About: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started writing poetry in high school over thirty years ago where I ...

The woods are not like your local grocery store where you go to the meat department and pick out your pre-packaged meat, most people never see where there food comes from. In the woods you kill and clean your own meat, so you see where it comes from.


If you practice snaring animals, you will be killing animals and many of them will be cute, snaring is intended to kill an animal so don’t try to catch a pet with a snare, in most places it is against the law.

My first kill wasn’t a pleasant experience; I did not know rabbits scream like a guinea pig as you kill them. The other thing people don’t realise is when you hunt and you shoot an animal with a bow or a gun, they don’t die instantly. I know I hunt, sometimes they run for a mile other times they fall instantly and lay there dying. A friend of mine shot a rabbit with a cross bow bolt (arrow) and it ran under a bolder to die, where he could not retrieve it. Losing your kill is wasting a life and your time. Snaring is a slow way to die, hold your breath for five to fifteen minutes and see how long one minute is. It is one thing to kill this cute Chipmunk slowly for food when you must, it is another to kill it just because you can.

No animals were harmed during the making of this article.

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Step 1: Marking

Mark your snare placements or you can loose your game and snares, the forest changes quickly sometimes over night, these three photos taken over nine days shows how much and how fast the forest can change.

Step 2: The Forest Floor

I set my snares one day in the afternoon and collect what I snared the next morning, mark your snares with a brightly coloured ribbon or string, above the snare in a tree or bush. It’s no use setting snares only to loose your snare and the animal you intended to eat.

These are photos of the same burrow taken in less than twenty-four hours; in the first photo I took a walk in the evening and photographed this burrow. That night it rained and the wind blew, this is what I found the next morning. Without a marker I could have past over the burrow never knowing it was the one I wanted to photograph.

Step 3: Forage

Never waste your time; although I was not snaring, if I was checking my snares and I caught nothing, my time would not have been wasted. These white mushrooms were not where I was photographing the day before. Mushrooms grow rapidly when the conditions are right, many species can grow out of the ground in as little as four hours. I am not sure of their name other than they are a gilled mushroom the biggest one is six inches across, and they were delicious.

Step 4: Snares

There are four basic snares everything else is a trap.

1. The pull snare, like the box trap with a string attached to it many of you have seen in cartoons you setup and wait for game to come along and pull the snare to catch the game. Unless absolutely necessary this is a waste of your time, your time can be better spent building a fire, building a shelter, foraging for food or gathering clean water. It works however, and there is a reason this technique is used in cartoons. I don’t use this technique.

2. The spring snare, you may have seen this one used for comedy relief in movies and cartoons, using a trip wire to trigger a dead weight or a bent over sapling to pull the snare around the leg of your game. This snare works when it is made right, however it is complicated time consuming and fails if the wrong game steps into it, and there is a reason this technique is used for comedy relief in movies and cartoons. I don’t use this technique.

Step 5: The Drag Snare

3. The drag snare, this snare works by setting up a branch or large rock along a game trail, or over a burrow and attaching your snare to it. This snare works well the game gets caught in the snare and drags the stick or rock until it catches on something and kills the game, you set this up in the evening and collect your game in the morning so little of your time is wasted. There is one weakness to this snare, the game can run until you lose it in the bush if there is little underbrush. I use this technique when I must.

Step 6: The Fixed Snare

Figure 1
4. The fixed snare, this small game snare technique is the one I use when I snare, tide to something solid the snare stops the animal from running away and makes finding it easy.

Figure 2
You can make a snare out of almost anything, string wire, or rope. My preference is brass wire, I get my brass wire from picture hanging wire, it is soft enough to bend into the shape I need and strong enough to hold it’s self in place. Brass wire is almost invisible in the bush. That is why these photo were done indoors.

Figure 3
Wrap the end of the snare wire around a sapling or small tree a few times and twist the end around the in coming wire.

Figure 4
At the other end make a loose loop and adjust it over the burrow or small game run.

Remember; mark your snares, check your snares every day, move or adjust them if they are not productive, and forage at the same time.

Step 7: Where to Set-up Your Snares.

The two best places to set up snares are over burrows and game runs, both are not always easy to spot in the bush.

The burrow
Figure 1
Small burrows like this chipmunk burrow in this photo are easily missed until you get close to the tree concealing it.

Figure 2
The tree provides cover for the burrow and a convent base for a snare to be tied down.

Figure 3
Larger burrows are more in the open and take longer snares.

Figure 4
Burrows have more than one entrance so cover as many entrances with a snare as you can to improve your chances.

Figure 5
Make your snare smaller than the burrow entrance and set it more to the top of the burrow with the other end secured to something solid. Animals look up before they come out of their burrow placing their head in just the right place to be snared.

Step 8: Game Trails

Game runs look like a path or a break in the underbrush of the forest and can be hard to spot if you don’t know what to look for. Instead of looking at a wall of trees or a sea of grass they look like a pathway.

Figure 2
Small game runs look like a part in the grass three inches across.

Figure 3
Big game trails look like a pathway large enough for people to use. Footprints in the path make it easy to tell what animals use the path.

Step 9: Snow Trails

Although not depicted here game trails in the snow are the easiest to identify as well as the animals that use them by their footprints in the snow. The frequency of use can be seen in the clarity of the footprints in the snow and in the time between snowfalls.

