Survival Skills: Turn Any Snare Into a "Constrictor"

With trapping season already upon us, it's a great time to dust off your snaring skills and maybe even employ an upgrade or two. One of my favorite upgrades for snares is to create a "constrictor" set, which enhances the strangling action of a standard snare trap. This choke point in the trap's action also makes nylon or hand-woven cord a legitimate option for lethal traps. Paracord or hand-twisted bark rope might be the only cord you can access in a survival situation, and while these are far from being the best options for a snare line, the constrictor element of the trap makes them a realistic choice. This works because the constrictor chokes out your quarry quickly, and doesn't give it enough time to chew through these soft lines. Here's how to set this snare on your own trap line.

Start off with any trap engine (i.e. a spring pole or a weight-rope-pulley system) to lift the noose upward. It's important to plan out the trapping site to include a shrub or small tree with a sturdy fork near your engine of choice. This should be five feet off the ground in areas with lots of scavengers and coyotes. You could also get away with a constrictor set closer to the ground if you have very little animal competition for your trapped game.

Securely tie a stick across the fork in the shrub, creating a small triangle roughly one-square-inch in size. It needs to be small to act as a choke point. You'll also have to do some planning with the length of your snare and the engine, making sure you get through the fork and all the way to the ground, without having excess line. You'll want to tie the cross stick on the side of the fork that the animal would be coming from, not the side where the engine is located. Tie your snare line to the engine as normal, fish the noose through the triangle you made, and set the snare as normal. When the trap goes off, the constrictor triangle will allow the snare noose to cinch much tighter than it normally would, and choke out your game much more quickly. Hopefully, if the animal's neck (or torso) happen to be in the snare loop, the trap knocks them out in record time. Alternatively, skip the triangle construction, run your snare noose under an exposed tree root on the ground, and set the trap as you normally would.

Do you have a favorite trap upgrade? Let's hear it in the comments.