How to Set a Basic Snare with Paracord and Wire

How to make a snare

Hungry out in the woods on a long camping or hunting expedition? Out of a job and trying to feed your family? Picked for a survival show and want to win a million dollars? (Haha) Knowing how to locate a great snare position and set a snare are skills that can keep you alive in a variety of predicaments. After finding a good location, I’m going to show you everything you need to know to be able to use paracord and wire to set a basic snare, increasing your probability of catching something to eat in a survival situation. This article is derived from my YouTube tutorial, so feel free to jump over there to check that out if you need more help.

Scout Out a Location

How to make a snare
As we get started talking about snares and traps, probably the most important thing you need to consider is location. The number one reason people fail at catching anything when they set a snare or a trap is that they really haven’t done their homework. You’ve got to be patient, you’ve got to look around, you’ve kind-of got to know what to look for, too. Now I know that up on our mountain, there really aren’t very many rabbits…and there are virtually no raccoons up there. But I do know that there are a lot of squirrels. So what I would look for are nests in trees, holes in trees, and any indication of trails and “highways” that the squirrels are traveling. If you don’t get this step right, – finding the ‘homes’ of your intended prey- the chances of you catching something are pretty slim…so we want to find the spot with the highest probability of a catch to set our snare.

How to make a snare

Now, on our hill, I found a tree that it looks like the squirrels can get right up into, and it’s kind-of neat because there’s really only 2 ways out of it, so I can put 2 snares here and have a pretty high probability of catching something. This will be my snaring location. So now that I have established where I’m going to set my snare, the next step is to prepare our materials and get started:

Assemble Your Tools

How to make a snare
-To reduce the amount of scent you get on your materials, you’re going to want a pair of gloves.
-Next, you will need a stick. It’s going to be like a stake to hold the snare in place.
-And I recommend bringing an axe.

Make the Snare

How to make a snare
To get started, you will need to fashion and shape your stick a little bit. You’ll want to cut off any extra branches. Use your axe, if you have one, to cut as many stakes as you need – one for each snare. Put a point on the end you want to drive into the ground.

Snare-points on end of stakes-c

Using Wire
Now you’ll grab your wire. For squirrels, you would probably want to use a 24 gauge or 26 gauge wire. I just picked mine up at WalMart, in the craft section. It’s basically floral wire, and it’s a nice green color, which will make it very low visibility.

How to make a snare
Using your knife, put a notch around the top area of your stake to catch the wire and help it to imbed itself in there, to keep it from slipping up or down. Now take your wire, and wrap it around the notch you just cut, nice and tight. Twist the ends together multiple times to make it secure.

How to make a snare
Next you need to make your noose. It’s going to be about one hand-length from your stake, to give the noose some room to work – you don’t want it to be too close.

How to make a snare

Make a loop in your wire about a fist width for a squirrel, with a wire-version of a slip-knot at the end so that the loop slides in and out nice and easily. And, essentially…that’s it!

How to make a snare

Using Paracord
Now, to make a snare from paracord, you’ll need to acquire some standard 550 seven-strand paracord. (And you’ll just need one of the seven strands from the inside.)

How to make a snare

Cut a piece of paracord about 3 hand-lengths. Now pull out the “guts” (or separate strands) out of the casing, and grab just one of the strands.

How to make a snare
Take your stake, and cut a notch around the top portion of it as you would with the wire snare. Tie a simple overhand knot in one end of your paracord strand, and thread the other end through the little loop you just created to make a noose.

How to make a snare

This is your snare end. Now tie the other end of the strand tightly to your stake, where you cut the notch around the top of it.

Now You’re Ready To Set Your Snares Up!
Depending on the “looseness” of the soil you are planning to imbed your stakes into, you may need to cut longer ones, so that they aren’t able to be worked out by a struggling animal. When you feel sure that you have the right size stake, hammer them into the ground where you feel a likely spot or “highway” is for the animal you are trying to snare.

How to make a snare

When you pound in the stake, try to angle it a bit away from the direction that the animal will be pulling from when they get snared. Set up the snare to be about a hands-length away from the stake, opened to about a fist-width, and you’ll want it about a hand-width off the ground.

How to make a snare

With the paracord snare, you will have to support the noose….so find one or two of the smallest forked twigs that you can locate, and push them gently into the ground about half a hand apart, so that the noose can rest on them in the open position. With the wire snare, you can bend the wire slightly so it will stay open without support twigs, using only one to hold it up off of the ground.

How to make a snare
You need to make sure that you check your traps and snares often, because if you snag a squirrel and there happens to be other predators around, it’s not going to last very long in that condition…..and it’s just plain waste.

Hope you’re enjoyed this introduction to basic snares. Get your fire going and ‘bon appetit’!


8 Responses to “How to Set a Basic Snare with Paracord and Wire”

  • Rick M.

    Thanks David! This was very informative and the step by step sequence was great. As I watched I mentioned to myself some things that maybe you forgot. Nope…you covered it all. My Vegan friend thanks you for removing the snares. She’ll never survive!

    • Oscar Rodriguez

      Your Vegan friend will forget that she is vegan if she has nothing to ear for a couple of weeks. I saw a true story movie about a couple that got lost in Alaska and after 2 weeks of not eating anything she wanted her boyfriend to kill his dog so they can have some food. Of course, he did not agree and were finally recue. So your friend is Vegan so long as she can buy stuff from. By the way, early in the movie he wanted to shoot a deer and she said that she rather die than eat meet but she change her mind fast once she was hungry.

  • Max

    This is a really good tip thanks David.

  • Angelo

    Great job David, love the idea, i’ll set a few up when i go camping on the weekend.

  • angelo

    cool idea!

  • Walid

    What knife is that in the pictures I am a knife maker and I would like to replicate it?

  • Cacey zinsky

    This stuff is cool and just the right stuff my son and I are in to , my son has been hooked on fishing/hunting ever since the first fish he caught at 2 1/2 years old , people think I’m playing around when I tell them that my 9 year old son will out fish/hunt them till we get out to the lake etc . I’ve been looking for a trappers school / corse that we can take together since I don’t know much about trapping , I ordered the Livingston Trappers Bible !

    • Carin

      Hi Cacey! What a lucky boy you have! It would be a much better world if more dads spent more time in the great outdoors with their kids! I know in our state, there is a course that the state offers which teaches about trapping and then gives you a license when you pass the test. Maybe your state has something like that. Have fun!

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