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Thread: All I know on Snares & Snaring

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    Tracker Beo's Avatar
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    Default All I know on Snares & Snaring

    Snaring and snares has come up on here so many times I cannot count, so here is what I know of snaring the way I do it when trekking for a week or more in the forests, mountains, and river bottoms of Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, remember this is my way and others here are more knowledgeable or professional guides who do this for living or live off the grid and do it as a way of life. I hope this helps you in some way.

    The Modern Cable Snare
    The modern cable snare is made of stranded steel cable. This cable comes in two basic configurations known as 7x7 and 7x19. The 7x7 cable consists of 7 strands of small diameter wire wound into a larger strand. Then, 7 of these larger strands are wound together to make the finished cable. The7x19 cable uses 19 very small wires wound into a strand with 7 of these strands making up the cable.
    Steel Cable comes in several different sizes that designate the diameter of the cable. Cable measuring 3/32 of an inch in diameter is the most popular size for snaring.
    Another integral part of the modern cable snare is a sliding lock. A Snare loop is pulled closed, the lock slides down the cable. However, the lock will not slide in the opposite direction. This is what keeps the animal from backing out of the snare or shaking the snare off.
    Locks come in a variety of shapes, forms, and configurations. Some states require by law a relaxing lock which is defined as a lock that stops exerting pressure when an animal quits pulling on it. Locks that use springs or other powering devices to hold them closed are not legal for use in many states.
    Modern cable snares also have some device on the end of the snare for fastening it in place. The simplest form of this is a loop fashioned in the end of the cable. However, most snares utilize a swivel as an end fastening device. Swivels are highly recommended because they allow the animal some freedom of movement while its detained in the snare. They also help keep the cable from getting badly kinked and twisted as the animal is detained in the snare wich could possibly lead to breakage of the cable.
    Ferrules are used to hold the lock and fastener in place on the snare. These ferrules are hammered or crimped into place on the snare cable. There three basic types of ferrules: aluminum, coiled steel wire, and annealed steel nuts.
    Another component that may be found on a snare is a stop crimped on the cable that prevents the snare loop from closing past a minimum diameter. These are commonly known as deer stops because they allow deer to shake a snare off its foot should the deer get its foot caught in the snare. Be sure to check your state regulations to make sure you get the legal snaring information needed.
    Snare Cable
    Modern snares are made of multi-strand steel cable. It is sometimes called aircraft cable. This cable is very strong and can hold an animal alive over an extended period of time. This eliminates the need to construct the snare as a lethal device. There are two basic types of cable. 7x7 cable has seven large strands of cable each made of seven small wires. 7x19 cable has seven large strands each made of nineteen small wires.
    How the Lock Works
    The lock is a very important part of the snare. The lock can only travel in one direction on the snare cable. The snare is set with an open loop so the animal can enter the snare. As the animal pushes against the snare, the loop is drawn closed and the lock slides down the cable. Since the lock cannot travel backwards on the cable, it holds the loop closed and keeps the animal from escaping.
    Locks
    A wide variety of snare locks are available.
    Washer Lock
    This is one of the more commonly used snare locks. It is called a washer lock. A deer stop may be required with this lock.
    "L" Lock
    This is an "L" lock. It functions in the same manner as a washer lock. A deer stop may be required with this lock.
    "Thompson" Lock
    This lock was one of the earliest locks developed for use with multi-strand steel cable. There are several other brand-name locks that follow this design. A deer stop may be required with this lock.
    "Reichart" Lock
    It is made from a bend washer. A deer stop may be required with this lock
    "Cam" Lock
    This is a "Cam" lock. The lever at the bottom of the lock binds against the cable in a camming action to hold the lock closed. A deer stop may be required with this snare.
    "Gregerson" Lock
    This is a "Gregerson" lock. It is made of thin sheet metal. This lock will tear away from the snare cable if a force of approximately 350 pounds is applied.
    Ferrules
    Ferrules are used to hold the lock on a snare. They are also used to hold the swivel on a snare or form an end fastener on the snare. The ferrules are hammered or crimped onto the snare cable. Special steel nuts are often used as ferrules. These nuts are heat treated to keep them from cracking when they are hammered on. Another type of ferrule is made of coiled steel wire. The coil is slipped over the cable and hammered in place.
    Swivels
    It is highly recommended that a snare be equipped with a swivel. The swivel provides a means for fastening the snare in place and also provides some comfort to the animal. A swivel also helps keep the snare cable from getting too badly kinked and twisted while the animal is detained in the snare. If a cable gets badly kinked and twisted, there is a possibility it could break allowing the animal to escape.
    Last edited by Beo; 09-02-2008 at 11:26 AM.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.


