Hunting with wire snares is rife within many tropical forest systems, and constitutes one of the severest threats to a wide range of vertebrate taxa. As for all threats, reliable monitoring of snaring levels is critical for assessing the relative effectiveness of management interventions. However, snares pose a particular challenge in terms of tracking spatial or temporal trends in their prevalence because they are extremely difficult to detect, and are typically spread across large, inaccessible areas. As with cryptic animal targets, any approach used to monitor snaring levels must address the issue of imperfect detection, but no standard method exists to do so. We carried out a field experiment in Keo Seima Wildlife Reserve in eastern Cambodia with the following objectives: (1) To estimate the detection probably of wire snares within a tropical forest context, and to investigate how detectability might be affected by habitat type, snare type, or observer. (2) To trial two sets of sampling protocols feasible to implement in a range of challenging field conditions. (3) To conduct a preliminary assessment of two potential analytical approaches to dealing with the resulting snare encounter data. We found that although different observers had no discernible effect on detection probability, detectability did vary between habitat type and snare type. We contend that simple repeated counts carried out at multiple sites and analyzed using binomial mixture models could represent a practical yet robust solution to the problem of monitoring snaring levels both inside and outside of protected areas. This experiment represents an important first step in developing improved methods of threat monitoring, and such methods are greatly needed in southeast Asia, as well as in as many other regions. This study is a field experiment designed to empirically estimate the detectability of wire snares, and potential determinants of this parameter. It was conducted in a protected area in eastern Cambodia.