How To Snare Beavers: Simple And Effective

Trapping beaver with a snare set is one of the most efficient and effective methods available to the busy trapper. I’ve been trapping beaver year round for a number of years and I’ve found snaring to be great for even the most trap shy beaver out there.

If you are looking to learn how to snare beaver effectively read on for my tried and true method.

Create Your Own Beaver Snare

Of course you can purchase a serviceable snare set but I much prefer to make my own snares for beaver. It doesn’t cost much and it’s not difficult at all. Just gather up the needed supplies and assemble as many as you need.

I take 3/32 inch 7×7 galvanized cable for a strong loop. It has the ability to securely hold any catch. Add in a mid cable swivel for easier removal. By using the swivel you will only have to replace half your rig after each beaver.

The section of cable running from the swivel to the snare anchor can be used over and over again.

I have found eight to nine inch long sets to be best for beaver. A long set allows the beaver to be calmer on the snare because they have room to move around.

I also add treelocks to my rig as I like to anchor them to trees.

Prepping Your Snare

You should always treat your beaver snares. A new shiny rig is less effective so all the shine must be removed. Your snare will not only be less visible to beaver, but also to other people.

To treat your snares put them in a pot of simmering water with baking soda until they take on a dull grey appearance. About 20 minutes will usually do the trick.

Make sure to treat your swivels and treelocks as well.

You can also spray paint them a flat grey or black or even dye and wax them. Any of these will work but no matter which method you prefer, do not skip this step.

Setting Your Beaver Snare

An evening at a loch in Aviemore

As noted earlier, I prefer to set my beaver snares with a tree anchor, but sometimes there aren’t any suitable trees where I want to place my rig. When that happens I use a double stake setup with half inch rerod bars.

Use two foot long bars and always keep some chain handy in case you need to reach for another anchor. The best style to use are quick link chains as they are much easier when using with a snare.

Each suitable beaver location I find will be rigged with four blind sets. Blind sets work the best as bait near your snare will likely lead to the beaver slowing down to check out the bait. This will cause the snare noose to close slowly and provides an escape opportunity for the beaver.

Place your bait far enough away from your snares to avoid this and set your traps along well traveled trails. Narrow passes along trails next to strong trees are my first placement choice. Use the tree as your anchor and set a ten to twelve inch loop directly on the narrow pathway.

Set the bottom of the snare on the ground and then put a thin stepping stick in front of the snare on the path. Hold the loop with a stick by pushing it into the ground along the side of your snare. Next wedge the loop into the split with the slide lock touching the stick.

This setup is strong and highly effective if the area allows for it. But another great location is at dam crossovers. It is not legal to trap on a dam in all states so check your local guidelines.

Here you will center your snare at the bottom of a slide and anchor it like a trail setup. This setup does not need to be concealed and it is highly effective.

If trapping near a channel you will need to find a narrow in the channel that is no wider than your snare setup. Simply set the snare directly on the narrow channel pass and anchor with two stakes. This set works very well when the above two locations are not available.


Once you have all your snares setup and ready to go simply put your gear in a bucket and head out to your scouted locations. Snaring beaver is easy and effective once you have a plan. Over the years, these simple snare techniques have led to huge harvests. Give them a try the next time you go trapping beaver and let me know how it goes.

For more tips check out these articles

Written by Fred

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