Best Snares & Trapping Methods For Food, Fur, Survival & Doomsday Preppers is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Dakotaline Ghost Rider Snares - Basic Snare Package

Dakotaline Ghost Rider Basic Snare Package

If you want to learn how to catch rabbits, coyotes, fox, racoon and other animals for food, fur and survival, keep reading.  Learn which snares to buy and how to use snare support wires, staking, and "tangling" your critter, along with what size snare loops to set and how high to position them off the ground to catch specific animals.

Advantage Of Using Dakotaline Snares

If you want to catch your own wild game for food or survival, snaring is a very effective method to catch small and medium sized animals.   One big advantage of snaring over other trapping methods is they are lighter and easier to carry, so you can create more sets.  We recommend Dakotaline snares which are tension loaded for quicker closure and preventing the animal backing out which results in higher percentage success rates.  Loading is the "memory" that is put into the wire of each snare and makes a snare close fast.  A fast snare equals more animals being caught when you check your trap line. 

Snare Components

Snare Components

Snare Diameters & Snare Heights

Snares are typically set based on the critter.  While you can often get a raccoon snared in a snare set coyote, snares are more effective when set for the animal that you want to snare.  Therefore, it is important to set snare diameters and snare heights from the ground based on the animal.  

 Critter    Ideal Snare Diameter  Ideal Snare Height  From Ground
 9-10"  2-3"
 Bobcat  8"  8"
 Coyote  9-10" 9-10" 
 Fox 7"  7" 
 Mink 3.5"  1.5" 
 Rabbit 3.5"  1.5" 
 Raccoon     7"  6"

For the ideal snare height from ground, measure from the ground to the bottom of the snare loop.  The loop sizes above are designed to optimize catching the specific animal.  For example, coyotes and foxes are usually caught around the neck, which is best.  For a raccoon, the ideal situation is a snare loop around the neck and one leg.  A raccoon can sometimes work its way off the snare if it is just around its neck because it has very nimble toes.  This can be the same situation for a beaver.  The snare diameter size and height above the ground a important factors for successful snaring.  Notice in the picture of a coyote set below, how not only brush, trees, and sticks are used to "funnel" a coyote along a trail right into the snare at the right height, but having sticks, grass, bushes, etc. very close to the snare also breaks up the outline more, making the snare less noticeable to the animal.

Coyote Snare Guide

Example Coyote Snare Set


The purpose of the Support Wire is just to put the snare in the correct position.  Staking is required to hold the snare in place since you have a critter pulling with all four feet.  Rebar stakes work well, but you can also use earth anchors or extension cables to loop the snare around a tree.  Earth anchors are popular because you do not have to have a sturdy tree nearby, and they are light and very effective when used properly.  Scroll down to see the recommended accessories below for disposable stakes and a stake driver, or for an 8' snare extension cable.  Snare extension cables are typically available in 4', 6', or 8' and are usually sold by the dozen.

Snare Set & Ready To Trap

Notice The Sticks Set To Sides & Overhead For "Funneling"

Minimizing Human Scent & Using Lures

When handling your equipment or setting your trap line, you must minimize human scent.  Your first step is to make sure that your snaring equipment is as clean and scent-free as possible.  Wear scent free gloves, and wash your hands and then rub them in leaves or dirt before touching your gloves or equipment.  Next you have to make sure that your boots are only used for trapping, and only wear them in the wilderness or on the trail, and walk through water or mud puddles to the extent possible.  Think about the ramification of wearing your boots for purposes other than setting your trap line.  For example, the worst thing you could do is to wear your boots driving and also stopping by a gas station on the way to setting your traps.  If you do that, the bottoms of your boots will leave significant scents along your whole trap line.  Next, only set your trap line by yourself.  If you take one person with you, you will basically leave twice the amount of human scent, and your traps will be much less effective.  Use binoculars to check your trap line from a distance.  Always be cognizant to keep your scent away from your traps and snares.  Think about the animal also.  Raccoons do not mind human scents very much as they'll come right up to a house or barn looking for food.  Spraying fox or coyote urine on the trap or snare will tell another fox or coyote that it is safe to walk up to.  Human scent is less of a concern when trapping raccoons, beavers, and muskrats.  You should use scents and lures to attract the animals that you want to snare.  We highly recommend the book "The New Buckshot's Complete Survival Trapping Guide" to learn everything you need to know about trapping and snaring animals.  

