Trapping gives much more meat per unit of energy expended than hunting does. Using snares is a passive activity; you can set several traps in multiple locations and check them once a day leaving you free to do other useful work while still gathering food. Hunting requires active attention; you cannot stalk a deer while tending a signal fire.
Snares are also relatively lightweight, cheap, and easy to pack.
Today’s video shows how to make and use a Survival Squirrel Snare using bailing wire or 20 gauge galvanized steel wire.
A roll of this wire is about $5.00, makes several dozen snares, is relatively lightweight, compact, and can be used for other survival uses.
How to Build a Survival Squirrel Snare
- Cut a length of wire approximately 18 inches long (length depends on how you are going to attach it).
- Make a small loop at one end of the wire
- Run the wire back over itself and through the small twisted loop you made. This makes a larger loop “lasso”. The wire should run freely through the small twisted loop you made at the end of the wire. The loop this forms should be approximately the diameter of a coke can.
- With the small twisted loop at approximately the “10 o’clock” position, run the free end of your wire snare down and attach it to your squirrel run.
- The squirrel run is a straight stick relatively free of limbs and 6-10 feet long. It should be about the same thickness as a man’s wrist. This branch has one end resting on the ground, and the other resting on the trunk of a tree. It should intersect the ground at an approximate 45 degree angle.
Is possible you want to pick a tree that has a squirrel nest in it, or is an oak tree – that way squirrels will be naturally drawn to it.
The idea is that a squirrel will choose to run up the stick to get to the tree trunk, as that is easier for them to get on the tree than jumping the 90 degree angle to move from ground to trunk.
If a squirrel runs up the pole they will have to move through the snare. They won’t mind as it looks flexible and they can see through it. As they enter the snare, their head goes in, but their body cannot. The snare tightens around them as they run; they hit the end of the wire and fall off the branch in their struggle.
Be Careful How You Place the Snare
If the wire is placed appropriately, they will hang themselves and will not be able to climb back up.
You can place multiple snares on a single run, just make sure they are all high enough that a snared squirrel will hang free and not touch the ground, and that there is enough space that they cannot touch each other.
I do not know where you live, but obviously you need to look at the game laws in your area. In my state of Tennessee this is illegal, and not something I would do as long as I can go to the grocery for food. But in the event nothing else was available and I would starve otherwise, there are many squirrels in my subdivision (or nearby parks) and they could mean the difference between going hungry or not.