Trappers who use snares need to know about a regulation change that is about to go into effect.

As of Oct. 1, snares capable of taking a wild animal must include a breakaway device that causes the snare loop to disassemble at 350 pounds of pull as measured by a static load test.

This applies to all snares, except those set under the ice. Devices that cause the snare loop to disassemble at less than 350 pounds also meet this requirement.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) made this regulation change to prevent the accidental capture of large mammals while continuing to allow the use of snares state-wide.

Breakaway devices allow large, non-target mammals such as moose, elk, wolves, bears and adult deer to escape when the snare disassembles under high tension. Smaller target animals, such as coyotes, bobcats, and foxes, are not able to break the snare by pulling.

The DNR began discussing this regulation change with state trapping groups and others in 2018.

Public input taken by the DNR online in April 2019 showed strong support for the restrictions, with 58 percent of respondents supporting the change, 16 percent opposing it and 26 percent having no opinion, out of 2,147 responses.

More information about breakaway devices is available on the DNR Web site at

– Image courtesy of the Minnesota DNR Web site