Using Fence Lines To Your Advantage

Utilizing fences is a great method for setting snares.  Just dig out a spot under a fence where an animal can crawl under and set the snare size based on the animal you want to catch.  Alternatively, cut out a section of fence to set the snare, or simply place a snare on a barbed wire fence line.

Rabbit Snare Set On Cut Out Fence Section

Rabbit Snare Set On Cut Out Fence Section

Fox or Coyote Snare Set On Fence Line

Fox or Coyote Snare Set On Fence Line

Breakaway Snares

The purpose of a breakaway snare is to allow non target species (such as a deer) to break free, but will hold the smaller target animal.  This action is attained by adding a weak link in the snare system.  Search for snares with breakaways included (example - 285lb Breakaway)

Beaver Snare Set

Beaver Snare Set


Tangling is a significant decision to make when setting your snares and is often misunderstood.  If you give something for the snared animal to become entangled in, the snare set is almost always lethal.  Tangling is important when snaring coyotes as a live coyote can quickly chew through a snare cable.  Coyotes, fox, and bobcats are typically killed if they have anything to become entangled in.  This could include a bush, a piece of fence, or a rebar kill pole.  Kill poles are designed to kill your target critter quicker. The concept is that you use a long rebar instead of just a rebar stake to anchor your snare. By using a longer than necessary stake, you leave approximately 1/2 or more of your stake sticking up out of the ground. By attaching your snare to the top of the kill pole, and using a very short snare, with a support wire welded to the top of the pole, the critter will wrap around the pole and choke down faster and kill itself quicker, as long as your pole does not spin.  Spinning eliminates the purpose.  As an example of a kill pole, you could use a 3 foot, 1/2 inch rebar for raccoons and drive the pole into the ground about 14 inches or so.  For coyotes and bobcats cats, a 5 foot, 5/8" rebar would be more appropriate driven into the ground about 24 inches or so.  Soil conditions will determine length of poles. Sandy soil would require more depth, while clay or rocky soil would require less depth.  You can get the same effect in brush by attaching your snare to a tree 3 to 6 feet high depending on the target critter.  Generally kill poles are used in situations where there is less brush for entanglement.  Attaching the end of your snare to the top of the pole allows the critter to hang himself. 

Never set snares with entanglement when domestic catches are a possibility.  See the first video below that includes how to set non-lethal snares on farmland.

Coyote Snare Set On Fence Line

Coyote Snare Set In Fence Line

Which Snares Should I Buy?

We recommend Dakotaline, a premier maker of snares that provides trappers 3 options to choose for snare colors (Standard, Ghost Rider, & Camouflage).  Camouflage & Ghost Rider snares are superior to Standard snares as they are cleaned, dyed, ready to use, and they blend in to minimize animals refusing to approach the snare.  Standard snares need to be "seasoned" at a minimum of running the snares through a dishwasher to dull them up as well as clean them.  In some cases you will want to paint or dye a Standard "shiney cable" snare.  Dakotaline snares have been tested over thousands of trapline miles.  Each snare is test fired to ensure quality. 

The Dakotaline Ghost Rider Basic Snare Package has what you need to get started snaring today including one dozen 60" Ghost Rider Versatile Snares, pre-cut snare support wires, a snare tool, and a 38 minute instructional DVD video that shows you how to snare wild game.  

The Basic Snare Package kit (pictured at the top of this article) includes:
  • One dozen 60" Ghost Rider Vesatile Snares
  • One dozen Pre-cut Support Wires
  • Redman Snare Tool
  • 38 minute DVD that shows "on the line" snare instruction with lots of catches.

