Thursday, 5 March 2009

Snaring Snowshoe hares.

I used to do this a much more inefficient way, but I learnt how to do this even better when learning how to trap small mammals for research. Isn't college useful? Still got those snares from making a hare snare before? Good. We're going to put them to use. Actually, they got put to use months ago, I just forgot to blog about it at the time. But for next year! Here's instructions!

Step one! Lay off the beer. I know, life is hard. You'll be wandering through the woods.
You'll want to look for snowshoe hare tracks. Look for little bunnyhighways, where lots of them like going. This'll get you into highly populated areas. The tracks look a lot like this.
Next, make sure you're able to trap there. Trapping on private property without permission is a no-no. Some state land is okay, some state land isn't okay to trap on. And in places where it's okay to put out snares, make sure you're not going to put them in a place where you'll get dogs, cats, and those sorts of things. That just make people angry.

You sure you're good to snare there? It's easy. Next, find a constriction point, where tracks go between some things that aren't too far apart. I like to hedge my bets, and begin to kick in a trail. Like humans, snowshoe hares are lazy, and if they have a trail, they'll use it. So I press in a one-boot-wide trail through the constriction point.

Now, before I put out any traps, I put up some surveyor's tape so I can find them again. Do this now, so you don't forget.Saw or chop off a log about 3-5 cm in diameter. That's about a knuckle or bigger in diameter. Lay it across the trail you made, or the trails you've found, bracing it against something to hold it steady. Carefully tie the snare to the branch so that the snare dangles into the trail, about two to three fingers from the bottom of the snow. Take some twigs and stick them at the corner of the snare, so it doesn't blow around in the wind. The set should look like this.
And that's all you need. Well, actually, you need this times a bunch to catch a few. Remember to check your traps regularly, and not to be irresponsible! I'd show you all how to butcher them, but I know I'd offend a few of my reader's sensibilities (several who own rabbits at pets), so I'll respect that.

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