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    Deer Stops
    Deer stops are installed on snares to prevent the loop from closing past a minimum diameter. This will prevent the snare from closing around a deer's foot if one of these animals should accidentally encounter the snare.
    Unlike other trapping devices,snares can only be used once. After an animal has been caught in a snare,the cable will be bent and will no longer function properly. But all the mechanical parts may be able to be reused to make more snares.
    How A Snare Works
    There may be some questions as to how a snare works if there is no powering device to close the snare loop. The fact is, the animal itself provides the power to close the snare. In use, the snare loop is suspended above a trail or path the animal is expected to take. The animal, walking along, enters the snare loop and continues its forward progress pulling the snare down on itself. On the surface, this may sound odd, but if you take into consideration how an animal travels through its environment and the conditions it meets there, this becomes more understandable .As an animal travels along, it regularly encounters weeds, vines, and small pieces of brush in its path. An animal does not make a detour every time it encounters one of these objects. Instead, it simply pushes its way through the obstruction. If by some chance the animal cannot muscle its way through, it will then back up and make a detour. An animal perceives a snare in the same manner that it perceives a vine or weed. It does not recognize the snare as a danger. On encountering the snare, the animal behaves as if the snare was just another vine or weed and tries to push its way on through. When it finds it cannot break free of the “vine” the animal will try to back out. However at this point, the snare is cinched down on the animal, and the lock keeps the snare from opening up.
    Fastening and Stabilizing Snares
    Like any other trapping device, a snare must be fastened in place to hold the animal while it is detained in the snare. Some state regulations require that a snare be fastened to a solid, immovable object or that it be staked. One easy way to fasten a snare is to stake it in place as you would a foothold trap. Make sure the stake is long enough and strong enough to hold any animal that might get in the snare. Wood stakes can be used for snares, but many trappers prefer to use steel stakes because they are more durable. In using a snare on a stake, you should try to provide swiveling at the stake as you would for a foothold trap. With a wood stake, the snare swivel itself may provide the swiveling action you need. Some snare swivels are designed to accept a steel stake right through the swivel. You also have the option of fastening a regular stake swivel or s-hook to the end of the snare to provide for use with a steel stake. For larger animals, like coyotes, you may want to consider using a cross-stake system to hold the snare. The same devices used to cross stake foot-hold traps can be used to cross stake a snare. The other option for fastening a snare is to anchor it to an immovable object. Usually this comes in the form of a tree or a large log that the animal cannot move. If the anticipated path of the target animal comes close to a tree or a log, this would be a good place to construct a set. To fasten a snare to a tree or log, use a piece of heavy gauge wire to completely encircle the trunk. Pass the wire through the snare swivel and twist it closed. Sometimes a snare is not quite long enough to reach the object that you want to fasten it to. In this case, you should use an extension made of snare cable to lengthen the snare. You can purchase these or make them using a length of cable and forming a loop in each end. NEVER, use wire to extend a snare. A wire snare extension could easily kink and break as the animal struggles in the snare. Another aspect of getting a snare in place is stabilizing the snare so it hangs in the proper position. A snare must be supported so that the loop hangs vertically and will be in the proper position to intercept the animal. The best way to do this is with a piece of wire. One end of the wire is fastened to the snare cable and the other end of the wire is anchored solidly. Bending the wire allows you to position the snare. In attaching the wire to the snare, there are several options. You can bend a small hook in the wire and crimp this onto the snare cable. However, crimping the wire to the snare may interfere with the action of the swivel. Another way to attach the wire to the snare is to bend the end of the wire into the shape of an “N” and thread the snare cable into it. Some snares are equipped with coiled wire support collars that will accept a certain size wire. Here the wire is slid under the support collar where it pinches against the cable. For the anchored end of the stabilizer wire, you can wrap the wire around a stake or wrap it around a tree or log, especially if you have fastened your snare to this object. One option is to leave a long tail on the fastening wire and use this tail to support the snare. You can also anchor the end of the support wire by spearing it in to the ground. Wire in size 11 or 12 gauge, or larger, is best for fastening and stabilizing snares. You should not, however, use wire to extend the length of a snare. When an animal is detained in a snare, it has the use of all four feet and can pull hard against the fastening. If wire gets kinked and bent, it can readily break. If you need to extend the length of a snare, use a piece of snare cable with a loop formed in each end. The cable is designed to hold up under the struggles of the animal.
    Using a stake is a good way to fasten a snare. Steel stakes often serve better for land trapping because they are more durable. The stake system must be strong enough to hold the largest animal that can get in the snare. In poor soil conditions it may be necessary to use a cross stake system. If the snare swivel does not fit well on the stake, you can use a regular stake swivel and fasten it to the snare. An s-hook would also work.
    Use a length of heavy gauge wire wrapped around the object to fasten the snare. Pass the wire through the snare swivel.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

