Survivalists Guide to Survival traps and snares

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Snares and Traps are designed to choke, crush, hang, or entangle the animals that you’re trying to catch.

The best traps are usually very simple to make and should be placed in multiple locations. When using traps and snares, numbers are very important. The more traps you place, the better your chances are of catching something. It’s also a good idea to use a variety of traps. I’ve found that certain traps sometimes work better depending on your location.

Here are a few of the most common types of traps and snares used in a survival situation.

A simple snare trap

Simple snare on a trail
The Simple Snare is made from a noose. The snare is placed over a trail or den hole and attached to a stake. This type of snare should be placed on known game trail with small twigs to keep it in place.

Make sure that the noose is large enough to allow the animal’s head to pass through it. As the animal moves through the snare it should tighten around its neck. The more the animal struggles to get loose, the tighter the snare will get. Snares usually do not kill the animal, so make sure you use wire that is strong enough to keep the animal in place until you return to the trap.

Baiting a trap

baited snare
Baiting a trap or snare will help you improve your chances of catching something to eat! Unlike a normal snare, a baited snare can actually help draw animals in towards the trap.  Make sure that the bait is something the animal is familiar with, but not something that is so widely available in the surrounding area.

The Figure-four dead fall

a Figure four Deadfall
The Figure-four dead fall  gets its name from the number of shapes that make up this trap. The Figure-four uses a trigger to drop a heavy object onto an animal. The object should be heavy enough to kill the animal on impact.

Dead fall Pit

a survival pit for catching animals
If you’re stranded for a long period of time, without a gun or other means of hunting, then a dead fall pit is a great way of catching larger animals. While, this dead fall pit is a good way to catch larger animals, keep in mind that it will take a lot of time and energy to build. Make sure you have a good supply of food before building a trap like this.

  • First look for a game trail.
  • Then start to dig your pit near the trail.
  • When it is deep enough to hold the intended animal, place sharpened sticks in the bottom that point up.
  • When your pit is finished put together a grill of long branches and then cover them with leaves and grass.
  • Place them over the pit

A word of warning

snareThese traps and snare traps are for informational purposes only. They’re extremely dangerous, and some of them can be lethal. In some parts of the country using them is also illegal. You should never use traps or snares unless you are in a true survival situation.


75 Responses to " Survivalists Guide to Survival traps and snares " Please share your thoughts...

  1. alan cox says:

    i spend alot of time hikeing and exploreing the wilderness.I think it might be a good ideal to learn alternate means of abtaining food if for some reason i am un armed.Or my firearm to malfunction.

  2. Bob says:

    I love these tips in case you get lost camping or somthin its great ( i dont like killing an animal but as survivor man says
    all prey is fair game ) >=C poor animals being strangeled and crushed

    • jim says:

      you r a tree hugger

      • Cam says:

        It’s a good thing too…without tree huggers there would be no wilderness left for us to survive in. It would all be walmarts, parking lots, or oil refieneries.

        • john says:

          Cam that’s not so true the first and truest conservationists are and were hunters

          • Mark says:

            Teddy Roosevelt, big game hunter, former president, loved killing big things with big guns… And the man that founded our national parks and game reserves.

          • sugggit says:

            yeah… screw the animals they are too hard to catch… in a survival situation.. kill some a-hole who p!sses you off and eat them…. I hear human jerky is also pretty good….

        • Lensman says:


          I don’t know where yo get this “information, but we environmentalists (and I’m also a deer hunter who has also shot over 500 groundhogs)do all we can to preserve large open spaces for hunting, for other outdoor recreation, and for protecting clean air and water for EVERYONE. We’re not the ones allowing WalMarts, condos urban sprawl of any kind or super highways that bring on urban sprawl and slice and dice open areas.

          You’d be wise to examine the real policies of those for whom you vote; they’re probably in league with all the destroyers of wilderness.

          No offense, man; we need to work together to stop the madness.

          • bjorn says:

            I Completly agree with you . What you said makes perfect sense.

          • bob says:

            I agree to

          • Sapper says:

            Most hunters don’t like walmart and their ilk. We like being in the woods. Last thing I want to see is a freaking mall being built where woods used to be. That said, there is a place for wally world….I just wish they would stop tearing down our hunting areas to build them.

        • mystery person says:

          human beings are the only species that make paper out of trees then write “save trees” on it

          • ROBERT HENRY says:

            You know not of what you speak. Worked 40 years all over the South in paper mills. Every company I worked for planted two trees for every one they cut.
            It is the cattlemen ,sawmills and developers who cut and get out. Put down your video game for a minute and research. The problem I have with paper companies is that they only planted pine trees. Now the paper companies have all sold their land because of cusses like you. Now see what you get.

