Hello, my friend and welcome back! Yesterday I did a review on Dakota Snares, and promptly received an email from a lady reader wanting to know how to use them and what did I mean by seasoning them? While I am no expert on the subject at all, I have used them a time or two. It is with that limited knowledge that I write today’s post, so grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.
Wire snares such as the Dakota snares I reviewed yesterday are a common way of trapping wild game as well as nuisance critters such as Coyote and such for thousands of years. They are light and easy to carry and require no bait to work. Native American people were known to be masters at using the snare traps to catch food for their meals.
Something to remember here is that you need to “Season” your traps before you use them. So what exactly does this mean? Anytime you buy a new set of snares, they will have a light coating of grease on them which must be removed first.
To do this, place your snares in the bottom of a five-gallon plastic bucket, then pour in one cup of regular vinegar, then fill the bucket three-quarters of the way full. Now let them set for 24 hours. Another option some trappers use is boiling their traps to remove the grease and oil on them, either way, works.
When you’re finished, pour out all of the water and rinse them well with clean water then hang them to dry. After they have dried a couple of days, you need to remove or dull down the smell of the wire used in making the traps. Animals have a keen sense of smell and if something doesn’t smell right, they may avoid your trap altogether.
Be sure the shine has been removed from them before proceeding to the next steps. If your snares are made of steel cabling, then you can place them back in an empty five-gallon bucket and fill half way with water then add one and a half tablespoons of Potassium Permanganate to the water and let set overnight. This helps the rust to start forming on the snares and further dulls the color of them.
The method I was taught works on both steel and aluminum snares and it may sound silly, but it works. For this, you dig a shallow hole deep enough to hold your snares and then cover them up and wait a week or two. The reason I was given for this is that the earth absorbs the smells that are on it, and replaces them with natural smells of the forest. It makes sense so that’s just how I do it.
Now there are some out there who say that it doesn’t make any difference at all and all you need is to remove any grease and oil on them. Some people even paint their snares, but to me, the animals would smell the paint. I guess the difference is if you are trapping for recreation or to survive. I know the way I was taught works, so I stick to it. Once done, they are considered “Seasoned”.
So how do you use a wire snare to catch wild game? This is where your tracking experience comes in if you have any. The first thing you will want to do is locate an active game trail. Look for small paths in the forest that are worn bare from animals using them, if not bare, then at least well worn. Next, you’re going to want to locate a place on the trail where it passes under a branch or fence to place your traps. Why you may ask? It’s because if you place it in the open, the animals may simply go around it and avoid it all together.
The idea behind the snare traps is that the animals stick their head through the look on the snare and as they go forward, it tightens down and traps them. The more they struggle against it, the tighter it gets until they are dead. Now there are many videos on the web showing just how to set the loop and I encourage you to watch a few of them to see the different ways others do it.
What you want to do is to use sticks or bailing wire to suspend the trap up off of the ground so that they must stick their head through the loop to continue down the trail. For best results, do not step on the trail when you are setting the trap and try to make it look like it’s just a part of the grass and weeds around it. Here is a good video that I found on YouTube on how to set a wire snare trap.
Once you set your trap, be sure to check on it every 24 hours at a minimum, and when you are finished, pick up the trap so that some poor animal is not accidentally killed for nothing. Killing animals for food is one thing, but killing for sport or because you don’t pick up the trap is just wrong. Well that’s it for today and I hope you have enjoyed this post. Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared. God Bless America!