Snares for taking feral hogs are mostly placed under fences in holes or "crawls" that hogs are using as evidenced by tracks or hair caught on the fence. Frequently, hogs push under a fence and bend the bottom wires up into a highly visible arc. Sometimes, if the fence is tightly stretched, it springs back into position after the hog pushes under it leaving little evidence that hogs are using the spot to cross. Closer observation shows the drag marks in the soil made by the fence stays and perhaps hair caught on the bottom wire. This type of evidence is easily missed by an inexperienced observer.
So the first step in deciding where to setup a snare is to figure out their travel patterns. If you haven't read the Hog Sign section yet then you should start there and become familiar with what you need to look for. Often times hogs will come into an area in from one opening and then leave through another, so by careful observation you could possibly identify two or more good ambush spots that would provide a good place to set up a snare. The more trails you find and the more snares you set the better your chance of catching a hog or multiple hogs.
The snare consists of a loop of steel cable attached to a secure object or a heavy drag and placed in a location so that the loop catches the animal as it passes through a small area. The snare has a sliding lock device that allows the loop to close but not open easily. A heavy swivel is used on the end of the cable that is attached to the anchor to minimize problems of twisting and breakage of the cable by the captured animal.
The standard cable used is an aircraft quality galvanized steel cable of 3/32 or 1/8 inch diameter. A number of suitable lock types are available from commercial sources. The best locks we have found, however, for the 1/8 inch cable are ones we make ourselves from 3/4 inch x 1/8 inch angle iron cut in 3/4 inch lengths and punched or drilled with 5/32 inch inch holes. Large hogs can sometimes straighten or even tear cables free from some commercially available locks.
The swivel end of the snare is most often tied with a doubled or tripled length of tie wire to the bottom wire of the fence. The loop is suspended from the bottom wire of the fence with U-shaped wire clips or a single wrap of small gauge copper wire so that the loop pulls free easily when the animal passes through it. Sometimes a cable extension is used to attach the snare to one or several of the top wires which may be stronger than the bottom wire on some fences. Where fences are weak or when it is desirable to keep a productive crawl location from being torn up by captured hogs, a cable extension can be used to attach the snare to a large log, uprooted cedar stump, or similar weighted object which then serves as a drag.
Snare set on a tree being used as a rub near a hog wallow. It's hung from the tree using a simple coat hanger setup.
In areas where the risk of capturing sheep, goats, calves, or other nontarget animals is low, snares can be set in trails used by hogs. A loop of 10-12 inches is effective and should be suspended about 7-8 inches off the ground to catch a 30 lb. or larger hog. Trail snares are attached by cable extensions to trees, drags, or steel stakes driven into the ground. Trail snares are infrequently used due to the hazard to livestock and deer.
Snares are of relatively low cost compared to other control techniques but there are some disadvantages to their use. When using a snare, only one hog can be captured at a time per active location. If there are multiple hogs that are using a single entry way to enter an area it could take a long time before you are able to catch them all. They are also of no use when setting them on a trail is not possible or hogs are passing only through open areas. Large hogs can also break a snare and escape and possibly damage a fence or other property in the process. Lastly, it is impossible to prevent non-target animals, such as deer, from getting caught in a snare.
In some cases a hog caught by means of a snare will be dead when you check your snare as it will have choked itself to death trying to escape from the snare. However, most of the time they will still be alive and can be very dangerous. Be extremely careful if approaching a hog caught in a snare, if you see that a hog in a snare is still alive as you approach then you should slowly back away and dispatch the animal from a distance with a firearm. The last thing you want to do is walk up to a snared hog only to have it break loose of the snare when you get close.