Choosing The Right Snare

Step 1:

State Regulations - It is your responsibility to know and abide by your state's regulations. We have provided links for all the states, where you can find requirements and restrictions.

Step 2:

Cable Selection - There are many different types, sizes, constructions and lengths of cable to choose from.

Type of Cable: There are many different types of cable out there, all with different qualities, characters, and uses. When the Old Timers were first exploring the land they used whatever was available to them; vines, horse hair, etc, but times have changed and there are a lot better options out there for the trappers of the new century!

Cable Construction: How cable is constructed affects almost every characteristic about the cable. It will determine flexibility, smoothness, strength, weight, etc. Cable construction should be chosen with diameter of cable, different construction may allow you to choose a smaller diameter cable, etc.

Cable Diameter: The diameter of the cable can be determined by your target animal and construction of cable.

Cable Length: Different situation call for different lengths of snares.

Step 3:

Anchoring End – To determine what type of end you want on your snare, you should know what type of anchoring system you will be using. Whether you prefer to use a rebar stake, an earth anchor or a Pogo anchor, the end on your snare can make attaching them a lot easier.

Adjustable Loop End: This loop can be adjusted bigger and smaller allowing you to loop it around a fence post, or rebar stake. It also allows you to easily run the snare back through the loop to anchor to a tree, brush, etc. This type of end has no swiveling action and tends to kink the cable badly when an animal is caught, but actually makes it work better than a swivel in an entanglement situation (dispatch snares, kill poles).

Solid Loop End: A solid loop has many of the same qualities as an adjustable loop, except it can not be made bigger or smaller. We put solid loops on our under-ice beaver snares; they can easily be nailed to a bait pole.

Swiveled End: Swivels are the most popular type of anchoring end. They allow the cable to turn with the animal as it rolls and fights, which means less kinking. If you want to live catch anything a swivel is a must.

Combo Snare Ends/Tree Lock: Combo Ends can be used for many different things; swivel, adjustable loop end, drowner lock, or in-line swivel. We don’t have any pre-made snares with these ends on them, but they can be custom made, or you can put them on yourself if you like.

Step 4:

Snare Lock – All snares must have some sort of locking mechanism to work. Whether it is a bent washer lock, mechanical lock, or a knot in the cable, a lock is what closes down on the snared animal and holds it there. Check your state’s regulations, some states have restrictions on what type of lock you can snare with.

Relaxing Lock: A relaxing lock will close down on the animal when they walk through the snare and are pulling on the cable, but it will release the pressure off the cable once the animal stops pulling. Relaxing locks tend to be less aggressive, but some newer locks, like the Micro Lock, are just as aggressive as the non-relaxing locks. A relaxing lock should be used if you are trying to live catch an animal, and they greatly reduce fun damage commonly caused by non-relaxing locks. (i.e. all of the washer locks, Micro Locks, Relax-a-locks)

Non-Relaxing Locks: A non-relaxing lock is designed to hold its position on the cable. When an animal is pulling and fighting the snare, the non-relaxing lock will get tighter and tighter, and when the animal stops pulling the lock bites into the cable and holds its position tight around the animal. These are great in dispatch sets, and entanglement situations. (i.e. Berkshire Sure lock, BMI Locks, Grawe’s Bullet Locks, Gregerson Locks, Berkshire Modified L-Locks)

Mechanical Locks: These locks are a non-relaxing lock with moving parts. They are very aggressive, fast, and non forgiving, but you can easily release them off an animal once they are dispatched, etc. (i.e. Cam-Locks, Amberg Wedge Locks, NWRC Locks)

Step 5:

Support Collar – The support collar is the device that attaches your snare to the support wire. The wire can then be adjusted to the proper height and position in the trail.

Twist-On Support Collar: All our snares feature this support collar. They fit 3/64”-1/8” cable and 14ga - 9ga wire, so no more wondering what size wire you have, these will fit on any wire you’ve got. To attach to your support wire, twist the collar with a left hand thread. If you are holding the wire in your left hand and the collar in your right hand, twist the top of the collar toward your body. These are fast when you’re out on the snareline and when you’re building your own snares!

Wammy Support Collar: These are the old style of support collar. They are specific to cable size and wire gauge. To attach to your support wire, simply plug the wire into the collar. Wammy Support Collars are a headache to keep separate when you are building snares, but on the snareline go on fast.

