps with no bait does work all the time. The key is to find some place where movement is pretty consistent like a runway or trail.

EdD270
11-08-2010, 06:04 PM
Just not so. A two hour soak of my subsitence long line will feed you all year. Your statement needs to be clarified by saying best way to hunt rabbit, left it at that and stayed away from fishing all together. Pound for pound big game hunting takes less time and effort as well. You just can't justify that statement.

Yeah, I lump long lines, trot lines, jug lines, etc. in with traps and wiers for fishing. Anything that allows the fishing activity to go on without me being there, as distinguished from sitting on the bank with rod & reel, is much better than "fishing" with rod & reel in a survival situation. I've spent too many hours recreationally fishing with rod & reel and not catching anything to believe that is a viable option in a survival situation. I have no basis for believing that success rate will magically improve just because my life depends on it.
Unfortunately, like snares here in Arizona, trot lines, traps and weirs and etc. are illegal under our state game laws so to practice I have to build one, then immediately tear it down. But I know they work and if necessary I can use them to advantage. They, like traps and snares for land animals, allow pursuit and gathering of meat without spending inordinate amounts of time in the activity, freeing me to build and improve shelters, gather firewood, water, etc.
And yes, any land animal can be caught in a snare or trap, up to bear and moose. The trap has to be properly built of substantial materials, but they work. As for what to do with the meat from a large animal, you'd butcher it, eat what you can, then dry, jerk, and/or smoke the rest, even make some into pemmican or other foods by combining it with berries, roots, etc. you find in the area. Only thing is to make camp some distance away from the kill site of large game to avoid problems with competing predators who may be drawn by the scent.

flandersander
11-09-2010, 09:01 PM
I think you nailed it, one can have a good day or bad, In a survival kit this has always to me been dead weight. One also has to hide the human scent, and have a suitable bait, or the knowledge to properly set and hide the wire.

Has anyone here had an opportunity to set traps with a wire and not used bait? Honest how successful was it?

Are you sure you understand the concept of trapping? Maybe I have misunderstood your question, however, you do not usually need bait to snare an animal. You place the wire loop over the trail the animal is frequent to. This means the animal runs through the loop by it's own free will. Rabbits do not pay too much attentionto human odor in my expierence.

BigDaddy
11-10-2010, 12:17 PM
How about some pics of the snares y'all are using

wareagle69
11-10-2010, 03:54 PM
well let me throw my hat into this..
first off let me qualify this, i do not know scat about trapping, i just started my trapping apprenticeship this past monday, skinned my first two beavers last night, what i am about to talk about comes out of my trapping manuel that the ontario fur managers federation has put out, a 40 hour course is mandatory here plus being a trappers helper, allot of guys on the fire dept here are trappers so i have allot of expereince and opporunity at my disposal.

wareagle69
11-10-2010, 04:00 PM
well let me throw my hat into this..
first off let me qualify this, i do not know scat about trapping, i just started my trapping apprenticeship this past monday, skinned my first two beavers last night, what i am about to talk about comes out of my trapping manuel that the ontario fur managers federation has put out, a 40 hour course is mandatory here plus being a trappers helper, allot of guys on the fire dept here are trappers so i have allot of expereince and opporunity at my disposal.

page 53-58 cover snares, the basic componets are the snare cable, lock and ferrules, suspeneded snares are not legal in all parts of ontario so must consult local laws. airplane cable is highly reccommended but you can also use galvanized and stailess steel, multiple different sizes depend upon the type of animal you are wanting to harvest.
thats about all i can say to that, other than the fact that i beleive that haveing the ability to set some snares will help my chances of surviving a survival event. any benefit is not a waste of time, but everyone has a different philosophy, me personally thats why i am getting certified as a trapper to help myself in every avenue i can..

trax
11-10-2010, 08:24 PM
A lot of interesting points of view here. The original post asked about what snare wire to include in a survival kit. If basic survival is your concern, the legality is a moot point isn't it? Go to any outdoors store and they'll have rolls of brass snare wire, I don't know what gauge that will stop a rabbit or squirrel for you. It's all you need. Do what AS said and familiarize yourself with snaring before you need to. Otherwise you will be wasting a lot of energy. What flanders said is true for rabbits. Away you go.

flandersander
11-11-2010, 03:46 PM
Simply put- 19 gauge.

Rick
11-11-2010, 04:16 PM
22-24 gauge will work nicely for squirrel and rabbit. You can even use natural cordage if you use a spring snare.

EdD270
11-11-2010, 06:36 PM
To address the OP, the size of snare wire depends on how big the animal is you're trying to catch.
Cable is used by professional trappers, but they're not carrying it in a personal survival kit. For a survival kit I prefer to carry 50-lb or 75-lb. braided fishing line, like Spyderwire, as it's light, makes good snares, a bobbin will carry many yards and it is so useful for other things such as sewing up torn gear, lashing up shelters, etc.
For wire, the old mil surp boobytrap trip wire works well for squirrel and rabbit size animals.