By: Chancey Lewis, Matt Berg, Nikki Dictson, Jim Gallagher, Mark McFarland, and James C. Cathey
Increasing populations of feral hogs in Texas are damaging landscapes, agricultural production, water quality, and native plant and animal communities. To reduce these problems, snaring can be an easy, inexpensive part of a feral hog management strategy.
Snares can be used when a single hog needs to be captured and where larger traps are impractical. Because snares are easy to assemble, many landowners make their own.
To make a hog snare, you will need the following tools and materials (Fig. 1):
- Needle-nose pliers
- Cable cutters
- Tape measure
- 10 feet of 1 ⁄8 -inch steel cable
- Two 1 ⁄8 -inch single ferrules
- One 1 ⁄8 -inch double ferrule
- One R 6/0 barrel swivel
- One 1 ⁄8 -inch snare or cam lock
Steps for building a snare
When building a feral hog snare, keep in mind that the cable used to make snares has a natural lay, or memory. Do not go against the memory of the cable when working with snares.
- Feed the cable through the snare lock (Fig. 2). For this example, a 1 ⁄8 -inch snare lock is used. There are many different lock designs, and some people make their own.
- Take a single ferrule and crimp it to the end of the cable (Fig. 3). This can be accomplished by using fencing crimpers or a hammer and hard surface.
- Using needle-nose pliers, make a reverse bend in the cable just beneath the ferrule (Fig. 4). This will be the only time that the cable is bent against the memory. The reverse bend helps secure the lock.
- Load the snare. Simply find a durable round or cylindrical object such as a pipe or vice handle. For the snare in this example, the trailer ball on a receiver hitch was used. When loading the snare, it is critical that the natural memory of the cable is followed. Only 8 to 10 inches beyond the ferrule stop needs to be loaded. This serves two purposes: 1) it gives the snare a more circular shape, which is important to capture animals with large, pointy ears like those of hogs, and 2) it enables the snare to close much more easily and freely.
- Move the snare back and forth, applying firm pressure near the stop while gradually lessening the pressure down the cable near the 10 inch mark (Fig. 5). An unloaded snare has a teardrop shape; a loaded snare is much rounder (Fig. 6).
- Next, construct the end so that the snare can be attached to a tree, post, or drag. For this example, an adjustable end was made. An adjustable end can be altered to loop the end around various size objects; however, it will not swivel. To make an adjustable end snare, start by sliding a double ferrule over the end of the cable (Fig. 7A). Then run the cable back through the double ferrule (Fig. 7B).
- Use a hammer or crimpers to attach a single ferrule to the end, creating the desired configuration (Fig. 8). A swivel end may be attached with two single ferrules for strength. Having an adjustable end is advantageous when setting snares on rubs or trees. The end can be opened, and the snare loop can be wrapped around the rub or tree and then back through the snare end, attaching the snare to the rub or tree.
Used as a complement to other approaches or in areas where larger traps are impractical, handmade snares can be a helpful tool in feral hog management. With simple tools and minimal hardware, snares can be made quickly at low cost, increasing their appeal in situations involving the capture of a single animal.
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