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    Tracker Beo's Avatar
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    Stabilizing Snares
    To function properly, the snare loop must be held in a fixed position to intercept the animal. Heavy gauge wire works best for stabilizing snares. One end of the wire is affixed to the snare, and the other end of the wire is anchored to make it stable. One method for fastening the wire to the cable is to make a small bend in the end of the wire and crimp it onto the snare. However, this wire may interfere with the swivel because it is crimped on the cable.Some snares are equipped with wire collars. The stabilizer wire is inserted inside the support collar. However, these support collars are designed to take only a certain size wire. Usually they are made to use 9 gauge wire. One way (and a popular one) to anchor the support wire is to fasten it to a small stake. The wire could also be fastened to the stake you use to hold the snare. Another way to anchor the support wire is to tie it around the object to which you have fastened the snare.
    Non-lethal Snaring
    The old fashioned spring pole snare was intentionally designed and rigged to dispatch any animal that got in it. The modern cable snare does not have to be used in this manner because it is made of better and stronger materials. It can be used as a non-lethal capture device. If an animal detained in a snare is given some freedom of movement, it is very unlikely that the animal can or will pull hard enough on the snare to asphyxiate itself. Here, the animal behaves much in the same manner as a pet dog that is leashed with a choker chain. However, under certain conditions and in certain situations, a cable snare can become a lethal device. Whether or not a snare is lethal is not so much a function of the snare itself, but it is more a matter of where the snare is placed. If an animal captured in a snare gets it self in a position where its feet cannot touch the ground, the results would be much the same as if it were pulled up by a springpole. It could succumb to asphyxiation. This can happen if an animal gets tangled up in something at a set and cannot get its feet back on the ground. This situation is commonly known as entanglement. By avoiding entanglement situations, you can be relatively certain that your snares will function in a non-lethal manner. A classic entanglement situation can be found where a snare is set under a fence. An animal captured in this snare could possibly climb through or jump over the fence and become entangled. A similar situation exists where a snare is set in a patch of brush. An animal could get the snare tangled up in the brush, be suspended, and asphyxiate. Another, less obvious entanglement situation can occur if there is a very small sapling tree in the vicinity of the snare. An animal could get tangled around the sapling, and as the animal struggles the snare could ride up on the sapling bending it over. At this point, the sapling acts like a spring, constantly pulling upward on the snare. This creates a situation very similar to the old-fashioned spring pole and could dispatch the animal. A large tree, on the other hand, does not create an entanglement situation. An animal can not bend over a large tree, and in most instances the animal will not get tangled up on the tree because it can-not circle the tree with the snare any more than once or twice. If you were snaring strictly in a wilderness area where you would encounter only wild animals, entanglement would not be of such great concern. However, there is no wilderness in many states, and some have a fairly dense human population. This means the chance of encountering a domestic animal is always present. For this reason, you should avoid entanglement with your snares. When you get ready to place a snare, examine the area for entanglement. It is a good idea to extend the snare in its closed position and circle it around from its fastening point to make sure an animal cannot reach anything on which it can get tangled up. In avoiding entanglement, it is often helpful to use shorter snares. This obviously gives the animal less opportunity to get tangled up. If you encounter a good set near entanglement, such as a fence, fasten your snare as far as possible away from the entanglement and place the loop in the trail leading to or coming from the entanglement. Just make sure the animal can not reach the entanglement when it is captured in the snare.
    Avoiding Entanglement
    It is easy to avoid entanglement. Simply place your snares in clear areas where there is nothing substantial for the animal to tangle up in.
    A large tree does not create an entanglement situation. The animal can hardly make more than one revolution around the tree and does not get tangled up. When fastening to trees, keep the wire low on the tree. This helps ensure that the animal can keep its feet on the ground
    When placing a snare where entanglement is nearby, stake or fasten the snare away from the entanglement. Then reach out with the closed snare and circle it around the fastener to make sure the animal can not reach the entanglement.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