          • ????? the anonymous says:

            true man
            but XXDD

        • Cummings Cumber Cummy says:

          the 2nd CUMMING of jesus will CUM soon so make sure you CUM to church everyday then god will make sure you CUM in heaven. boy thats alot of CUM, way too CUMMY for me

          • Matt says:

            You must not have much of a life to be wasting your time posting retarded crap like this on a survivalist website. What are you, 13? Go play on twitter and keep this site as spam/moron free as possible.

      • Eower says:

        I think they’re just typically kind people.

  3. Nathan says:

    Squirrels are a real pest where i live, these traps are fun ways for me and my friends to see who can kill the most squirrels

    • Jeremy says:

      lol @Nathan. sounds like fun. you use the squirrel pole much?

      • lucy says:

        i have a stripper pole baby

  4. jeff says:

    my neighborhood is becoming full of possums and i’m afraid that they might be rabies carriers and animal controls always never around hope one of these works

    • Janice says:

      Possums do NOT carry rabies. Their body tempuratures are to low to carry rabies. Don’t worry about the little guys, they are just looking for food and are more scared of you than you are of them.

      • adam says:

        Janice that’s not true any mammal can carry rabies. And possums are mammals not sure were you herd that about there blood being to cold but your wrong

        • mystery person says:

          all birds are edible and is easy to catch one birds when spooked (frightened) only fly short distances away from what spooked them giving you atleast 3 trys before failing i know this was off subject but just a fact worth knowing and its worth knowing what you can eat

          • Ted says:

            A handy thing I learned – in my own back yard – was to spread a net out(like an old badminton net) and raise it up about 8-10 inches. Sprinkle aome birdseed under the net, and mourning doves would end up walking under the net to eat. They would be easily captured and put on the dinner table with little or no effort.

          • B. says:

            This is a great way of catching Turkeys too. They nets are great because after you catch a few you can us the netting to contain what you have caught and kill at a later date.

        • POGG says:

          Adam possums are marsupials, I believe the only one found on the north american continent. They do not carry rabies. The mammals to really worry about are skunks, racoons,foxes, and any domestic dog that has come into contact with any of these animals and have not been vacinated.

          • Michael says:

            Possums are still mammals. The term Marsupial is a sub-class of the larger class of mammal. Marsupial refers to the fact that the young of this group develop (in part) outside of the womb, and in a pouch.

            Possums, like other mammals, have hair and are warm blooded.

            All mammals can get and carry rabies. Possums, however, are one of those animals that have a very low prevalence of rabies. This may be related to the fact that their body temperature tends to be lower (92-95 degrees) than other mammals. Bats, foxes, racoons and skunks are more typical carriers in North America.

          • Jeff Rende says:

            The truth is that only FISH, BIRDS and REPTILES can NOT carry rabies. Some animals such as OPOSSUMS, RABBITS, MICE, RATS and most other RODENTS have a much lower chance of carrying them. You stand a better chance of getting rabies from a cow biting you then a thousand opossum bites. If you do not know facts please don’t post on a survival page someones life may depend on it.

        • WTF says:

          squirrels cant carry rabies..I have alot of stray cats in my neighborhood and they dont always go for the standard cage and tuna..

          • William2.0 says:

            Squirrels CAN contract rabies. The cases are rather few as compared to other mammals. State and Federal wildlife officials have been vaccinating wild animals against rabies for years. You should worry most about bats,raccoons, fox, and coyotes are far as rabies is concerned.

      • Mike says:

        Possums may not carry rabies but they do have a a thing called EPM that kills horses I have lost one horse to this already…….KILL kill them all is what I say but just all the possums…..;)

      • steve says:

        opossum does NOT carrie rabbies and cannot support the regular /or high enough BODY temp to support the rabbies,or should we say too low of a body temp to sopport as a carrier or host.maybe u should now the facts i support janice and am an avid trapper in michigan.also the opossum is ONE of the most cleanest varmin or animal in the woods next to a cat they both clean thelmselves constantlt this is why they have such bright pink dish pan looking hands.others should try n learn from others not PROVE others wrong just to look smart when your relly guessing thanx

        • trapper joe says:

          The CDC says that possum can indeed contract and transmit rabies, they also acknowledge that the infection rate is lower than most other animals

  5. travis says:

    i am a survialist and i have used all these plus other snares and traps in the feild. i can say that done right they do all work well.. i spent 8 weeks by myself with only a shot gun with 10 shells for protection in the deep woods of northern maine in 2010 and i used many of these traps and snares to survive.. happy hunting…..travis

    • Burt says:

      cool. im going to NH. I have a 30.06 dont plan on using it. I hear that if people see me carrying it on a trail they get upset.?? any good places that you know of, where to not run into tree huggers?

