Caught my skunk

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    There has been a skunk living under my non-vacant-but-soon-to-be-occupied bird barn. I've been trying to catch that sucker for over a week.

    First I had to catch all the darn barn cats. As each was caught, it was put in a chicken crate. I now have a stack of chicken crates, each with one very unhappy kitty in it.

    After I caught all the cats, the real battle began. Critters are usually easy to catch in a live trap, but this skunk just didn't want to get caught! I have moved the trap around, tried different flavors of cat food and still he (I sure hope it's a he) remained at large.

    I finally went round patching holes everywhere. I left the main entrance open and put my trap there. Three days and no skunk. I was about to give up and call in a pro to get him. This morning, hubby calls to say I got him.

    Good thing I have to go sell meat today. He gets to deal with the skunk! My plan was to tie the rope I put on the trap to the tractor loader, pick it up, then take him for a ride to the creek for swimming lessons. I figured the tractor might stink for a while, but better that than me!

    Jena
     
  2. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    good plan Jena, now when you got home, how did hubby smell?
     

  3. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Actally, if you cover the trap with something when you set it, an old sheet or whatever, the skunk won't object to being moved at all.

    They are a calm creature and they don't look for trouble. They just want to left alone. So, if they are handled quietly with no dogs or whatnot around, the trap with the critter in it, can be transported or hand carried wherever you want and then it's easy to just open the door and after a bit the skunk will go on it's way.

    I've picked up and released many a skunk from neighbors and it's just not any big deal. I've never had one spray in the trap, even when put in the back of a pickup and driven up a canyon for release.

    These are helpful animals to us. They kill many rodents that are dangerous to our health and eat a list of harmful insects that would amaze you.

    LQ
     
  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Well, hubby sure did a fine job. He shot the skunk, in the trap. He didn't even remove it from right in front of the barn and it took him FOUR shots to kill it! How can it take FOUR shots to kill a critter???

    So the dying skunk sprayed all over the place and now I get to walk through it every day. Great.

    I wonder how many holes are in my trap????

    As far as releasing critters....I won't do that. If a critter has become a nuisance at one place, he will do the same thing in another. This skunk did not just quietly live under the barn. He was eating eggs, invading the porch of the house where my tenant lives and getting in the trash.

    Also, releasing an animal is not very humane. It's basically like dropping off a person in an unfamiliar city with no money, no contacts or any ability to take care of themselves. It's kinder to kill them outright. It is also illegal in many states to release a nuisance animal.

    Jena
     
  5. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    What was he shooting at the skunk with? A .22 is tailor-made for this kind of work. See, the problem with shooting a skunk is that you really don't want to get too close. If it's dark and he's moving around some or if he won't turn to face you, that might explain the extra shots. Even when you get them with one shot and they don't spray, they still smell close-up.

    Since the live trap is probably wire mesh, I would suppose there about as many holes in it as when you set it, unless the trip pan got ventilated a bit.

    I wouldn't have left it there, the sooner you get rid of them the better. Shooting him is better than drowning him.

    I had a live trap set in a hay shed once and drove in with the loader tractor to get some small square bales. Forgot about the trap and ran over it ... with a large raccoon in it. I heard him squeal and the crunch of the trap and I had a flattened coon. Bad part about that was that it was my favorite live trap.
     
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jena said:
    I surely appreciate your attitude. As an exterminator I am often confronted by those who don't understand the rationale that everyplace is now someone's back yard. I consider it unprofessional and unethical to relocate a problem animal, as well as it being like dropping a person off in an unfamiliar (and hostile) city. Most animals are territorial and relocation is an almost certain death warrant. I still agree with Little Quacker's statement about skunks being gentle creatures that don't look for trouble. Yet, they are also a major resevoir of rabies, second only to bats. One of my peers got a scratch releasing a skunk. Since the skunk was gone, he had to go through the rabies shots.

    Probably the only advantage to shooting the skunk was expedience. Another trick that happens to be illegal for a professional in CO is a shower curtain over an auto exhaust pipe and the cage.

    I remember reading about a guy here in CO that tied a 50 foot rope onto the cage before he set it. When he caught the critter, he towed it from the other end to the pond. Clever, but I prefer Quacker's suggestion of covering the cage as the best way to keep the critter from spraying.

    There are many contradictory laws when it comes to animals. They change with city boundries in many cases. In CO it is illegal to transport a live skunk. In Fort Collins CO it is illegal to kill it. So if you trap it, you have to let it go where you catch it. It is illegal almost everywhere to allow the skunk to die of exposure in the trap. (If you leave it in the sun on a warm day, it can die in a few hours) In Boulder CO, you can't bother the pigeons.
     
  7. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    As i sit here reading this, your story has come to life because the skunks have sprayed in the back yard and i can smell it through the house! Thank goodness my cats are in! They live under our shed and i figure the freaky weather around here has got them all confused. 50 degrees and then down to 9 the next!

    Last year our trash was too close to the house and they sprayed next to it which was almost under a mud room that doesn't have a "basement" to it.
    Every coat, shoes toy everything smelled in there. Well, i wiped it down with
    vinegar and that was great and then the next night the beasts came back again. We moved our trash barrells and then i poured about 4 gallons of white
    vinegar around the base of that part of the house and they haven't done that again!

    Atleast they eat the grubs in the lawn in the spring - were the only ones around here that don't have our lawns chemlawned.

    I think we get all of the critters around us - we have a very tiny amount of woods and i guess they like it here.

    We have a coon family, skunk family, squirrels, other peoples tom cats. We even have possums once in while.

    Can't wait to move rural and see more wildlife.
     
  8. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    The skunk problem is quite simply done, even with the very wise city types.

    Once in the trap, (you do not have to cover), walk toward them slowly with a heavy quilt or blanket out spread to protect yourself, lay the garmet over the trap, pour alcohol over the garmet and wait. Skunk becomes very, very mellow and will allow any type of movement desired.

    At the other end you usually have to dump them out, best dispatch is a water barrel, once mellow. Do not have an illegal skunk in a place like Boston. Skunk might be able to sue you. :haha:
     
  9. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    We fired up the combine a couple years ago, only to have one rather mangled coon come flying out the back. Broke darn near every belt in the combine.

    I guess we were lucky it wasn't a skunk!

    Jena