Using Nonlethal Snare Sets

Other than the bodygrip, the snare is the most effective tool for trapping predators the modern trapper has at their disposal.

The foothold trap can be used both for lethal dispatch and for nonlethal snaring.

How Snares Are Used

The snare has been used for a very long time and it was originally used to grab the target animal by the neck and choke them to death. Because of ethical concerns snares have been banned in many places and became largely a tool used in deep wilderness areas.

The invention of spring poles made them even more lethal and then aircraft cable was used which allowed a snare to hold an animal for longer. This setup was placed near trees or other snags which the animal would get tangled up in and hang themselves.

But some trappers found animals who had not strangled but were still being held alive.

This has led to the trapper being able to utilize a non lethal snare for trapping animals in more settled areas.

Non Lethal Snare Equipment

No matter if the goal is lethal or not, the snare equipment you use will be largely the same. The primary factor that makes a snare nonlethal is the location of the setup.

The most lethal part of a snare setup is the tangle available. So to make a snare nonlethal your setup must be tangle free.

This is because the snare lock is not enough by itself to strangle the target. So without tangle being near the target animal will effectively be on a leash.

That means that an open field is a primary setup location for placing your snare. It can also be placed at a lone tree with no other tangle near by.

Another key is to use the shortest cable possible. This will help prevent the target from wrapping themselves up. The cable itself should also be thicker than when going for a lethal rig. The most common non lethal cable diameter is 3/32 but definitely larger than 5/64.

Using a swivel is also recommended as this will allow the animal more leeway to move freely on the cable. The swivel will also keep the cable from fraying and breaking easily.


With this setup you can consistently have yourself an effective non lethal snare setup. The classic snare setup you are already familiar with just needs a few tweaks and it is ready to go.

For more tips check out these articles

Written by Fred

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