  6. levi says:

    is it a legel to make a snare for hogs and rabbits

    • Off Grid Survival says:

      In most parts of the country snares and traps are not legal. I would check your local laws, that being said during a survival situation I think surviving is more important!

      • Cummings says:

        i think the cumming of the rabbit to eat is more important

  7. john says:

    Its only illegal if ya get caught lol
    In the event of a catosrophic collapes
    Of society I seriously think no one will be out to. enforce these laws

    • Anthony says:

      What gives a bunch of empty suits who wouldn’t know how to survive even if Cody Lundin was there to help them, sit up in Washington and make these ridiculous laws? I ignore the idiots.

  8. Nate Tilton says:

    using snares and simple traps are good for small game but what if the purpose is not to hunt game but protect vital aquired resorces from other people? im looking for Rambo type anti personell traps for protection… sup???

    • mystery person says:

      well you should go with a trip wire by finding to trees tieing a thin pice of string to both end if your looking to kill them set up hiddin spikes (sharpened sticks painted camoflage or covered in leaves) all where there gonna fall if you just wanna injure them set up rocks where there gonna fall(i suggest rocks)

    • Mike says:

      Look at punji traps that the vietnamese used.

      • Jeremy says:

        Didnt they tip the spikes with feces?

  9. Alexis says:

    I do not like many of these so called traps and snares, many of these things are solely for the deliberate purpose of causing great suffering to the animals. If one is in a situation where you must survive then i am sure one is smart enough to come up with a way to kill an animal in a quick and painless way. People should show SOME small amount of compassion for the animal. As for those of you killing for the fun of it, I hope you come back as a prey animal in your next life. In the meantime, shame on you.

    • mystery person says:

      ya ikr like the one with the big ass log dude your trying to eat the animal not make it into a smoothie

    • tanner says:

      animals kill for fun I hear a lot of farmers have trouble with raccoons because those things kill they’re chickens and dont even bother to eat them and I’ll tell u those chickens suffer alot

    • CAR says:


  10. Garrett says:

    Alexis, I understand your concern for the animals, but as it is stated at the end of the article, “You should never use traps or snares unless you are in a true survival situation.” Honestely, I would rather see an animal suffer for a couple seconds than starve to death myself. Otherwise I agree, these traps shouldnt be applied if you are able to use a more saffisticated and less barbaric method.

  11. Ben says:

    I have been to many other websites on this subject of traps and none were this promising. :D thumbs up

    • mystery person says:

      dude he so jaked off a book by bradford angier called “how to stay alive in the woods” look it up

  12. Ben says:

    For trapping small game like rabbits what type of traps do you recommend?

    • supershwa says:

      Snares are probably the easiest way to catch rabbits.

  13. Guy says:

    There are many different types of snares which ones do you recommend?

  14. jim says:

    i do that for a living

    • Assassin man says:

      I want some snares o use on my brothers lol

      • poop says:

        that depends if yer bro has a knife…or a shotgun.

  15. jeremyhill says:

    i like the traps that keep the animal or human hanging in a tree…very easy to make after you figure it out.

  16. jack netfan says:

    good to know how if needs must

  17. Mhairi Williams says:

    When I see things like this I feel our population is far tooooo high!!!!!!!

  18. Tesia says:

    i wanna make one of these to kill a squirrel or a vole or somethin like that.

  19. chris says:

    In my army survival training, our training NCO said something I will never forget: “If it’s got red blood and an asshole, you can eat it.” I don’t know if vultures and buzzards have assholes or not,but pretty much every other animal does.

  20. everet presley says:


  21. bearcreekoutpost says:

    the title says survival traps and snares .it doesnt say zombie apocolips or shtf. sirvival is staying alive. whether it means your plane crashed,your car slid off a mountianside, your town was nuked or whatever.the idea is to stay alive by whatever means necessary .if it comes down to me eating or fighting off something tryinng to get me , i will do what i cant to stay alive .most of these skills have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years .refridgerators and mass shipping have only been around the last hundred years or so. do you really think the pilgrims or the mountain men of this country gave a damn whether a trap or snare was humane . it was their way of feeding themselves. that being said i dont kill game unless i plan to eat it . i have been unemployed enough to wonder where my next meal was coming from and beleive me stealing is not out of the question either. starving or close to it can definately change your ethics . especially when you see rich assholes paying a thousand dollar a plate dinners but woundnt give a homeless person a dollar. or the guys that spend thousands on big game hunting so they can mount a trophy and spend a night in a million dollar camping lodge and call it roughing it . lets get real people. survival is knowing what to do in the situation your in and being able to do it period.

