Survivalist Tip: In previous posts, I discussed how to build a fire, fashion an adjustable pot hanger out of dead wood and cook fish on a rock. This, of course, is mainly for those who plan to be on foot as the apocalypse hits. But, these are good skills to know in case you have to evacuate your home and head for the outdoors. Along with those, you should also learn how to build a small game snare. Since the beginning of time, humans have used snares to survive in even the most inhospitable environments. Small game includes rabbits, squirrels and Amazonian tarantulas. It does not include small dogs, house cats and miniature horses! If you have any vegetarians in your group, tell them they’re on their own. Snares are not suitable for capturing apples, potatoes and corn cobs.
The most common type is the “Trigger Spring Snare,” which has 4 components:
- The Noose (made from some kind of cordage–preferably wire);
- The 2 Part Trigger (carved from wood);
- The Leader Line (also made from some kind of cordage);
- The Engine (typically a bent-over sapling).
The most effective noose material is wire. There are many different types of wire that will work, but it must be flexible. Some examples are:
- Twisted copper strands from the inside of a lamp, power cords from toasters, microwave ovens, irons, or heavy-duty vibrators
- Picture hanging wire
- Stripped wire from car or vehicle electrical systems
- Craft wire
- Headphone wire
- Wire from a spiral bound note pad
- Wire reinforced bras (make certain no one is wearing it at the time)
- Wire from inside electronics such as toys, phones and radios
If you don’t have any wire, here are some alternatives:
- The inner strands from 550 Parachute Cord
- Shoe strings
- Dental floss
- Fishing line
The average length of your noose cord needs to be 18-24 inches for most small game animals. To construct your noose you need to make a small loop in one end about the diameter of a pencil. With wire you can simple make the loop and twist the wire back on itself several times. With string, simply fold the end back onto itself and tie an overhand knot to secure the loop.
Run the other end of the cord/wire through the loop to create the noose. Then, tie the tag end to your trigger.
The trigger consists of 2 parts: the Hook and the base. Tie the Leader Line to the top of the Hook and then tie the Noose to the bottom of the Hook. The Engine (typically a bent over sapling) provides tension to the Hook, which is secured under the Base – until an animal disengages it by pulling on the Noose. (If some unsuspecting fool like a politician or a reality show TV star triggers the noose, don’t be too upset.) The Leader Line from the Hook to the Engine can be any type of cordage, but it needs to be strong enough to withstand the initial “spring jerk” and then the weight of the suspended (and struggling) animal.
Every environment is different and unique. There may not be a sapling to bend over along a game trail. Or, you may be in the middle of a prairie, field, or desert where there are no trees. If so, you must improvise – use your bow and arrow set to start shooting wild game. If you don’t have one, then resign yourself to a slow, miserable death and give your pathetic, helpless soul to the Mayan deities!