Monday, September 30, 2019

guest article, article one of two today

article one of two today
Shoebox full of Aircraft Cable

This isn't a How to Snare article. It's more a cheerleading piece extolling the simplicity of trapping using manufactured locking aircraft cable snares, and their suitability for you the crafty survivalist.

As a facet of your food plan, snaring could add BBQ racoon, possum and sweet potatoes or feral hog luau style to your menu. 

Food you have stockpiled, food you can grow plus food you can trap.

Most of you guys reading here are aware of the benefits of trapping vs. hunting: 1.Trapping is generally more time efficient than hunting. Make 5 or so snare sets in good locations and you're going to get something. The trap is out there working for you 24/7 while you do something else.
2. Trapping is quieter than hunting with a firearm.
3. Using primitive techniques, traps could be made using wild built cordage, notched sticks, etc. If its all you have available, ok. But, having ready made locking snares makes success much more likely with much less time and energy input.

But wait, you weren't trained by a mystical Indian tracker that adopted you as his grandson like Tom Brown.
It doesn't matter, most people can learn to snare through reading, observation and practice. 

I got interested after reading a Bruce Buckshot Hemming article in the old American Survival Guide about twenty years ago. Also, I had a copy of "Six Ways In & Twelve Ways Out", full of simple line drawings, and while covering many subjects, emphasized trapping as essential. I ordered a dozen snares off Buckshot and one of his trapping books at the time ( his latest now is "The New Buckshot's Complete Survival Trapping Guide"). 

I started practicing what I read and learned how to observe nature better and read sign to determine the best areas for sets. Some animals I've snared include feral hogs, coyote, raccoons and possum. 

But wait, you don't live in a pristine wilderness area packed with majestic herds of deer and antelope playing, and elk, mountain goats and bear thrown in.
It doesn't matter, your targets are what Buckshot calls small deer: raccoons, muskrat, possums, etc. The animals that live nearly everywhere, and often in much higher concentrations in populated areas than in wilderness. Another advantage is that currently, 99.9% of the American population does not consider these food.

Also once decivilization is in full swing, cultural conventions falling to hunger may make dogs and cats target food animals. They can be snared. Legal protections will be disregarded, such as for alligators in my area. They can be snared.

Emotional support ponies and potbellied pigs demoted to food status will likely not have to be snared. They can be tricked with false promises and offerings of sugar cubes and apples.

The strengths of manufactured aircraft cable locking snares: 
1. lightwieght and packable
2. Inexpensive. And parts from a twisted up snare that made a catch can be used to make another snare with a new length of cable and crimp connectors.
3. Stealthy and nearly invisible. Sets can be left in place and deactivated/activated by simply closing/opening the loop. 
4. Loop size can exlude animals larger or smaller than the target size. For instance a racoon set is typically an 8" loop, the bottom of the loop 2"-3" off the ground. The books mentioned have animal lists with recomended loop sizes.

Get those two books, buy a dozen snares off Buckshot and practice. Figure out what snare sizes are most useful to you and make another order for 4 or 5 dozen plus rebuild supplies. Spend $60 or $100 for a stockpile. Store them in a box under your bed and rest easy. Now you can get meat, protect the henhouse and garden, and have very lightweight gamegetters to stick in your pack when you go mobile. 

Thanks for reading,
S in Fla.

Buckshot's site:
The New Buckshot's Complete Trapping Guide, $18.99, snares, kits, DVDs

Six Ways In & Twelve Ways Out: $15 from United States Rescue & Special Operations Group,


  1. We acquire every trap we can get from yard-sales and estate sales.

    Rusty works fine.

    The author has gator; in Oregon, the place is infested with the yuge rodents called 'Nutria'. And coons. And Black® bears.

    In other words, we live in a supermarket with tasty nutritious food strolling by.

    1. Hmmm, meat. It's what Liberals are made of. In case the local wildlife population is used up too quick.

  2. Hey Large Marge,
    Good job picking up traps sub retail. Yeah, old, dull and a little rusty blends in.
    Only heard of the nutria, have never seen one, sounds yummy.
    S in Fla.

  3. That SIX WAYS IN - 12 WAYS OUT is an awesome book and well worth the price. I don't own or haven't read the other, but Mr. Hemmings has a long record of good trapping advice.

