Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Short Fence Snare

This is a "how to" on making and setting the most successful snare I have ever used.  It is great for predators and would work in a survival situation if one needed to snare deer or other animals for meat.  I will warn you not to set it where deer or any animal you do not want to catch goes under a fence or through a hole in a fence. It is not selective and will catch and kill anything that goes through it.  The fence snare is unforgiving.  It will hang ready to catch your prey twenty four seven for months at a time until something comes through the fence and then catch and dispatch it rapidly.  You do not have to go reset it every time it rains or snows and they can be checked from a distance with binoculars so you do not have to get your scent around them after setting.

I have seen this snare catch all sorts of predators, deer, wild goats, feral dogs, hogs and other prey.  This one snare is used all over Texas to protect sheep, goats and exotic game from coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions. It is easy to make and will last forever unless a catch twists or chews it beyond additional use.  However, you can then salvage the lock to use on another snare.  You can carry large numbers of snares compared to traps and they are inexpensive to make.  I keep a roll of them in my four wheel buggy and truck on the ranch ready to set when I find a coyote trail coming under the fence.

As a young trapper I read about snares and gave them a go when I was fur trapping and chasing predators on our family ranches but really did not have much success.  I was always looking for good trails to set them in and trying to camouflage them so they would not be seen.  In my later years I ran into a Texas professional predator trapper that showed me how to make and hang a short fence snare and what a difference it made in my success rate.

The reason the short fence snare works so well is the fact that you do not try to camouflage it in any way.  The animals are used to going through a hole in the fence or under a net wire fence and see the wire.  They have no problem going right through the snare and getting caught as it is part of the fence to them.  In fact I found that any effort to camouflage the snare will make the animals wary of it.  You can boil the snares in baking soda for a few seconds or just let them hang outside to dull the finish if you like.  I have found the darkening process really makes very little difference in my success with the fence snares. 

Snares are easy to make and very inexpensive if you use washers or electrical box knockouts for locks and cheap nuts for stops. You can buy snare parts or complete snares on eBay or from trapper supply houses ready to go.  I make most of my snares but buy my locks, cable and stops online these days and reuse the locks over and over.  There are all kinds of snare locks but I find the washer lock works about as good as any of the fancy ones.  The washer is simply bent and holes drilled in each side so the cable can slide through the holes freely.  I buy aluminum stops as they are easy to put on the cable and crimp with pliers or a hammer.  I have used cheap nuts and they work fine, they just don't look as nice and some are hard to crimp.  I cut cable lengths of 30-36 inches of 3/32 cable or 7/64 cable if I am going for hogs.  I make about a two inch loop on one end and crimp it.  Then run the cable through the holes in the lock and put a crimp on the end.  You may need to study a picture or buy one snare to look at to get the hang of it but it takes less time to make than it did to type how to do it.

I put the snares where animals are going under or through the fence and hang them right in the open.
You can often find hair on the fence or tracks in the trail going through the fence to identify what animal is using the trail. I attach the snare to the bottom wire of the fence with an S hook (crimped on) strong enough to hold predators but that would bend and come loose if a deer goes through and gets caught.  Then the loose snare should loosen and fall off of the deer.  If after hogs or big game the S hook I use is strong and will not break or come loose.  One can simply loop the snare around the bottom wire and through the loop at the end to attach it to the fence if there is no need for it to come loose.  I open the snare loop and hang it in the opening with two bobby pins (women's hair pins) so it will pull away when the animal goes through and chokes down.  When trapping hogs I often use a longer snare and attach the end to a fence post or a stake driven in the ground as a big hog can do a lot of damage tied to the bottom wire of a fence.

This is the most successful method of trapping predators I have ever found, but one must use it responsibly.  Check your State laws as some States require deer stops on snares and in others you can only use snares in a survival situation. Happy snaring, Wild Ed

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Call to Texans and All Americans in the World

On February 24, 1836 the commander of the mission in San Antonio wrote the following letter. He knew that the chances of leaving the walls of the Alamo alive were next to none. He chose to buy precious time for Texas. Travis and the men of the Alamo gave up their lives and dreams to fight for the future of Texas and freedom. The history of Texas is one of Strong independent peoples that cherished freedom. I hope that independent spirit is still alive today and that the people of Texas will always fight to be free. We must never forget that our freedom was bought with the blood of Patriots.  As for me I will stand or fall with Texas.  Remember the Alamo, Wild Ed

Commandancy of the The Alamo

Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World

Fellow Citizens and compatriots—

     I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna — I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man — The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken — I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls — I shall never surrender or retreat.  Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch — The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.  If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country — Victory or Death.
William Barrett Travis.
Lt.  Col. comdt.

