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Resource Rambo: How to Snare a Rabbit

Resource Rambo: How to Snare a Rabbit

It’s Wednesday, and I’m back to answer your toughest questions. I hope you came up with some good ones this week. So far, nobody can stump me.

Got a burning question? Sound off in the comments!

Father Mayhem asked, “How do I catch a rabbit using only paracord and whatever else may be laying around in the wilderness, like sticks, rocks, twigs, etc.?”

  • Assess your surroundings. Look for signs of animals. Be careful to not leave any signs that you are in the area. Digging holes, breaking green branches or seriously disturbing the vegetation will be a dead give away to the animals that you’re in the area.
  • Choose a spot that rabbits frequent on a regular basis. Near a burrow, watering hole, or Hef’s mansion.
  • You need to know what type of animal you’ll be trying to trap in your snare, so you can adjust the size of the snare. A snare trap intended to catch rabbits, for example, will need to be slightly smaller than one intended to catch moose.
  • Drive a stake in the ground next to where you are going to set your snare trap. Any large stick will do, as long as it is strong enough to be pounded into the ground. Use a large, flat rock to drive the stake into the ground. It should be hammered in far enough to be secure so that the struggling animal can’t pull it up and drag it away.
  • Tie one end of the paracord (or shoelace) around the stake. Paracord, or 550 cord, can be found in any Army-Navy surplus store.  It has a tensile strength of 550lbs and is often used in the production of parachutes.
  • Make a loop with the other end of the paracord, so that you now have a large circle, almost like a lasso tied to the stake. Twist the bottom of this loop to form a smaller circle at the bottom, just large enough for the head of your prey to fit through. Then fold the smaller circle up so that it is positioned inside the smaller loop. Now, position the snare over the run that the animal is expected to follow.
  • Image courtesy US Army FM 21-76

  • Block up the sides of the run in order to drive the animal directly into the snare. Use loose sticks and twigs to form a makeshift fence. Set them up in a funnel until the path is eventually just big enough for the animal to fit through. It does not have to be a wall or impassable barrier. It just needs to be inconvenient for the animal to dart off to the side, so that they will run directly into your snare trap.
  • Cover your scent. Check your traps every couple of hours to see if you have captured anything.

Do you have a question that needs to be answered?  Sound off!

Leave a comment and I will answer your questions and requests for How-to’s.

If you desire anonymity, email me directly at resourcerambo at loveandtrash dot com.


  • Okay, I have 2 questions this time. They’re both sort of on the same wilderness theme, though.

    1. How do you tame a wild animal?

    2. You mentioned covering your scent. So, how do you do that?

    • Good questions! I needed to drink my coffee and ask my lovely wife-to-be (we’re getting married this Saturday) about the taming of a wild animal. Yes, she has experience with this.

      First off, I want to point out that there is a HUGE difference between taming a WILD animal and domesticating a wild animal. The domestication of a wild animal happens over several generations. Taming a wild animal is dangerous to the animal if there is a chance that animal will ever be released back into the wild.

      Check out Lori Ryan’s article about The importance of taming wild animal pets.

      However, if you have an wild animal that you plan on keeping as a pet (ie. a feral cat), I have a few tips.

      1. The younger the animal, the better. If the animal in question is needy, you have a better chance of becoming a central figure in its life.

      2. Have patience. The animal is wary for a reason. That wariness has kept it alive.

      3. If you are bringing a wild/feral animal into your home, introduce it to its surroundings a little at a time. Start off with a large closet or a small room. Allow your new “pet” to get to know every nook and cranny of that space. Bring in the food and stick around. Talk to the animal. Don’t over do it with the attention.

      4. After your new addition seems to be getting a little more comfortable, expand the territory available to him/her. Do this slowly. Make sure he/she has a place to hide and feel safe.

      This process can take anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of years. If you don’t have this kind of time to commit, please don’t try.

    • I don’t plan to especially, but I’ve always wondered how it would be done. Thank you!

    • Covering you scent is as simple as:

      Do not use soap
      Do not use deodorant
      Do not use detergent on your clothes
      Use local dirt to soil your clothes and skin

      Remove all trace of civilization from your olfactive signature.

      In other words, be like a dirty hippy…

    • I can do that!

  • Marshall, I know you’re getting married on Saturday, so I’ll make this quick:
    How can you tell when someone is lying?

    • SATURDAY!!!? I thought it was in June but couldn’t remember. Congratulations!

    • Thanks! :)

    • There really isn’t a simple answer to this question

      I need to start by giving a quick explanation of Detection of Deception.

      When looking for deception, you must first set your subject’s “norm”, or normal behavior. (Rate of breathing, pitch, volume, pulse rate, eye cue accessing, body posture, body language, etc.)

      Once you have their norm, note whenever they go outside their norm. These are called “flags”. Single flags tell you nothing. Look for clusters of flags in a specific area. This is a POSSIBLE indication of deception.

      You must then utilize control questions and slight variations on their facts to ascertain the specific deception.

      To be honest, this is much more difficult than it sounds. There is also a bit of social danger in using these techniques.

      Do not use this on people with whom you would like to remain friends.

  • I’m gonna be the big dumb bleeding heart here, but “struggling animal”? I hope we’re filing this under Necessary for the Zombie Apocalypse in which case I’d like to know how you tell a zombie rabbit from a regular one if it’s in a hole. Aside from said rabbit attempting to attach itself to your face or maybe a vital organ or two.

