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The instructions above describe how to make a simple snare but skilled trappers have learned to use this simple snare to create an assortment of designs that can be much more effective than a simple snare alone. One of these variations is known as a spring pole snare.

A basic snare requires that the animal walk through the snare and get stuck.

As the animal struggles, the noose becomes tighter and the animal is unable to escape. A spring pole snare, on the other hand, forces the snare into action using a trigger system and can greatly improve your trapping success rate. A spring is constructed using a sapling that is healthy enough to spring back to its original position after being bent over and held at tension.

It takes some practice to find suitable saplings but if you have any doubt about whether or not a particular sapling will work, bend it an release it a few times. If it springs back into shape each time, chances are it’s a good choice for the trap.

The purpose of the spring pole snare is to pull the noose tight around the animal as soon as the trap is triggered.

These traps can be designed to kill the animal quickly by lifting it clear off the ground or to keep the animal alive until you have a chance to check the trap by keeping the animal on the ground but anchored in place. The strength of the sapling used for the spring pole and the weight of the animal determine whether it the snare will be a live trap or kill the animal quickly.

Of course, this isn’t an exact science which is why it’s important to check your traps frequently.

There are quite a few variations of the spring pole snare mostly dealing with how the trigger mechanism is implemented. In the picture above, for instance, two small pieces of wood are used to create the trigger mechanism. The first piece of wood is used as a stake driven into the ground. This stake is used to hold the spring pole under tension.

Once the stake is in place, the other small piece of wood (3” -4”) is attached to the stake. A piece of cordage is attached to this piece of wood and the other end is attached to the end of the spring pole. The loop of the snare is also attached to the trigger mechanism. When the trigger is activated, the sapling springs up, taking the snare and the animal with it.

A spring pole snare can be set up anywhere a suitable tree is present. If there are no saplings around, you can make a similar design by suspending rocks or large branches in the air. When the trigger is activated, the weight falls and creates an action similar to the spring pole. This is a perfect example of how versatile snare traps can be.

Once you understand the basics of trap construction, there is no limit to the number of traps that can be configured using whatever materials are at your disposal. As another example of how versatile the snare trap is, consider the squirrel pole. This trap plays on the natural curiosity of squirrels to capture multiple animals. To create a squirrel pole, locate a fallen tree or large branch. Remove all small branches and attach multiple snares along the length of this pole. Next, lean the pole against a tree showing signs of squirrel activity.

You may be able to catch several squirrels per day using a simple design like this.