These snares come with Dakotaline case hardened Lopro locks, #9 gauge swivels, poly support collars, and are made from 3/32" 7" x 7" steel cable. Each snare is cleaned and dyed an earth tone black. Support wires have changed snaring. Years ago trappers would look for a trail that went by a tree or a bush that they could hang their snare on. Their set locations were very limited. With support wires now a trapper picks the best location on the trail, drives a support wire into the ground and hangs the snare.  This is easy with the included Redman Snare Tool.  This tool has a grooved notch in the end that fits either 9 or 11 gauge wire and makes quick work of setting support wires.  It is designed to drive a hole into the ground while simultaneously setting your support wire (see picture below).  Once your support wire is in the ground, then squeeze the end of the support wire into the poly collar on the snare and position the snare on the trail.  There is a 38 minute instructional snaring DVD included that provides snare setting instructions on a trap line and shows lots of snared animals.

In addition to using the Redman Snare Tool to set the support wire, you can also use it to create holes to set small twigs or branches.  If a ideal natural path does not exist that would guide the critter into the snare, then supplement the path with twigs etc., like shown in the picture below.  You should always optimize the path that a critter must take.  You want to funnel the critter right into your snare using available twigs or anything else that you find nearby.

Redman Snare Tool

Understand Trapping and Snaring Laws In Your State

Before using any traps or snares, be sure to do a search on trapping and snaring laws in your specific state.

Rabbit Snare Set

Rabbit Snare Set

Sample Amazon Feedback

"A great snare that really works for me. The included video gives you the knowledge on how to use your snares."

"Good kit, great way to get started.  The sound on the included DVD could be better (wind noise) but overall, a great starter set."

"Five stars.  Great product."

Bobcat Snare Set

Bobcat Snare Set

YouTube Video

The following YouTube video demonstrates setting Dakotaline snares on farm land.  This video includes setting non-lethal snares.  

Dakota Line Snares - Farmland Snaring

The following YouTube video is a great instructional video on Snares and Snaring.  Wildernessoutfitters has a great YouTube Channel with numerous instructional videos on snaring, trapping, skinning, and tanning, and trapping ethics.

Modern Trapping Part 5 Intro to Snares and Snaring

The following YouTube video shows you how to prep your Snares and Traps.

Modern Trapping Part 6 Prepping Snares and Body Grips

The following YouTube video shows you how to build your own snares.

How to Build a Snare

 The following YouTube video shows you how to make snares from paracord or wire.

How to Make a Basic SNARE Trap with Paracord or Wire - Catch Your Own Survival Food

Other Snares & Snare Packages (Note: 7x7 cable means cable with 7 inner strands with 7 outer strands wrapped around it.  This is pretty standard.  All of the snares below are either Ghost Rider or Camouflage dyed.  If you prefer to prep you own snares, buy Standard Snares instead.)

  • Ghost Rider Survival Snare Package (3-Rabbit/Squirrel Sized Snares, 3-Snares that will work on animals like coyote and beaver, & 3 Big Game Snares for hog/wolf sized animals)

Y-trap For Snowshoe Hare
Y-trap For Snowshoe Hare

Recommended Accessories

Recommended Books

Coil Spring (Leg Hold) Traps

See this link for lots of information on Coil Spring Traps (also called Leg Hold" traps).  Learn all about Coil Spring traps including how to select your traps, how to prepare and modify your traps, and different methods and tips for trapping different sized animals.  Start catching animals like foxes, raccoons, minks, skunks, opossum, coyotes, beavers, bobcats, lynx, badgers, otters, mountain lions, wolves, and more.

Recommended Blog

To learn more about snaring, what size animals can be snared and how a prepper can be much more effective snaring versus hunting and other advantages of snaring, check out this article by

Caution & Warning

Use at your own risk. Please note that the information provided on this web page is for information only. and it's owner have no liability or responsibility for anyone using any items described on this web site including Dakotaline Ghost Rider Snares and the other items shown on this web page. Snares are dangerous, especially when used improperly or when they are set in locations where people, children, pets, or any animals (that you do not want harmed) will be in the vicinity of these snares.

Return to Top Survival Preps