    • I hate to tell you this, but:

      If you eat animal flesh, someone has to kill it.

      Now, on to your question: How can you tell a zombie rabbit from a regular one if it’s in a hole?

      Normal rabbits make sounds. Check out Bunny and Rabbit Sounds

      Zombie rabbits do not breathe. Therefore they do not make the some sounds as living rabbits

    • Sorry, that link is Bunny and Rabbit Sounds

    • I had no idea that bunnies honk. How funny.

    • My dad was a butcher for a long time. I eat chicken, fish and beef (but not veal) because I either have or know I could kill them myself if I had to under normal (non-survival) circumstances. Everything else, nope.

  • oy!
    i am fully aware that someone has to kill it and i can deal with deer and such but I have a close, personal relationship with a pretty bad azz bun.
    and yes i am aware that one persons pet is another persons dinner.
    i dont have to like it :)

    • It makes me endlessly happy that your bunny is called The Bun.

    • clearly you two were separated at birth

    • Oh hai Ms. The Bun!

  • Noted.

  • ok…my question for today.
    why do the leaves of certain trees turn upwards to show their undersides right before it rains.

    • I am assuming this question stems from the saying: “When leaves show their undersides, a sure thing the rain betides”

      The explanation I like for this:

      According to Merriam-Webster Free Dictionary, stoma (Gr. mouth) is basically a pore in the underside of the leaf through which gaseous interchange takes place.

      When a rain storm is coming, barometric pressure changes and humidity increases. These changes cause a constriction in the cells of the leaf allowing the leaf to expose the stomata (pl. of stoma) in preparation of the deluge.

    • why yes! we have silver leaf maples in the NE that really do do that.

  • WOW, great post. I have to mention that “Watership Down” is one of my all time favorite books – hell the movie was pretty good too, but even though I am completely willing to engage in the cycle of life and eat a cute little bunny to survive, your post was so thorough and informative that the part where BigWig is caught in the snare jumped to life in my mind’s eye. Hazel, Dandelion, Fiver, & Blackberry hastily digging away at the stake while the lights are growing dim for Stalwart ol’ BigWig.

    Thanks Resource Rambo!

    I have another query for you:
    What are the most effective ways to harvest and store water, on all scales, small, medium & large in various climates?

    OH! OH! OH! Mr. Rambo! Mr. Rambo! I also was wondering, is it more environmentally friendly to go out and buy a new Prius or to drive an older used vehicle, like say a mid 90’s minivan or a late 70’s pick up truck?


    • ooooooOOOOoh we should let Earp field that one about the used car vs Prius. He’s got a good rant saved up.

    • I would be happy to pass this one to Quiet Earp. I will have some of my own ranting to add to whatever he may throw our way.

      I will base my next post on Father Mayhem’s question of water harvesting and storage.

    • NICE.

  • Congratulations on your marriage. Yes, it IS acceptable etiquette to congratulate the man – he’s the one getting the catch, according to Emily Post. :)

    I just had a conversation with a friend who grew up in one of the most hunter-worshipping outposts of the Former Soviet Republic. She is now a PhD in Asian Studies and pretty smart about lots of things, including bunny lore, namely, how Goddess Eostre got identified with wild hares. (NPI). According to Siberian lore, it is evil to kill and eat anything other than rabbits when they are plentiful. That’s why the Great Mother made so many of them.

    Great, great series! Let’s get your new wife to guest post, too.

    • Thank you. I do see her as quite the catch.

      I think all contributions from my wife will be through me. She’s not exactly a fan of posting. She is still a proud member of the “I don’t have a Facebook account” group.

  • I forgot my follow up question. Setting aside the question of starting a fire with limited resources, what are some ways to prepare and eat said rabbit? How would you do it without a knife, camp stove, nor cookware of any sort, followed by how would you do it with your jump bag survival kit, and finally how with the ideal, well stocked camping kit?

    Thanks Resource Rambo, your posts are informative and illuminating.


    • Alright. I found another subject for my next post, so I’ll attempt to answer your question concisely, yet thoroughly.

      I just caught a rabbit, but I don’t have a knife:

      If you cannot find a sharp rock to use in lieu of a knife, you’re going to have to get a little dirty. If you snap the rabbit’s neck, you should be able to pull the head off the body. With the head off, peel the skin off the body. You may need to use your teeth… Now, find a fairly straight stick to spit the rabbit with. Spit the rabbit through the body cavity, from end to end. Using a couple of forked sticks, make a rack for your spit. Place the spit into the rack set up over the fire. Test the heat of the flame by holding your hand at the same height as the rabbit. You should not need to pull your hand back drastically because of the heat but should be able to hold your hand there for a second or two before you have to remove it. Turn the spit often and cook for about 30-45 minutes. Be mindful of the guts and intestines. Don’t eat them.

      I just caught a rabbit and all I have is my survival kit:

      See above. Use your knife. Be sure to gut your kill before to spit it. Season with a little salt and cayenne peeper (These are always in my kit).

      I just caught a rabbit and I have a fully stocked camping kit:

      Skin, gut, and clean your kill. Process the meat (cut it up into pieces). Melt some butter with some white wine, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss the rabbit in a pan with your butter mixture. Fry up and enjoy.

  • Father Mayhem- I can always count on you for the big questions. This is a good one. I’d like to save it for my next post.

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