In modern day trapping, there are three main types of traps used to catch furbearers: the bodygrip trap, foothold trap and snare. See below for more information on each type of trap, what it’s used for and other information.
Bodygrip (Conibear) Traps
The modern day bodygrip trap was invented by Frank Conibear, a Canadian trapper, in the 1950’s. Conibear sold the rights to the trap design to the Animal Trap Company (now Oneida Victor) in the late 1950’s and they entered mass production and popularity in the trapping world. The bodygrip trap offers the advantage of providing a quick, humane kill to a furbearer on the trapline. Due to the trap’s popularity and Victor’s early branding success, the Conibear name has become synonymous with the bodygrip trap. Though Victor holds the rights to the name “Conibear”, most trappers refer to all makes of bodygrip traps as Conibears. Different sized conibears are available for specific target animals. Click on each below to learn more.
Foothold traps have been around since the early days of trapping and the fur trade. Though some may look complicated, these traps all have a very basic design. A pan is surrounded by two round or square jaws with one or two springs applying pressure to the jaws. The animal must step onto the pan with enough pressure to trip the catch holding jaws open, and the spring forces them shut, securing the animal by the foot or leg.
Foothold traps, also commonly referred to as ‘legholds’, have caught a lot of flak in the past for being considered ‘inhumane’. On the contrary, modern research has shown that when properly used and equipped, these traps can be a very humane alternative.
The great advantage to the foothold trap is that it allows an animal to remain alive after being caught, meaning that non-target animals can be released, in most cases without any harm. These traps are commonly used to capture animals to be transported alive, or collared and released for research studies. Follow the links below to learn more about the specifics and various uses of foothold traps.
The snare has been a part of trapping since the beginning, but snaring technology has gone through incredible advances that allow trappers numerous options depending on the circumstances and desired results. On the most basic level, a snare is simply a loop of cable with a lock that allows the cable to tighten, but not loosen back up.
Snare cable can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common is galvanized steel. Various cable diameter and configurations (single wire, multi-strand twisted wire, etc) are available. Snare locks come in a variety of shapes, sizes and functionality. Some are locks that tighten the loop harder the harder an animal pulls, and can be assisted with springs to provide a quick, humane kill. On the other end of the spectrum, relaxing locks keep from getting overly tight as an animal pulls, minimizing physical damage and allowing for a humane release of nontarget animals.