  22. mark says:

    I trapped for many years when i was young, we were very poor and very much needed the money. I love animals and wouldnt kill one unless it was very necessary. as it is important in respect to the countries economic issues to know how too hunt, trap and gather edible foods and practice to the point were you know you can at least feed yourself and your family. Animals also eat many of the things we can to to survive. Muskrats for example are not just easy to trap even in the winter with a trap in its house (they drowned)which having had the similar experience several times is more fear based than painful. its a highly effective set. They eat the parts of cattails, arrowhead, lilies, wildrice, etc that we can eat. and store some in their house as well. make sure to seal the house right so it doesnt freeze. dont over harvest. clear the dead tops of cattails around the marsh so fresh growth comes up. they eat it of course so their population increases. you can also eat the fresh parts, different parts all year. this would provide you food all year. their wild rice can be collected in aug in my area, humans can improve these areas which help them as will. Arrowhead tubers (2inch potato substitute) can be collected before ice up and stored for your food storage. Beavers are easily trapped with a snare in the entrance to their house. They eat the inner bark of trees which we can as well. they dont eat the bark of every kinda tree of course, indians ate white pine inner bark off small saplings. Raccoons can be baited easily and also use logs to cross rivers etc. these are easy sets. everyone drowns the animal. Deer can be caught with a spring pool snare/trip wire set(this is survival, life or death here. Yours or theirs) Turtles are caught with bait on a hook along ponds like ducks, fish and other animals. Its a mean way to go for a four legged animals so i wont do it, but a starving man can to save his family as far as i am concerned. Set lines for fish, tied to the ends of branches or bottles etc. hopefully 80% of your meal are wild edibles and then you wont have to over depend on the aniaml meat to heavily. 10-20 traps/snares/person and same with the set lines and you will have enough to store meat and food for the hard times. I have a heirloom garden seed pack in my freezer (aaoob foods sells them the cheapest from what i have seen and their 6 gal buckets of food aint bad either) Urban farms sells them in bulk as well and i have some seeds of theirs as well. Rabbits can be captured a live as other animals can to raise more of them. I have Tame rabbits running the yard with a large bulk feeder of corn for them, they dont go anywhere. and they sell for more than the lb of meat is worth right now so either i take the cash or the meat(in a survival situation). Their way to many ways to survive. i think the governments over reaction to a disaster will do far more to damage this country then one little disaster that we all would bounce back from in short order(i am a Cheif A Stationary Enigineer- i make the electricity, i know) God Bless! Good luck! :)

  23. Tinker says:

    A pack of guitar strings would make good snare wires, I think. Plus, you get 6 for $5 and the whole pack fits in your pocket. I plan on trying out one of these snares with some of my old strings.

    • smallhunter78 says:

      im thinking about setting traps on my land but im worried about my cats setting my traps of though any ideas lads

      • riverat says:

        use coon traps that are dog proof and cat proof

  24. Casey says:

    3 traps? That’s the best you could do? Not a lot of info man.

  25. RAVEN23 says:

    Thanks man! Your site is the shit! I have spread the word on facebook and google+, and I will also tell the hunters out the local gun club. I am a 12F Army Veteran, been out now almost 18 years… I have forgotten a lot of this stuff, and your website refreshes me memory, and brings back ‘old’ memories ;-)) Thanks so creating such an awesome site!!! God’s Speed~~~~~~~

  26. riverat says:

    don’t mess around with that …..get you some real traps…..6 foothold traps and 6 conibear traps will keep you in all kinds food

  27. Epicnessless says:

    I reccomend a spring-and-spear trap. Very effective and it kills the animal for you in case u have a weak stomach. It may not work right the first time because it takes a lot of practice (as with most other traps)

  28. brolz says:

    The simplest trap is tying a rope to something that wont move and putting a knot on the other end that will close by itself when a foot or head goes through it. Cheers

  29. John says:

    I carry rat traps in my bug out bag because they will catch and kill mice and squirrel size game. I just drill a hole in the corner so I can take some snare wire and tie it off to a stake or a small tree on a game trail. They are super quick to set, never fail to fire and kill the animal very quickly usually. I can fit 5 in my bag very easily and I don’t see the need to kill bigger game as there won’t be an easy way to keep the meat fresh other than dehydrating. I have used this on my property during trapping season for squirrels with peanut butter and it worked very well. Better than a squirrel pole snare trap. If anybody wants to know what a squirrel pole is I will be happy to post about it.

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