Manmade and natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, pandemics, and terrorist attacks, can occur at any time, so learning the vital survival skills necessary to protect you and your family is very important. Food, unlike water and shelter, is not a critical concern for the first few days of survival, but if you find yourself in a survival situation for an extended period of time, knowing how to find your own food is essential. However, without significant experience, hunting game can often expend more energy than it gives back, so most survival experts suggest using traps and snares instead.
What is a Spring snare?
Spring snares are among the most basic of snares setups, and because of this they are also one of the most effective. Once you have set up your camp and collected enough water, you can begin setting up your snares. The more you set, the more likely you are to catch something. You can use the time waiting for a catch to do other important tasks like foraging for edible plants or strengthening your shelter.
What Animals Should You Target?
The best animals to target depend both on your level of experience and the resources you have available. Small game, such as rabbits, squirrel, quails, and geese, are a more realistic target for relative newcomers. You can also set up many small traps instead of one large one with the same resources.
Where To Place Your Snare
The placement of a trap has a significant influence on its success. To maximize your chance of catching an animal, place your spring snares across game trails and the entrance to burrows. These can be spotted by looking for footprints, droppings, scratches, and nearby water sources.
Materials Needed For Spring Snares
The materials you are most likely to need when creating spring snares, are a knife and some wire. Fortunately, these tools are staple components in most survival kits because they have such a wide range of uses in addition to snaring. Here are the materials you will need for the various components of the snare:
- Noose – Strong but flexible string, cord, or preferably wire, it should be about 50-60cm long
- Hook and base – Carved from two separate pieces of hardwood to form the trigger mechanism
- Engine – Bent over sapling
- Leader line – Any sort of cord, the length will depend on the engine
If you find yourself needing to make the snare without these materials, there are a lot of natural and manmade alternatives available. Consider using shoe laces, fishing wire, headphone wire, or natural cordage for your noose and leader line. A weighted rock strung over a tripod setup can replace a sapling.
Step-By-Step Guide To Creating Your Spring Snares
To create the noose:
- Tie a small loop, about the diameter of a pencil, at one end of your wire.
- Thread the other end of the wire through the loop to finish the noose.
To create the trigger:
- Cut a notch out of one hardwood stick near the top to create the ‘base’
- Carve a notch near the bottom of the second stick to create the ‘hook’. This should slot into the notch in the ‘base’ when the two are held end to end.
To assembly the spring snare:
- Drive the bottom of the ‘base’ into the ground
- Tie the ‘leader line’ to the top of the ‘Hook’ and tie the ‘noose’ to the bottom.
- Bend the sapling over so that its end is directly above the ‘base’
- Tie the free end of ‘leader line’ to the top of the bent over sapling
- Slot the ‘hook’ and ‘base’ together
- Position the ‘noose’ in the game trail
After setting your traps it is wise to check them regularly. Not only does this reduce the suffering of the animal, but it will also reduce the chance that your catch is eaten by another predator.
There are many variations on this snare, so if you need to, experiment and think outside the box to suit your surroundings.
Some expertise and skill are needed to create a spring snare so it is a good idea to practice making them before you get into a situation where your life may depend on them (check that this is legal in your area before you begin). Pre making some triggers and packing them into your survival kit is also a time saver.