Tying My First Rabbit Snares. Come learn with me!

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Having just taken my trapping course a few months ago, it was high time I got out to lay my first snares! So I headed out on a beautiful -20c Canadian day! I even had a chance to have a fire and fry up some baloney too. I hadn’t had a chance to chill out in the bush for a long time! Join me… learn something and relax by the fire.

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Newbie Disclaimer!

This video captured what where literally my first two snares ever! Before this video, I had only ever read about or seen videos about how to tie a basic snare. I took my certification course recently as required by law here in my province. What you see here is me diving in! I’ve got a lot to learn. I am by no means a source for expert trapping advise. What this video does demonstrate is that anyone, regardless of skill level, who has an interest, can enjoy trapping! Just go for it! Get legal and stay safe!

Just little ol' me tying some snares

Just out on a nice day learning to tie my very first snares. I was very happy to get my trapping hobby started.




How to Tie Rabbit Snares.

A snare is the most basic of traps. It’s both primitive and modern. It’s been used for thousands or years. In modern times snares are often brass, stainless steel or even braided steel wire for larger species. Because of the simplicity of design they can be made simply out of any strong cordage material. Thus the interest shown by the bushcraft and survival community.

All you will need is some snare wire, a pair of wire cutters, and your hands. Let’s get started. Anyone can do it.

Step 1 – Wrap Short End Around a Twig.

This is pretty straight forward. Starting with about 4 feet of wire, take the last 3 inches and make two wraps around a small twig. Some people only use 1 wrap, that’s fine too. I do two wraps because it creates a locking ring to better prevent the snare from reopening.

Create the Snares Locking Loop

Start by wrapping your snare wire around a small twig.

Step 2 – Twist Short End Back Around Wire.

Using the twig with locking loops in one hand and with the tip of short wire and the rest of the wire in the other, simply start twisting the twig. The shorter wire will twist back down around the length of the rest of the wire. It helps to start with the end of the wire and the rest of the length angled apart at about 90 degrees. This method is nearly foolproof and virtually guarantees a tight even bond between the two sections of wire. This method uses the twig as a perfect handle to simplify to job.

After you’ve twisted the short end down the longer end about an inch if you still have extra I just started wrapping it back up towards locking loops. In my beginners opinion this seemed to add friction to the twists and further prevent escape. You want a strong snare.

Form the Snare's Locking Loop

Twist the short end back along the wire ensuring the locking loops wont open back up when snare is under load.

Once you are finished twisting your twig handle till the locking loop is tightly formed and secure, you can simply break the twig at the point where the wire goes around it and presto it’ll pop right out. See above video for clarification.

Step 3 – Thread the Loop.

This is the part that turns your wire into a trap! Once you thread that locking loop with the long end you basically have a slip knot or snare that will tighten on anything that gets caught in it and tries to pull against it. Aim to make your snare loop a little bigger than your fist.

Thread the Locking Loop

Simply bring the long end of the wire back through your locking loop and you should start to see the snare forming.

You can start to see how that second loop acts as a lock now… When the snare is pulled tight, without the second locking loop you have just a strained loop that the long end might move back through. With the second locking loop, when under strain the inner loop is able to bind 360 degrees all the way around the wire thus preventing slippage or loosing off of the snare. Try both and test them by putting a piece of firewood through the snare and look at the results of the second locking loop.

Step 4 – Put a Bend in Wire to Prevent Unwanted Movement.

So now that you basically have the snare finished, you will notice at this point the whole thing just sorta moves around where ever based on the springy nature of the wire. Wire has metal memory and can take some convincing to get to do what you want it to.

I make a gentle round 180 degree bend back along the snare and then a gentle bend 90 degrees up. This creates a pocket in the snare wire for the locking loop to rest and holds the size you set the snare too

Get Kinky With You Snares

You need to bend the snare loop to prevent the locking loop from sliding out of its desired position.

Step 5 – Celebrate your first snare.

You are now a trapper, albeit an inexperienced one who has never caught anything yet! It’s a start and you should be proud! Dance a little jig!




Step 1 – Wrap long end around tree more than once!

