When the deep snow and freezing cold arrives, this is actually a good time to catch animals. Trappers who only use footholds my have a hard time believing that. Those who master deep snow snaring know what I am talking about.
I walked a path through the woods intercepting coyote tracks that came from the nearby hills. I simply walked a side hill path through a foot of snow, doubled back and then set a dozen trail snares in my own half mile trail. Three days later I collected three coyotes from those snares.
Making The Trail
When I find a good prey base, I almost always find sign of predators investigating the same area. Finding an area with a lot of predators is the best places for deep snow snaring. I walk through the middle then turn around and do it again. By doubling back this way, I leave a compacted trail; around 6 to 8 inches lower than the surrounding undisturbed snow. I walk between sagebrush and bitter-brush, as this helps to camouflage the trail snares.
I most often set 10-inch loop 14 to 15 inches off the ground. If I am targeting fox instead of coyote, I make a smaller loop closer to the ground. Loop size and height should vary to match the targeted animal and also the conditions. The softer the snow, the lower the snare loop because animals sink into snow. However, if a loop is set too close to the ground, it is more likely to capture a rabbit.
If I have any doubt about snare height, I move it up a few inches to be on the safe side. I like to capture targeted fur-bearers around the neck and not around the body. Trail snares can be set very quickly, and the sets don’t require a lot of time to season like leg-hold traps.
A five minute boil in baking soda takes the shine off the cable and leaves it a dull, light grey, which blends really well in the winter brush. Other nice things about trail snare sets are that they don’t need to be baited. they’re not likely to freeze up, and, as the weather gets worse they often perform better.
I have noticed over the years, that my success is a little better if I set trail snares far enough apart that traveling coyotes cant see other coyotes that already have been captured. I am sure the sight of a snared coyote spook other coyotes in the immediate area.
Mastering deep snow snaring is great way to increase the amount of fur-bearers you take in a season. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, learning this technique could make or break your season.