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Rabbit trapping

Discussion in 'Bushcraft and survival skills' started by Mark Bonello, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Mark Bonello

    Mark Bonello New Member

    Nov 13, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Northern Ireland
    I’ve been granted permission by my local farmer to dispose of any rabbits on his land. My question is this. Do I need a license of any kind? Ideally I’d like to do it as humanely as possible. And using bushcraft skills rather than buying traps I’d like to make my own. Any advice or articles on this would be greatly appreciated
  2. Broch

    Broch Full Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Mid Wales
    I suggest you start here:


    How you progress depends on your reason for doing it. Is it to learn how to trap or to help the farmer with a problem? There are a lot of good books on hunting and trapping and I suggest you do a fair bit of study first before you try if you can't find an experienced person to go out with.

    Trapping will take a long time to learn, you will have to put a lot of traps down to get very few rabbit, and you will have to be able to visit the site every day traps are down. Depending on numbers, my choice would be shooting with rifle or shotgun or, if you don't have a FAC or a shotgun certificate, use an air rifle (see https://basc.org.uk/airgunning/rabbit-shooting/ ). If the numbers are high, and the farmer is expecting results, you will need to use nets with or without ferrets or dogs (most professionals will use ferrets). Above all, whatever method you choose, you will need to get to know the land very well before you start.

    Just my 2p's worth :)
    Samon likes this.
  3. Kadushu

    Kadushu Member

    Jul 29, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I'm not sure that 'humane' and experimental traps are guaranteed to go together! I've caught rabbits in a live capture squirrel trap baited with parsnip/carrot peelings/tops. I stopped using it when something, I assume a fox, chewed the legs off a rabbit caught inside. I decided that kind of torturous death defied the point of using a humane trap.
    Samon likes this.
  4. Le Loup

    Le Loup Nomad

    Nov 27, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Wychwood Forest, New England, Australia.
    I can't comment on the legality Mark, things may have changed since I was living in the UK, but I can give you some of the videos I have made & a link to my youtube channel.

    If I can ever be of any assistance Mark, please feel free to contact me.
    Regards, Keith.
  5. C_Claycomb


    Oct 6, 2003
    Likes Received:
    You need to research what is legal in Northern Ireland.

    General info, remember to check dates, laws change:


    Interesting that there is an anti-snaring campaign, so it would be best to know your stuff.

    I have been told by people who have researched this stuff, that you cannot legally use anything other than free running multi-strand wire cable snares, live catch traps (box or cage) or approved manufactured steel spring traps. Dead falls, pole snares, spring ups (sapling powered), basically any mechanical snare that is not live catch or commercial manufactured is illegal.

    Having said that, in the 15 minutes I have been digging around, I have not found actual legislation that spells out, for instance, that you must use multi-strand wire for rabbits, or that primitive deadfalls are illegal. However that does not mean it is not there since there are a ton of overlapping statutes, and some things may be implied. Careful reading needed.

    A lot of the primitive traps can be rather indiscriminate, not a problem in the wilderness when you just want food, but not good in areas where many animals are protected, or domestic.

    As a question of bushcraft, well, actually the brass wire rabbit snare is hard to improve upon. Trapping is a numbers game and simple snares are quick to set and easy to move where needed. Rabbits run from open grass areas to burrows and in our arable/pastoral landscape there are often very few places that one can set bent pole string snares, or have enough big rocks and logs for dead falls. Using a log for a drag anchor is more efficient than spending time making it into an effective dead fall.



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