Plastic Tubing: We do not offer plastic tubing on snares, but it is being used. It is usually just a 1” – 2” surgical tube on the snare. To attach to the support wire, simply slide the wire into the tubing. We don’t like the tubing because in cold weather it tends to crack and get bridle and not usable.

No Support Collar: You can opt to have no collar on your snares if you like. If you are setting them under a fence and want to just us a piece of string to hold the loop up, or if you bend the support wire into a “W” and lace the snare trough it for support, you don’t necessarily need the support collar.

Step 6:

Deer Stop/Live Catch Stop – Is a stop placed on the inside of the loop that prevents the loop from closing past a certain point.

Deer Stop: A standard deer stop makes a 2 ½” diameter loop. The deer stop allows a leg caught deer to pull its leg back through the snare, and allows you to re-set the snare. Check your state’s regulations when it comes to deer stops, some states require them, some don’t, and some have specific diameters the deer stop must be set at.

Live Catch Stop: A live catch stop is the same stop as a deer stop, it is just placed to make a bigger loop on the snare. The standard live catch coyote stop is set at a 3 ½” diameter loop. This loop will not allow the coyote to escape, but will make sure the snare doesn’t close too tightly on the coyote and choke it out. Most fox will be able to escape from a snare with a live catch coyote stop; because the loop is too big and they can pull their head back through the loop. The standard live catch fox stop is a 2 ½” diameter, the same as a deer stop.

Step 7:

Breakaway Device – A breakaway device is required in some states, so check your state’s regulations. They can be a couple different things; S-hooks, J-hooks, Release Ferrules, or Breakaway Locks. They are devices that are designed to “breakaway” at a certain poundage of strength; they can straighten out, or pull off the end of the cable.

S-Hooks: An S-hook is an “S” shaped hook, usually made from a galvanized wire, with a pre-determined breaking strength. These S-Hooks are designed to complete the loop, between the lock and the cable, when they breakaway they straighten out releasing the loop and allowing the caught cow or deer go. S-Hooks work best with Cam-Locks or Wedge Locks, because of how they lay on the cable.

J-Hooks: A J-hook is a “J” shaped hook, usually made from a galvanized wire, with a pre-determined breaking strength. These J-Hooks are designed to complete the loop, between the lock and the cable, when they breakaway they straighten out releasing the loop and allowing the caught cow or deer go. J-Hooks work best with washer locks and Micro Locks, because of how they lay on the cable.

Release Ferrule: A release ferrule is a small stop placed behind the lock on the cable. When the animal pulls with more force than the ferrules are rated for, the stop will pop off and release the loop and the animal. To properly use release ferrules you must have the appropriate swag tool and compress the tool completely. If you do not follow directions with release ferrules the breakaway poundage might end up way lower or higher than what they are actually rated for.

Breakaway Locks: A breakaway lock is designed to “tear-out” at a pre-determined poundage. They started when guys would drill or cut out locks for homemade breakaways, and now are tested and made by a manufacture. Some states don’t accept breakaway locks as a breakaway device, so make sure you know your state’s regulations. (i.e. Gregerson Locks, Grawe’s Mini-Mag Lock, NWRC Locks)

Step 8:

Dispatch Spring – A dispatch spring is made to apply extra pressure on the lock. They are not legal in all states, so be familar with your state's regulations. These work the best in entanglement situations.

Regular Dispatch Spring: These come in either 25# or 50# which is a measure of how much pressure is applied on the lock. The spring is placed behind the lock on the cable.

Canadian Dispatch Spring/Stinger Spring: This spring looks like a tiny conibear spring. It is placed behind the lock on the cable. It was made famous by Marty Senneker, from Canada.

Step 9:

Ask Questions – Snaring all comes down the personal preference.

Asking your neighbor trapper will never hurt; he probably won’t give out his secrets, but almost always will tell you what doesn’t work! We are here to help to; after you go through all this information, if you still can’t find what your are looking for, or don’t understand what something is used for just give us a call. Talking to your local game warden can give you ideas too.

Other Neck Snares


Mini Ram: Mink

Ram #1: Coyote, Beaver, Fox, Lynx, Wolverine, Raccoon

Ram #2: Fox, Raccoon, Lynx

Ram Wolf Master: Wolf, Cougar, Bear, Wild Hogs

Foot Snares

Fremont Humane Foot Snare: