Are you an outdoorsman looking to change your routine during hunting and trapping season? Try your hand at snares. This primitive and cheap way of trapping is guaranteed to put furs on your wall and teach you more about the fur bearing animals lurking around you.

I started snare trapping 9 years ago and to be honest I had no idea what I was doing. Hunting, fishing, and trapping my whole life, I started looking for alternative options to harvest fur bearing animals. Sitting in my tree stand bow hunting, I would observe foxes and coyotes moving through the woods like ghosts, making little to no noise. Overtime, I became fixated on harvesting these elusive creatures in the most primitive way possible.

Gathering a few friends, we decided to trap using snares on local farm ground. On our first day, we set only 15 snares. Checking them the following day, we were overjoyed to find 2 coyotes awaiting our arrival.

Here are a few things I learned through my experience snaring:

1. Buy Online

A simple Google search can save you a lot of time, money, and energy.

My trapping group and I contemplated making our own snares or buying them online. After extensive research we concluded buying online would meet all our needs. It costs less than $1 to buy each snare online. It would cost you much more to purchase the materials and make them ourselves. The traps were put together by professionals who made the snares legal to meet state regulations. Not to mention, being built by professionals means they are built to last.

Important! Ensure the snares you are buying have deer stops on them. Deer stops do not allow your snares to tighten completely, allowing deer hooves to pass through. It is also a violation of the law in most states to not have deer stops.

Another tip, buy your identification tags online. Tags, by law, must be on each trap you own displaying your name and address. Simply Google search “trap tags copper” and pick your business of choice to purchase from.

2. Prepare

With our snares and identification tags in hand, we now had to decide which kind of stakes we wanted to use that hold our snares to the ground. My trapping group and I decided to build the stakes ourselves. To do this, simply weld a large washer on top of a 26″ piece of rebar. Once the washer is welded, wrap a 23″ piece of 9 gage wire at the base of the washer and weld that on the rebar.

If you do not know how to weld, you can buy the stakes online or have a local welding shop do the work at a low price.

Trapping with snares does not require stakes. Snares can be nailed to solid objects including fence posts, trees, and deadwood laying on the ground.

3. Find Your Game Trails

If you have time, setup a trail camera and see what kind of fur bearing animals are utilizing your trapping area. When trapping coyotes and foxes, set snares on obvious and heavily used game trails in grasslands and woodlands. Like us humans, fur bearing animals will take the path of least resistance when headed out to their favorite hunting spot.

If you have no game trails and are trapping on private land, simply create your own by pushing down grass with your feet or vehicle tires.

4. Don’t Give Up and Don’t Be Intimidated

You will NOT harvest an animal everyday you trap. This is a reality for even the most experienced trappers in the world. Continue what you are doing and do not give up!  The size of a coyote’s home range depends on the food and cover available, but it generally averages between 8 and 12 square miles.  The home range of a coyote is a great example of the distance one fur bearing animal will travel looking for food and catching it in a small 8″ snare takes patience and luck!

Overtime, trapping with snares will teach you wildlife management, identification of animal prints, and other skills that will transition into your other outdoor sports like hunting.

Broaden your outdoor knowledge and try trapping using snares.

Justin J. Lind

September 2017
White Buffalo Outdoors