One of the simplest and most effective techniques for catching small game is the snare. Traditionally, these primitive traps would be made from braided plant fibers or sinew, but today we’re able to create strong and lightweight snares from metal wire or cable. As long as you’re willing to collect a few materials from your local hardware store, you can assemble several of these locking cable snares in no time.

Locking cable snare 3

A cable snare like this one is compact, light, and can hold hundreds of pounds of weight.

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that cable snares are often illegal for hunting purposes, and also tend to be a less humane way of killing game than legal hunting methods. So, we would only advise you to use these snares in a survival situation, to provide food when you need it most. However, they’re a great resource to have in your bag in case SHTF, and they don’t weigh much or take up much space.

Locking cable snare 1

Old copper pennies can be drilled and bent to form a lock for the snare.

Youtube channel Bushcraft Basics shows how to make one of these snares in the video below:

Here’s a summary of the materials used in the video, which you can use as a checklist:

  1. 7×7 stainless steel cable, 1/16″ diameter (approximately 3 feet per snare)
  2. 1/16″ copper end stops, 1/16″ oval swage fittings, and a swage crimping tool (or small metal nuts and a vise or press)
  3. 1981 or older 95% copper pennies (or 14 gauge/2mm copper sheet)
  4. Cable cutters
  5. Drill and 3/32″ drill bit (or other bit slightly larger than 1/16″)
  6. Hammer and vise to bend pennies

Locking cable snare 2

Check out the video above for a step-by-step assembly of the snares. It’s very straightforward, and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to build each snare once you have the materials listed above. For alternate methods of providing survival food, check out this video about willow fish baskets and this infographic on foraging for edible plants.


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