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In the rulebook it states that the symbols on the left of the hunting action spaces (and raiding and pillaging) serve two purposes: one to remind you which goods and weapons you can spend to increase (or decrease) your roll; and two to remind you of what the consolation items are for failing. In the appendix bottom right page 13 it says: snares are REQUIRED (emphasis mine) when laying a snare. I thought I could just use wood to decrease my roll if I was out of snare cards. Must I have a snare in hand to perform this action? Also then, must I have a bow and arrow card in hand to hunt?
No, it's just telling you when you would need snares. Probably a poor choice of words.