So you’ve decided to take the road less traveled and have opted out of using the more popular box or cage type rabbit traps? That decision is to be applauded, but do keep in mind that snare traps can take some trial and error and a good deal more research and legwork before you are successfully able to snare a rabbit.
The good news is that snare traps are probably the cheapest to make. All you need is some snare wire (or any wire really, but we’ll get to that) and maybe an axe to cut some small branches. The real effort comes from trying to figure out exactly what rabbit you’re going to snare and locating the trail of said rabbit. This is crucial because the dimensions of the loop and the location of the snare both depend upon those two factors. So go ahead and explore a bit to get those two things right.
Now let’s move on to actually constructing the snare trap. The first thing you’re going to do is create an inverted triangle over the most isolated portion of the rabbit trail that you can find. The isolation is primarily to keep other people or animals from interfering with the snare. The upside-down triangle is to funnel the rabbit into the snare loop that you will suspend roughly in the center of said triangle.
rabbit snare diagram for trapping
Photo by james.marchington / CC BY
You will need to find or cut branches to form that triangle. The orientation and thickness of the branches depends upon the size of the rabbit and the existing foliage and trees surrounding the portion of the trail that you’ve chosen. Just make sure that the one branch or stick that you suspend the snare from, which can be vertical or horizontal, is thick and either firmly rooted or attached to something solid, preferably the ground or a tree.
The next step is to make the star of the trap, the snare loop. The material of the wire is again dependant on the type of rabbit, but stainless steel is the reliable choice. Pick the gauge that seems to be the best combination of strength and flexibility for the species that you’re trying to snare.
Take a good 30 inches of the snare wire and form a small loop of about 2 inches diameter at one end by coiling the wire and twisting it around itself a few times, like a twisty tie that you might find on a package of sliced bread. Now take the other end of the wire and thread it through the existing loop to form another loop roughly an inch smaller than the largest diameter of the rabbit’s body.
Now tighten the first loop into a knot to keep your larger loop in place. Take the unaltered end of the wire and loop that around the branch that you have chosen to suspend the snare loop from. Continue to loop it until the snare feels secure and is adequately tracing the rough center of the triangular funnel that you formed earlier. That is it for your basic rabbit snare.
Since the snare is located along the rabbit trail itself, bait is usually unnecessary, especially as it might attract some other critter to your snare site. Just remember to adjust the dimensions of the snare loop if you don’t notice any results for a few days.