P. S.  The Lord is on our side — When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn — We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.


Friday, February 19, 2016

A Bargain Priced Hunting and Defense Shotgun

 I want to address the complaints I have heard people list on these shotguns right up front and give you my opinions on them.  Most of these complaints are from people that have not shot these guns or even held them in many cases.
First, right out of the box you may want to know that these shotguns are made in China, so is a lot of other stuff we buy today including many of the AK models people speak so highly of.  It is getting almost impossible to buy a product that does not at least have some Chinese parts in them even if put together in the USA.  If you try to not buy anything from China good luck and you don't need to read any farther.

Second, it is a Remington 870 clone and the Chinese copied it almost exactly.  So what, the patent is up.  They didn’t steal it any more than Kimber, Springfield, Ruger, Smith and Wesson and others stole the expired 1911 Colt patents or designs.  Once the patent is expired it is free game to anyone by our own laws.

Third, the shotgun is made of all steel with no plastic or alloy parts except for the stock.  This makes the gun heavier, but also stronger and it absorbs recoil much better than say the Remington 870 Express.  If you are going to lug it around the country that extra weight probably makes a difference.  If you are going to carry the gun in a vehicle, sit at a pond or in a blind bird hunting or keep it in the house for self defense the recoil absorbing weight is a benefit in my opinion. If you are shooting 3 inch magnum loads you will for sure welcome the weight.  Also if it comes down to pounding someone in hand to hand combat the steel gun will hit hard.

The shotguns I am talking about are the IAC 981 and 982 Hawk model pump shotguns.  These guns are clones of the Remington 870 model and almost all after market accessories for the 870 will fit them. The shotguns come in Combat or Defense models along with a 26 inch and 28 inch vent rib Hunting model.  They are chambered for 2 3/4 and 3 inch magnum shot shells.  In all fairness these guns are not the quality of your father's Remington 870 Wingmaster Shotgun.  They may be equal to or better than the Remington 870 Express that is being made now, that remains to be seen.  They are not pretty shotguns, the finish is black, the polymer stock and recoil pad is black.  These guns are tools made to take hard work.  The main draw to these shotguns is a dependable design and a low price.  I have seen them as low as $149.99-$249.99 depending on the model and where they are being sold.  Davidson's Gun Gallery recently ran a combo including a 18.5 inch barrel and a vented rib 28 inch barrel with one gun for less than $200.00.  That means they can be bought in many cases for 1/3 to 1/2 the MSRP of a Remington.

The following link is to the IAC website where you can read the details and specs of each gun.


The 982 is a 12GA pump shotgun patterned after the Remington 870. This shotgun features an adjustable ghost ring sight, solid steel machined receiver and an 18 ½ inch barrel with cyl choke.

I am carrying one of the 982 hawk short barreled guns around the ranch loaded with buckshot for predators and/or snakes.  We lose lambs to coyotes and have lost four ewes and two pets to venomous snakes in the past years so we carry a firearm within a step or two twenty four hours a day out here on the ranch.  A call to the sheriff out here means help is an hour or more away most of the time. therefore another reason to always have a firearm close by.  The guns we carry usually sit in a UTV or bounce around in a truck for hours each day no matter the weather. I don’t worry about scratching this gun up or getting it covered in dust.  I am quite pleased with the gun so far and plan on it being used as any other ranch tool out here where life can be rough on tools and people. I also bought one of the 28 inch vent rib barrel models so that I have a shotgun for the grand kids, friends or guests to use dove hunting or clay shooting here at the place.  This way I don't have to worry about them scratching up or harming one of my personal dove guns that have a fancy walnut stock and finish.


The Hawk 981 Field is a sporting shotgun patterned after the Remington 870. This shotgun features a solid steel machined receiver, ventilated rib barrel and a modified Win Choke by Trulock.

In reality these guns are just a plain Jane work horse copy of the Remington 870 that sells at a bargain price.  The design has been proven through the years and everyone recognizes the design and knows how it works.  Here are links to a couple of YouTube reviews so you can make up your own mind.

Remember I am not some famous big gun magazine writer that gun companies send free guns to or buy advertising from, forcing me to have a positive view of their guns. I have to buy my own equipment just like you or once in a while I borrow from friends that trust me with their gear so I can review it.  So when I review something, what you get is my honest opinion.  I bought two of these guns for the ranch because of the price.  So far I am pleased with my investment in these two guns.  Meanwhile I plan on using the heck out of mine and not worrying about scratching them up or having to clean them immediately after I use them for a change. Wild Ed