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How to build a snare & trap small animals

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Survival Skills: How to Build Snares and Traps for Small Animals


In a survival situation, knowing how to procure food can be essential for your survival. Building snares and traps for small animals is a valuable skill that can help you secure a source of sustenance when other options are scarce. In this guide, we’ll explore the basics of building snares and traps for small animals, providing you with the knowledge you need to increase your chances of survival in the wilderness.

Understanding Snares and Traps

Before delving into the specifics of building snares and traps, it’s important to understand the principles behind them. Snares are designed to capture animals by noose or entanglement, while traps are mechanisms that immobilize or kill animals when triggered. Both snares and traps can be effective methods for catching small game such as rabbits, squirrels, and birds.

Choosing the Right Location

Selecting the right location for your snares and traps is crucial for maximizing your chances of success. Look for areas with signs of animal activity, such as game trails, burrows, or feeding areas. Additionally, consider factors such as camouflage and concealment to minimize the chances of your snares and traps being detected by wary prey.

Building a Simple Snare

One of the simplest and most effective types of snares is the basic snare loop. To build a basic snare, you’ll need a length of wire or cordage, a sturdy branch or stake, and a trigger mechanism. Form a small loop at one end of the wire and secure it to the branch or stake. Position the loop along a game trail or near a den entrance, and set the trigger mechanism so that it will release the loop when disturbed by an animal.

Constructing a Figure-4 Deadfall Trap

Another effective trapping method is the figure-4 deadfall trap, which relies on a weighted object to crush prey when triggered. To build a figure-4 deadfall trap, fashion three sticks into the shape of a figure-4, with the bait stick serving as the trigger. Prop up the weighted object (such as a large rock or log) with the figure-4 mechanism, ensuring that it will fall when the trigger stick is disturbed by an animal.

Ensuring Humane Capture

It’s important to prioritize humane capture when building snares and traps for small animals. Check your snares and traps frequently to minimize the suffering of captured animals, and use caution when handling live prey. Remember that trapping is a means of survival, and treat captured animals with respect and gratitude for the sustenance they provide.


Building snares and traps for small animals is a valuable skill that can enhance your ability to survive in the wilderness. By understanding the principles behind snares and traps, selecting the right location, and constructing effective devices, you can increase your chances of securing a vital source of food in a survival situation. Practice your trapping skills regularly and approach the task with patience and persistence, and you’ll be better prepared to thrive in the wild.

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