I’ve always thought that snaring is something that you do after you run out of bullets and can’t hunt anymore. But recently I read the Grid Down Reality Bites series of books by Bruce “Buckshot” Hemming and Sara Freeman and I realized I was wrong.
I enjoy hunting. These days it’s mainly a productive form of bonding and recreation with family and friends, since most of our meat is raised, slaughtered, butchered, and packaged neatly for our selection at the local butcher, or grocery store. But if we someday find ourselves in a TEOTWAWKI situation where the supply chain is broken (or annihilated) obtaining meat will take on new importance. Hunting won’t be about recreation or bonding anymore. It will be about the survival of me and mine and I don’t want to rely only on my hunting skills to feed my family. Hunting takes time. And energy. And personal attention. It takes stealth, and patience, and skill with gun or bow or slingshot. Hunting takes presence. And most people can only hunt one animal at a time.
But what if you could hunt in a dozen places at once?
With snaring, you can. If you know your land and the critters that live on it, if you can identify tracks, recognize game trails, and will commit to a regular schedule of setting and checking traps, then a routine of snaring can be like having a dozen or more good hunters in the woods working for you 24/7. High quality snares are dependable, lightweight, and will last years. You can put many of them in a five gallon bucket and set each one up in minutes.
And unlike a bullet, which is only used once, each snare can catch hundreds of animals over time.
So, what is a snare? A snare trap is basically just a length of cord with a noose at one end, anchored to the ground. Prey put their head through the noose to reach bait, activating the noose, which tightens as they pull away. Modern snares are typically made of 3′-6′ long galvanized aircraft cable anchored to a rebar stake in the ground, or around a tree. The type of snare that is covered in the Grid Down series is called a cam lock snare, which has a locking mechanism that cannot be loosened by the animal once it it tightened. The noose is set up at neck level on game paths and quickly tightens as the animal struggles, chokes, and dies.
Once snared, it’s nearly impossible to get out without the use of opposable thumbs. That means that any animal running through your property is at risk, including pets and small children. So it’s very important that you put careful thought into placement of snares.
Snares can be used to catch many kinds of animal, from smaller prey like squirrels or musk rats to much larger animals like deer. Snares are handy for putting food on your table, and can be used for controlling predators and capturing animals that are destructive. Snaring coyotes that attack your livestock, or snaring wild hogs that destroy your fences or other property, is a more convenient solution than having to stand watch with a rifle or shotgun when you have other priorities to focus on.
Obviously there are laws and restrictions in every state and country for snaring, and you should find out what laws apply in your area while you experiment and practice your snaring skills. But in a SHTF situation, you do what you have to do to survive.
Give snaring some serious thought. Even if you don’t get to put it into practice any time soon, the knowledge will come in handy in a survival situation; in the woods, or elsewhere. Snares are inexpensive to add to your survival preps.