  4. Having spent 10 years trying to live in the bush in Australia, I can say I'm not a good enough hunter to solely rely on hunting - sometimes the critters know you're coming. Trapping allowed me to reliably get a feed - mainly tube traps for rabbits and fishing yoyos for trout and eels in the creeks. And to get an early night instead of being out at all hours trying to spotlight roos.
    I used snares for rats and foxes, but never deer as that's getting toward illegal, and I did't want the trouble. But as part of my preparations I've stockpiled enough wire and parts to make up a thousand or so deer snares (1/8" cable + parts).
    Double thumbs up for trapping! Much better EROI than hunting.

    1. So, you could probably help out the commentor below.

    2. Dampignak the Terrible, You're a wild man! Sounds like an adventure.
      I'm gonna try the fishing yo-yo's based on your comment.
      That stockpiled wire is gonna make you King Dampignak come collapse. Good move.
      Thanks for the reply
      S in Fla.

  5. "2. Inexpensive. And parts from a twisted up snare that made a catch can be used to make another snare with a new length of cable and crimp connectors."

    This is critical information here, don't overlook it. I purchased multiples of Buckshot's snare packs years ago. Shiny and strong. What most people don't realize is the desperate struggle of the animal untwists the manufactured wire twist of the cable and essentially ruins it after catching one animal. NOT SUSTAINABLE!

    Author, could you confirm this through your own experiences? I have maybe 4 dozen snares, which I thought at the time was plenty, but later came to realize, it's not. I guess you'd have to purchase an industrial-size spool of cable to remanufacture the snare after you caught something? Snaring is currently illegal in my area, so I can't really go out and try it for myself.
    Thanks for the article,
    Peace out

    1. Hey 4:41, Yes, my experience too. And even if the snare is not totally bent up and has some untwisting from a wild struggle, it is at least bent or crimped where the lock was tight on the cable. This makes a,nice smooth loop for future use impossible.

      I snared mainly medium (coons, possum) and large animals (hogs, coyote) and never was able to use those snares again without rebuilding.
      Ive read that small rabbit size snares can sometimes be used two or three times without rebuilding. But I haven't snared rabbits or small game, so I don't know first hand.

      Also I should have mentioned in the article, cutters designed for aircraft cable are essential (regular side cutter pliers don't work great). The excellent Swiss made Felco model C7 is tops. Felco also makes a cool Commando model that works on aircraft cable.
      I've gotten C7s off ebay for a decent price. I carry a pair in my trapping bag, a repurposed gas mask bag. Other items include neon orange flag tape, black neoprene gloves, soft support wire, some cable ties, long handled lineman pliers for the support wire, and snares of course coiled in gallon size freezer Ziploc bags.

      As far as sustainable, you're right that you could use up all your snares on hand and that would be it. I guess they are kind of analogous to ammo/reloading. Have to have bulk cable and crimps on hand. And individual snares are still relatively inexpensive to stockpile.
      Thanks for the comment, and I always enjoy readimg your Peace Out input to James's Blog

    2. My experience with the small snares is that I get 3-4 uses from rat snares (0.2mm cable, homemade locks and fishing swivel), a couple of uses from rabbit snares (1mm cable) and beyond that you I didn't count on re-using.
      But - you can reuse the parts, and you can also re-use any short pieces of cable.
      In the parts I was living, the farmers had more or less wiped out all the kangaroos with plain fence wire snares under all the fence crossing points (Roos will go under a fence if there is a big enough hole). This high tensile stuff works fine, especially if you pre-load it to close.
      I would also recommend looking into the apache foot-hold trap with rope - another easy to make trap, even from homemade rope (e.g. twisted greenhide).

  6. Fun raccoon trapping story...
    Years ago, I was having trouble with raccoons raiding my grape vines when the grapes were ripe. My trellis was high enough that you have to walk under the grape trellis and reach up to pick them. The raccoons were climbing up the supports for the trellis and eating large quantities of my grapes. I set up traps at each trellis support, leaving my scent on them, hoping they would scare the raccoons away. It didn't work. Then I set them up on top of the grape trellis amidst the cluster of grapes in areas where they would pretty much be guaranteed to step, this time trying to eliminate my scent. They removed my traps and threw them on the ground! I had to resort to "other means" (no, not poison) to solve the raccoon problem.
    Peace out

    1. Ha! Good one. Since they aren't my grapes.

    2. A drop or 2 of wolf scent at the base of each trellis support would have kept them away. Rabbit in estrous scent on a snare or trap and you'll have more food than you can eat. Powerful stuff. I had $300 worth of beaver and wolf scent when I went to alaska in 1980. That'd be over $1000 today I suppose.