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How To Set A Pencil Snare

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Written by Thomas Conroy   

Introduction: In any extreme outdoor situation obtaining food is of the utmost aspects of survival, and one of the most common and ways to catch small game animals is through the use of a simple pencil snare. A pencil snare usually only takes less than 15 minutes to make and set and requires no bait, making it possible in a survival situation for an individual to set several dozen pencil snares about in less than a day with minimal effort. The only tools and materials that are needed to make a pencil snare are a knife, a decent amount of strong string or fishing line and a handful of wooden twigs that are about one inch in diameter.

Step 1: The first step to set a pencil snare is to determine an area that is suitable for placement. This is most easily accomplished by surveying the area for signs of animal life such as tracks that are freshly made. Good places to set a pencil snare are near a food or water source that is frequented by small wildlife. Along the banks of a stream or pond, near thickets or berry bushes or close to indigenous plants that are favored by wildlife are excellent, and usually produce the best results.

Step 2: To make and set the actual pencil snare itself requires three sticks - two sticks that are 18 inches in length and one stick that is 12 inches in length. Sharpen one end of each of the longer sticks into a point, and on the other end make a notch about one inch from the end to a depth of about halfway through the stick. Using a rock to serve as a hammer, beat the pointed ends of the two longer sticks into the ground, spaced at a width of your shorter stick that remains.

Step 3: Carve the ends of the shorter stick to fit loosely into the notches, and then position it into place. Next, create a slip-knot from a short piece of string or fishing line and tie the end to the stick serving as a cross-member so the noose if about 4 inches above the ground. Lastly, take another piece of string and tie one end to the stick with the slip-knot and the other end to the end of a tree branch to create tension.

Step 4: The basic idea of how a pencil snare works is that a small animal places it's head or leg through the slip-knot, the noose closes, the animal struggles and the cross-member is dislodged pulling the animal off the ground. If made properly and in volume, a pencil snare can show excellent results if placed in good locations with an active animal population.

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