How To Snare Raccoons

Trapping raccoons with a snare is a very effective technique once you know how to do it. If your goal is to use a snare for trapping raccoons then read on for exactly how to do it, including the ideal setup.

How To Build Your Snare

After years of trial and error I have found a system that works consistently, and once you have the right components your snare rigs will help you harvest as many raccoons as you need.

Start out with a forty inch rebar stake, your snare, and another piece of rebar with a jump stick.

Weld a 1/2″ washer about an inch from the top of your first rebar stake.

This rebar stake will go into the ground near the trail you have scouted for your raccoon. It will serve as your snare anchor.

The snare itself is constructed from sixty inches of 1/16 aircraft cable. Create a loop on one end to secure to the grounded rebar stake using a ferrule.

A great option is a cam lock with a breakaway device. Make and add a deer stop out of copper wire. This will prevent any deer from getting snared.

If you will be placing multiple snares I recommend making some with a shorter rebar stake, around forty inches will work.

Use heavy 11 gauge wire for your snare support which will allow the snare lock to fall quickly when your target applies pressure to the loop.

If you use a jump stick over the loop, use a wire to attach it to the snare.

Proper Loop Size and Snare Height

Note: A larger loop and low bottom snare height will be more effective at catching raccoons but it will lead to more fur damage.

The best balance between effectiveness and minimizing fur damage is to use a loop size of six inches and a bottom snare height of four inches from the ground.

Use your 1/16 aircraft cable and the top of your snare will be fifteen inches high.

You will generally get neck catches with this configuration, which will effectively dispatch the raccoon with limited fur damage. The neck area is a lower value area of the pelt which is where the damage will be localized to.

If you opt for a larger loop size the raccoon will likely be snared at the legs which will lead to more struggling and damage.

The only real downside to the six inch loop is that some raccoons will be able to slip out of the snare.

Using A Jump Stick

If there is any chance that deer will encounter your snare then use a jump stick. You will need a jump stick that is at least one inch in diameter but larger is better. A larger jump stick will be better help to a deer.

A jump stick can also help you avoid snaring fox, bobcats and coyotes.

The jump stick is also beneficial in dispatching raccoons quicker, so using one is a no brainer.

Setting Up Your Trail Snare

Look for areas along the target trail for strong tree limbs. When you find one secure your snare to it instead of your stake. These natural anchors are preferable when available.

Use the appropriate length snare depending on how far away from the trail the anchor is.

Raccoon trails are well traveled and are located near water and to their dens. A raccoon trail will be approximately six inches wide and you will see obvious tracks along the way.

You will have the most success locating raccoon trails along low lying ground such as ditches, draws and break walls.

If you are in an area with cattle pasture, you will also find raccoon trails in these areas.

Setting Up Your Snare Near Water

A great place to setup your snare is along narrow beaches as long as the water is deep enough to drown the raccoon.

A great anchor for water snares is a piece of railroad tie plate. Position your plate so it will fall in water deep enough to drown your target. If the water is so deep you will not be able to see your snared target then use wire to secure your plate to a stake.

A drowning set will require a larger loop, about eight inches will work well. Set it closer to the ground than you would for a trail set.


Setting up a raccoon snare is simple and straight forward. If you plan to run a long trapline gather all your supplies and build them out in a weekend. Make sure to use the correct rebar and cable size and visualize how many trail and water setups you will need. Scout your area and the set your trapline. This simple snare strategy is very effective when implemented and you will get yourself an impressive harvest.

For more tips check out these articles

Written by Fred

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