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    Setting Snares
    To set a snare, the looped end of the snare is suspended over a trail or path that the animal is expected to use. The animal enters the snare, sticking its head through the loop, and through its for-ward progress draws the snare down on itself. It should be noted, that not all animals are snared by catching them around the neck. You will be more successful snaring some animals like raccoon and beaver if the snare cinches up on their body somewhere behind one or both of their front legs. These animals both have a short, rounded head and a great deal of manual dexterity with their front feet. Using their front paws, these animals can often slip a snare off over their head. Other animals, most notably canines, have along tapered head that is very wide just behind their ears. When a snare closes on their neck it is very unlikely they will be able to slip out of it or remove it. In this case, it is better to snare these animals by the neck. There are two major considerations in setting a snare to target a specific animal — the size of the loop and the distance from the bottom of the loop to the ground. In making these determinations you must consider the size of the animal, the height of the animal’s head above the ground (generally determined by the length of its legs) and whether it is best to catch the animal by the neck or by the body. For an animal you want to snare by the neck, the snare loop should be just large enough to admit the animal’s head. The snare should be positioned so that the bottom of the loop strikes the animal’s chest at the base of the neck after its head goes through the loop. To snare an animal by the body, you need a loop big enough to admit the front portion of the animal’s body. The loop must be low enough to the ground so that the animal can step through it, but high enough to strike the animal’s chest after the animal steps through the snare.
    Avoiding Deer and Livestock
    While your snares will be set to take furbearing animals, the possibility exists that larger animals, like deer or live stock could get tangled up in your snare. This usually happens when the animal is walking along and gets its foot through the snare loop. Some of the state regulations are designed to deal with this problem. In some states snares, or any other trapping devices, cannot be set in paths commonly used by humans or domestic animals. This means snares cannot be set in active livestock trails. In regards to deer, some snares must employ one of two features. One option is to install a stop on the cable that prevents the loop from closing past a diameter of 2-1/2 inches. This would allow a deer to shake the snare off its foot. The other option is to use a lock or lock system that will break away from the snare cable at 350 pounds or less. This would allow a deer to break the lock as it pulls against the snare. These state regulations are designed to minimize the potential for detaining a large animal in your snare. Still the best way to avoid deer and livestock is to avoid setting your snares where these animals are likely to be encountered. You should not set snares within the confines of a pasture where livestock is present. Deer are free roaming, wild animals, but you can take measures to avoid catching them in your snares. Do not set snares on trails that show frequent or heavy use by deer .There are other instances when you may want to set a snare on a trail that is not regularly used by deer, but still the possibility exists that a deer might take that trail. In this case, you can construct the set to make the deer avoid your snare. The best way to do this is to place a pole over your snare. The pole should be about the size of your wrist or larger. You can place the pole horizontally over your snare and support it on each end. This gives the appearance of the goal posts on a football field. With the pole just above the snare, the deer will jump or step over the pole, while the target animal will go under the pole and into the snare. Another option is to use a “leaning” pole to steer the deer away from your snare. This is best accomplished where the trail passes close to a tree and the snare is fastened to the tree. Here, you can lean a pole against the tree at an angle with the snare between the pole and the tree. A deer will walk around the outside of the pole and avoid the snare. Make sure there is room on the outside of the pole for the deer to detour around it. In each of these cases, the pole should be propped up so that it will not fall down easily. However, the pole should not be wired or permanently fastened in place because it could create an entanglement situation for the animal. The animal should be able to knock the pole over if it gets the snare around it.

    Wow this took a while to write up so I hope this helps all those who want to learn snaring and the use of snares, there are others on here that are as good or better at snaring and telling you how to use and set snares.
    Beo,
    Last edited by Beo; 09-02-2008 at 01:03 PM.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

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    Great write-up, thanks for the info!

    -Merriwether

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    Tracker Beo's Avatar
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    Thanks....
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

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    Thumbs up

    Thanks thats good information.

    For what its worth I have made improvised snares from Berkly fireline (20lb) which I have in my PSK for fishing. The fireline is quite stiff and will hold a loop quite well. I use a half blood knot (loose) which will slip and tighten. I have snared dozens of rabbits off thier burrows with this material. We don't have squirrels and such here (Australia) so im not sure how it would work for them. The advantage with this material I see is it is light and has many uses. I haven't tryed soft brass wire yet as its not that easy to find over here.

    I hope this helps

    Regards

    Dan

    Ps This is my first post

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    G'Day Dan. When you get a chance, head on over to the introduction section and tell us a bit about yourself. Thanks.
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    Good explanation Beo. I didn't check, but hopefully you added that to your blogs.
    "A person is not finished when they are defeated.
    A person is finished when they quit."

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    Senior Member Riverrat's Avatar
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    Nice write up Beo, pretty well covers it all. Well done!

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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    What Riverrat said, bro. Nicely done. I'd give you some reputation but I have to give it to about a million other people before I give you anymore since the last time. This should probably be made into a sticky.
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    For somebody that has done very little snaring (me) it was very clear and well written. Thanks.
    Can't Means Won't

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    That write up actually came from Ohio Snaring Guide, which is available in downloadable pdf's.

    Section 1: http://www.sullivansline.com/tline/E...n/OSG1p1-6.pdf

    There's a link to Beo's write up with photo's of the vaious locks and such. May help make it clearer for those visual learners like myself. As well, here is a link with photos of how to make a homemade snare with swivel and lock;

    http://www.trapperman.com/trapperman/Making_snare.html
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