Professional Rabbit Snaring For Amateurs Part 1

Rabbit Fence Snare

Over the decades practically every writer who has penned an article on rabbit snaring has stated that the snare should be set at either a fist high or 3 to 4 fingers high, on an average mans hand a closed fist measures 3.5 inches high, they also often say that the snare should be set between the beats, they never mention the terrain, or the height of the grass or crops, or the time of the year, or the distance between the beats,etc. By their shallow coverage and detail this tells me they have snared most of their rabbits from the comfort of an armchair in front of the fire. There is nothing more frustrating for the beginner than to follow these old fashioned instructions, then go out the following morning with great anticipation of a big catch and all he finds are knocked or tripped snares and maybe one or two rabbits caught more by luck than good skill. He then resets in exactly the same way and the same places in the hope of better things the next morning. This does absolutely nothing for a beginners confidence and can be so frustrating to the point of making him give up altogether.

What people fail to realise is the size of a full grown rabbit and that it runs with its ears up, you must study the animal its habits and characteristics if you want to be able to catch them constantly in large numbers. Therefore set your snares 6 1/2 inches high to the bottom of the loop in the middle of a small beat to catch the rabbit as it lands or takes off. This is where you get the true height of the head to be taken under the chin with the big loop as it allows for any margin of error. Always use a marker pin to every snare so that you don’t leave any behind, amateurs in the country appear to have this donkey mentality that they cannot seem to shake off about setting snares with small loops and setting snares low to the ground and the same goes for a lot of fox snares also, their usual line of defence is that their father did well its most obvious that their father could not snare properly either and thats the whole truth of the matter. The government need to amend their snaring methods also as they are still in the dark ages.

Rabbit Peg Snare Set
Rabbit Peg Snare Set

Avoiding Problems

Fault 1 Do not set rabbit snares between the beats at anytime, especially with small loops set low to the ground. What happens is this, as the rabbit bounds along the run he springs from one beat to another, therefore it strikes the wrongly placed and low set snare loop with its chest as the rabbit is now in mid jump towards the forward beat, the small low set snare loop is now lying in a flat position under the rabbits belly, as its front feet have now landed on the first half of the forward beat, the problems now occur when the rabbit pulls his back feet in behind it, as they then trip the small snare loop, therefore its a costly mistake for the amateur who continually set in this manner, as you will have many tripped and empty snares each morning.

Fault 2 Another costly method of setting snares with a small loop and low to the gorund is even when you place the snare correctly, directly over the middle of the beat, the rabbit comes along the run with his ears erect and hits the underside of the top of the small snare loop set too low, with his nose the noose then closes around its face between the eyes and its nose, the rabbit then jumps around and rolls and tumbles, flinging the noose from its face, all that remains is an empty snare pulled taught with a tiny kinked loop at the end about the size of a two penny piece. You will catch very few rabbits, more by good luck than skill, but you will certainly have a big catch of empty nooses. So get smart and set high with a big noose or you can remain a dunce and catch nothing.

Old Fashioned Nonsense

1.Do not bury snares in a dung heap for two weeks.
2.Do not soot snares over a candle.
3.Do not set a big noose at a wide part of the run and a small snare noose at a narrow part of the run, this is utter nonsense.
4.Do not set runs only in the shadows of trees in the moonlight, (set them all).
5.A snare does not break a rabbits kneck as it bounds along a run, as some amateurs make you believe.
6.Do not set on large beats about 10 inch to 14 inch long with droppings on them, as the rabbits sit on them. 7.Another lie is that rabbits can’t be caught in a snare when hopping along an edge slowly, not in a small low set noose you won’t!
8.Do not use 8 & 10 strand snares they are like tow rope, a 6 strand snare holds hares and even fox cubs.
9.Shop bought snares are poor quality design they are only half spun, bad for kinking and breaking with thin cheap twine that just rots.
10.Do not use tethering cords 12 inch long its far two long and unneccessary.
11.Forget all about hops and trods as this is most confusing for beginners, just remember one thing set on a small beat and you won’t go wrong.
12.Do not check snares 1hr after darkness, all you are doing is causing disturbance, check the snares only on the following morning, giving the rabbits peace, unless there is a bad fox problem or control the fox first, set some good rabbit runs with fox snares also to eliminate this problem.

Rabbit Beats
Rabbit Beats
Rabbit Peg Snare
Rabbit Peg Snare
Peg Snare Over Beat
Peg Snare Over Beat
Rabbit Run Diagram
Rabbit Run Diagram
Rabbit Size
Rabbit Size


  1. Been looking into trying a bit of ra biting snaring but was short best way to go about it. Some great information and knowledge. Cheers

  2. I just get old electric wire make a nose tie them to gaps in hedges and you catch rabbits… Doesn’t have to be complicated… There’s more than one way to skin a cat!!

  3. I and my father before me and his father etc have been hunting and trapping in Canada for 11 generations. One thing we know is their are many ways to skin a cat as the saying goes. Most certainly we do not regard individuals as dunces or amateurs because they do things differently then we do. I have just set 35 snares 2″ above snow level and 3.5″ in diameter. Tomorrow morn I may or may not have 35 rabbits or a high number but i will have some. To me and my family that is great reward and well worth the freezing cold temperatures and exhausting work. Trial and error has been a good teacher as has my father. To class his teachings as wrong or amateur is in itself erroneous. Depending on the species and terrain many different methods need be employed however to catch a hare/rabbit mid-stride or beat is indeed quite a feat! I prefer the simpler method of directing the rabbit into my snare at a slow pace , ears flat as he maneuvers under the branch i have set his demise upon. It doesnt work every time but i will say more often then not i find a rabbit. If 2 out of 3 is amateur then sir I and my kin are dunce extraordinaires!
    Thank you for your time sincerely: S J Rowe

  4. I have been ferretting for many years but now as I get old and stiff and only need a few rabbits for the pot snaring could be a very interesting hobby, thanks for the info.