The last detail set as many snares along the game trails as possible, bottlenecks and narrow passages are the best places to set a snare. Each snare you set increases your chance to catch an animal in your snare.

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    74 Discussions


    3 years ago


    3 years ago

    You should follow my At least check it out! Lotta traps/snares!

    Biblical scientist

    4 years ago on Step 9

    Pretty good; sad to see that no one has commented on this. You are right, most of the stuff I eat for snack I have caught.

    1 reply

    I did not snare the chipmunk. Unless you are in a survival situation, you can only snare red squirrel south of the French river, and if you are north of the French river you can snare varying hair on a small game licence in Ontario.

    In the survival situations I have been in I have snared rabbit, ruffed grouse, turkey, and dear.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry I did not mean that warning for you. That was for those who have never eaten wild mushrooms. Destroying angels and death cap are white and are very poisonous. They kind of look like puff balls until they get older. If you eat puff balls then cut them in half when you pick them to make sure they are puff balls. Also if they look really shiny I have been told not to eat them.

    1 reply

    You know what is funny.

    I was on a 10 K hike Monday and found some Death Caps growing in the pines.

    They are not a true white kind of green where I live but they do look a lot like puff balls when they are young.

    Haven't found Destroying angels but I do know them.



    4 years ago on Introduction

    Be careful eating mushrooms, some are very deadly, others kill you over a long and drawn out time period. Your liver slowly fails. If in doubt don't when it comes to mushrooms.

    1 reply

    I have been eating wild mushrooms since before I was toilet trained.

    I know the ones that are safest to eat or try.

    There are to rules to eating wild mushrooms.

    1. White is right.

    2. You can eat any mushroom once.



    7 years ago on Introduction

    Your statement "NEVER KILL WHAT YOU DON’T EAT." doesn't make sense.


    *Excepting the inedible parts.

    7 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Lemonie, do you mean
    "...proceed to eat it [immediately] afterwards [while it's maybe still warm and perhaps kicking]" or
    "...proceed to eat it [sometime] afterwards [when you're back at home]" or
    "...proceed to eat it afterwards [but not raw: cook it first]",
    or what?
    "...afterwards" is a redundancy - no-one should eat anything BEFORE they kill it - and imho makes your statement a trifle wordy. A simpler way to phrase it would be, oh, say, "Never kill what you don't eat"* - not my wording, just some pithy advice I read recently.

    *With the exception of mosquitos, white butterfly caterpillars, rats, varroa mites, powdery mildew, stoats, Australian possums**, and so on.

    ** In New Zealand, the best possum is a dead possum.

    ***  .... looks up Lemonie's profile: WHOA! Dr Lemonie! Nice. I only have an honours degree (Horticulture)


    Don’t kill what you don’t eat; it means there is a difference between a hunter and a sadist, respect the life that feeds you. You should try possum pot pie um um good.


    Totally with you Josehf on the "Don’t kill what you don’t eat". I certainly don't believe in sadistic treatment of any animals - I would not use snares for example, as I'm not convinced that an animal strangling to death is as humane as a quick-kill trap (look up Timms Traps).

    In NZ though, possums are a widespread pest, originally imported from Australia (where they are protected, ironically) for the fur trade. They cause great destruction to native NZ species: killing trees, eating native insects and native birds eggs and young. Ditto stoats, ferrets, weasels.

    We could eat possum (I think you're thinking of opposums? *), but another problem in NZ is that they spread tuberculosis, so are not always safe to eat.

    If I was a farmer, and dogs were attacking my sheep, I'd have absolutely no reservations about killing them any way I, most humanely, could. But I wouldn't go killing things just for the "sport" - which is where we came in, yeah?


    I was referring to opossums commonly called possum here, they are invaders in Ontario, and they came up from the US on freight. Now we can kill them in fact it is required by law to kill invasive spices when captured.

    I looked up the Timms Trap not sold here.

    Snaring is cruel but when you are trying to survive with little resources it becomes a necessity live trapping is preferred. That way you don’t harm animals you don’t want to like the neighbour’s cat.

    I said it right.
    How do you get nourishment if I eat it?
    My statement leaves it open to nourishing others.
    If I proceed to eat it afterwards how do you or someone else get nourishment?
    Also preserving for later use is still ethical use.

    I don't eat spiders, house-bricks, wood, people and many other things.
    Instruction not to kill everything that I don't eat is generally meaningless.

    Within a piece about killing animals, the point is not to be snaring things without then cooking and eating them isn't it?
    Such as "Don't just snare animals for fun".



    Critiques are not to stroke ones ego like a phallus.
    Nor are they to be said in anger or malice.
    If ones structure points to a technique.
    Then that’s what must be pointed out in critiques.

    Whether Waka, Tie or Haiku.
    Only the rules in these will do.
    Not every one will like what you write.
    So don’t consider critiques a slight.

    If you don’t understand what I say
    To this next part, attention do pay.
    Perfect in structure shape and form.
    For Tie poetry this is the norm.

    Tie Poetry

    Tie poetry has three very strict rules.
    1. Every word must be one syllable.
    2. Only two lines in the poem.
    3. Only three words in a line.
    With that in mind this is a poem.

    Up your but.
    You numb nut.

    Josehf Lloyd Murchison