You may need to experiment with the right amount of wire to start with to make sure you can wrap around more that once. You want to rely on that friction of the wraps around the tree rather than the twists you place in the wire. Wrap any remaining wire around the tree until you have no less than 4 inches of tag (more is fine) to lock it on to the snare.

Setting Snares

Make sure you put plenty of wraps around the tree you intend to use. Rely on that friction not just the twisted wires.

Step 2 – now twist the tag and snare Together.

One tip I have noticed, is try to engage both wires in the twisting. Don’t simply wrap one wire around the other. Try to make both wires wrap around each other. This can be achieved by angling both wires away from each other 45 to 90 degrees as you wrap them around each other. Get a nice obvious spiral going with the two wires marrying together nice n tight. Again if you get slack, wrap it back towards the tree.

Step 3 – position Your snare.

Set snare opening to just larger than your fist and set about 4 fingers above the ground. This is no hard science. Just try to imagine the size of your target and position of head when coming down the trail. Set accordingly.

Setting Your Snares

How you set your snares is important. I use large fist size snares set about 4 fingers off the surface of the snow or ground. In this set you can see I choose the location because there was already some natural funneling available. This can actually often be the case if you are observant.

Step 4 – Funneling.

In trapping, funneling refers to closing in around the trap in such a way to guide target towards the snare. This increases the odds of a catch. Is it 100% necessary? No. Will you catch more with good funneling? It’s very likely. Use your best judgement. If you have a really obvious game trail that is well traveled, too much change to the scenery may make the target suspicious of the change. You may get lucky with what is called a blind set, a snare set unhidden unbaited on a well traveled trail.

In the above video I lacked much by way of decent funneling. If you check out my next video in the series, you can see much more attention paid to funneling around the snares. This helps to guide your target towards the snare. In the next video I come back after setting out many more snares to check them and to snow the funneling I worked on.

Some Time to Myself! Finally!

Not many snares were set on this my first outing. I wanted some time to myself to relax and enjoy a fire. After a few days, I went back out and put out a bunch more snares. The more snares out the better the chance of results.

Having found a nice piece of dry standing wood, I went to work processing it down. I didn’t need a big fire. Just a small cooking fire.

Harvesting Dry Standing Wood

Getting fuel for a little fire. It’s good to take some time to relax.

I decided to use some dry tinder I had been storing in my bag. It had been in there for a long time and I wanted to cycle it out. I had made a primitive folded pocket for the tinder from a rabbit pelt. It was tied shut as one would a parcel with natural jute twine with a bow on top so it could be opened easily. More tinder can be collected and my stash replenished next time I’m out.

Birch Bark Tinder

I always carry dry tinder material with me. When dry tinder is available at site I prefer to use that, however sometimes I just want to cycle my stash. The oils in Birch Bark all but guarantee a fire.

Using the birch bark from my pack and a brush bundle made from dead spruce and fir twigs I found at site, I was easily able to light my standing dead wood fuel. This gave me sometime to warm up and reflect by the fire. A fire in the woods by myself offers me untold peace and replenishes me deeply. It had been too long and this was much needed. The whiskey I brought added a nice touch too!!!

Reflecting by the Fire

This sorta thing needs to happen often if I’m to be a balanced individual! Seriously, sometimes I just need to stare into the fire and work out my priorities. That’s where it all seems to make sense.

To wrap things up I had a little baloney fry and was able to share a few more thoughts with the viewers of the above video. I thanked them and I thank you the reader here too, for joining me to learn something and experience the outdoors via my adventure on that day. I had a great time, learned a lot, and am happy to share the experience with you as best I can.

Frying Some Baloney

Having a bite to eat in the cold winter air is awesome! It doesn’t matter that it’s just a slice of plain old baloney. To me… in that moment, it was heaven!

Till next time… Don’t eat yellow snow!




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4 Comments

  1. Love it brother! Grew up in NS doing this just about every weekend as a kid. Dad used to say “your embarrassing me, bringin home more meat than me”… lol
    Glad to see the skill is alive and well! Great article.

  2. Sorry bud but when ya cracked out the whiskey all I could picture was bubbles from Trailer Park Boys, again sorry. Lol all good.

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