Has anyone made and used a snare or trap for small game?

In various bushcraft books and even in the SAS Survival Handbook it talks about snares and traps as a method of passive hunting. Has anyone made and used one of these to catch something?

There are so many varieties like a spring snare, figure 4 palute deadfall, and more.




  • Comments (13)

    • 2

      Good morning Henry,

      Yes, I’ve made and used a snare trap.

      I did this for practice.

      In a liferaft, there’s a method to capture birds. 

      I caught a bird but immediately started to think about that albatross handing around one’s neck. I let the bird fly away.

      • 1

        What did your bird trap look like? Just a simple snare loop that catches the bird around the neck?

      • 3

        Good afternoon Henry,

        Besically, …

        Am in life raft. Take a small box / crate and with attached lines to life raft, float it ~ 20 – 30 feet away from raft.

        Before floating away ,attach to box / crate a small loop of rope being one half or a square knot. Have other half of square knot on long lime / rope attached to life raft.

        With square knot open, place a spring or rubber band of some sort … all this stuff common in offshore oil industry … and rig this in cernter of open square knot. A bird will come to rest on box /crate.

        After walking around box / crate the spring or rubber contraption will let loose, capturing the bird’s feet.  Then pull the box / crate in.

        There are override mechanisms to this method and can be done manually if necessary.

      • 3

        This reminds me of the movie Unbroken. It’s based on a true story about Olympian Louis Zamperini during WWII who was shot down and spent 47 days in a raft at sea and then was caught and placed into a Japanese POW camp. Incredible story! I believe that in the movie they catch a seagull that lands on their raft.

        Having the separate box floating 30 feet away from you would increase your likelihood of having birds land.

    • 2

      around here it’s all snares >>> often wanted to build one of the modified rat spring traps for netting birds – the bigger drop net bird flock catchers look neat if not practical ….

    • 2

      Technically it is a trap, I’ve caught many mice with mouse traps before. 

      What does a bird trap look like?

      • 2

        wire loop with mesh netting >>> looks like a fish landing net <<< for eazy fabrication you use a large rat trap as the movement device and trigger – sprinkle corn around in the area covered by your loop net and rig a few kernels to the trigger …

    • 2

      Nup I used weathered copper  wire snares to catch small critters with.  they need to be weathered and stored outside so they dont have the scent of humans on them.

      • 1

        That is a helpful tip to weather and store outside to reduce human scent. 

    • 2

      not mentioned often as a “trap” >> a fishing gill net secured in the glide path of small birds feeding can secure enough to sustain you – don’t discount the smaller birds like starlings – nursery rhyme “black birds in a pie” has an actual background …

      • 1

        Great suggestion Illini Warrior!

        Fish should be the preferred food source if possible because of their high fat content compared to birds, but if you are in an area where fish have stopped spawning or lakes and rivers are freezing over, turning your fishing gill net into a mist net is a good technique to keep the food coming in. Using your resources in multiple ways is a valuable survival skill.

      • 1

        if the SHTF is serious enough – good chance the grid is down including water & sewer >>> any body of water will be drawing people like flies to sugar – not to mention the real possibility of sewage/pollution contamination beyond care …

        with the people’s encampments if they don’t crap out the place entirely – it would probably be too dangerous to approach much less work the area for fishing …

        in most regards I’d be recommending the more covert fishing methods like self fishers and trout lines – nite time possibilities there 

      • 2

        Good morning Illini Warrior,

        Appreciated reading the above post.  Thank you.

        I’ve been trying to say the same (and do not feel successful in my efforts) over the last couple of months.

        Yes, ANY place with a body or water, to include rivers, will get swarms of people and these water sources will be contaminated.

        Definitely avoid contact with these new homesteaders.