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Bill Grumbine
07-07-2006, 4:26 PM
Greetings all

I have a question out there for those who might be a little more experienced than I in these matters, although I have had more than I care to in some instances.

SWMBO and I were working on our pool deck this afternoon, and from time to time we got almost overwhelming whiffs of Mr. Skunk, letting us know he was close by - how close we were soon to discover! At one point when the smell was at its worst, I looked over towards the house, and there he was, sniffing around the foundation like he was trying to find a way in!

Fortunately Rowdy our small backup dog was inside, but Bubba, the golden with the empty thought bubble not only smelled our invader, he saw him! :eek: SWMBO grabbed him and drug him off out of sight before things escalated, and I went for the .357 which was close by. I thought better of that though, and made a circuitous route into the house to retrieve a .22 rifle. By the time I re-emerged, the skunk had made his getaway.

But I do have some questions. I was always given to understand that it was not normal for skunks to be running around loose during the day. The lady at the game warden office told me that is not true, that daytime activity is normal for these beasties. I also thought it unusual that he would be lurking around the house with two dogs on patrol (ha!). Again, she told me that was not unusual. She did go on to say though, that if there was someone on site that could "put him down", it was permissible. I asked, "You mean shoot him?" Yes, she replied. "Then there is someone who can put him down", I told her.

So, is this true? I thought if they were running around in the sun and not afraid of anything, that was a real sign of rabies. I have also heard stories of catching them in box traps and they can't squirt, but I'm not going there. For now, I am like the ancient Israelites who rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. I am working on the deck rail with one hand, and my .22 rifle in the other, in case Mr. Skunk reappears to cause us grief. If anyone has some answers to my questions about rabies, I would be glad to read about them.

Thanks.

Bill

Kent Parker
07-07-2006, 4:35 PM
Bill,

The last place I lived we had skunks sometimes. I'd place cans or shallow pans filled with either bleach or ammonia around the yard. They don't like the smell and leave.

Worked for me.

Cheers,

Kent

Karl Laustrup
07-07-2006, 5:17 PM
I've never seen one during the day [other than not moving in the middle of the road]. One trying to get in under your house in the middle of the day is, I think, very unusual.

I do have a friend that puts out traps for skunks and coons. Once he catches one in the trap he shoots it with a .22 and then goes and dumps it. He's been lucky I guess cause he's not had one spray him before he plunks it.

Karl

Doug Jones from Oregon
07-07-2006, 5:26 PM
I don't know about the rabies and such, but I do know that we have had skunks living out behind our building, under a abandoned portable office building for years.

Last year, I had a number of occassions to witness Momma kitty and two babies roaming around the property with no apparant fears. I have not seen what I guessed to be a growing family yet this year, but I have smelled them a couple of mornings.

Doug

Ken Fitzgerald
07-07-2006, 5:36 PM
Bill...........as a kid in Craig CO my friends and I caught one walking around the local cattle sale barn during the day. We had a b-b guns and asailed him. It retreated between a wooden water trough and a wooden fence where we made the final assault. We won the war but lost the battle! That skunk got his last revenge! I'll never forget the embarassment at age 12, we lived in an apartment house with 4 other families. I came to the back door.....Mom made me strip off there.......While I was taking multiple showers using vinegar and tomato juice as showering condiments.....Mom took my clothes on a shovel.........and buried them out back of the building.

Doug Shepard
07-07-2006, 5:54 PM
When I was a kid on a camping trip I sat down on a log while walking some trails around the lake during the middle of the day. A few minutes later I catch some motion out of the corner of my eye and look over to discover a skunk walking the log about 4-5 ft from me. I froze and tried not to breathe too loudly. He or she gave me a good lookover but didn't sense any danger from the inanimate object nearby. After about 2 minutes or so, it hopped off the log and walked off down the trail. I counted myself real lucky that day.

Joe Pelonio
07-07-2006, 5:54 PM
The risk of the dog getting into it with him is too great to let him stay. They do sometimes move around during the day but are shy, so if it's in an area where people and dogs are around it may indeed be ill. The trap may or may not work without a spraying, if you try it do plunk him before getting too close. Last time we had a dog run into one it took 3 huge cans of tomato juice and 2 months to get rid of the smell completely.

Eddie Watkins
07-07-2006, 6:00 PM
We have been doing battle for about six weeks with several skunks. So far my dog has been sprayed three times and they are still coming back. We have 2 different batches within easy walking distance of our house and they have been visiting regularly, always late of an evening or at night. I have never seen them out before about 8:30 in the evening. My "patrols" start about 8:30 until around midnight. I have on occasion seen skunks (not this group which I am watching closely) moving around a little during the day but couldn't confirm whether they were rabid or not. I have been patrolling these dens and trying to catch them coming out but so far have not caught all of them. They don't seem to let anything bother them, however. I can walk up within 30 feet of them and they just make sure they keep their butt pointed toward me. My dog has been sprayed three times and she is a Scottish terrior ( very aggressive hunter). They are not afraid of her and keep coming back. SHe gets close enough to be sprayed so I don't think they are afraid of her. I used a 12 guage shotgun the first time I found the den and was able to kill three but the gun was very loud. I have since gone to a pellet gun with a CO2 cartridge and sharp points and it works fine, I just have to be more accurate and a little closer but it doesn't scare them off. I know they hear the shotgun even though they are supposed to be hard hearing. THey have areas they roam but not necessarily patterns so their appearances seem hard to predict.
The traps they use are very short in height. As I understand it, if they can't raise their tail they can't spray. If they spray the dog or you, the best remedy we have found is a quart of hydrogen peroxide with a box of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish detergent mixed together then rubbed on liberally avoiding the eyes. Let it dry then wash it out.
LOML keeps making references to Bill Murray and Caddyshack.:rolleyes:
Sorry to vent but they are driving me crazy. We have never had any skunks before and now I can't get rid of them.
Eddie

David Wilson
07-07-2006, 6:19 PM
Bill,
If I may, a word of caution. As a kid growing up on a farm I shot quite a few skunks. If you use a .22, shoot for the head and be sure you are upwind when you shoot.

Cecil Arnold
07-07-2006, 6:21 PM
Bill, yes they roam during the day, just not as much as night. There is always the possibility of rabies, but unless the skunk is acting aggressive, or sick, it is probably just making a short daytime junket. They do like to take up residence under a house, just like armadillos and field mice, so if your house is off the ground be sure your skirting is in good shape.

Mike Cutler
07-07-2006, 6:50 PM
Bill.

Trap him in a havahart trap, and take him to the forest a long way off.

Shooting is a bad idea, unless you can get it away from the house. While in the Navy, one of my shipmates shot a skunk in his driveway. It spun around in circles and flopped around, and while dying sprayed everything, including his car, and the side of the house. It was a mess.

tod evans
07-07-2006, 7:06 PM
bill, a trick i learned as a kid to keep skunk/dear/rabbits/ect. away from the garden was go to the zoo and get lion poop. a few piles around the permiter and pests find elseware to play...02 tod

Bill Grumbine
07-07-2006, 7:17 PM
Thanks guys, for the stories, ideas, etc. We have a live and let live policy here, as long as the critter in question does not interfere with our life. We have lots of rabbits and groundhogs, but only those who ate the garden were assasinated. Skunks, like other animals, come and go. It is a part of country life. But, when they start hanging around the house, that earns them a one way trip to the hereafter.

I will be leaving for Cabela's shortly. We have one of their stores only 16 miles away. :cool: At least I get to turn this into an opportunity to buy a toy - uhhh, tool. SWMBO has given me the go ahead for a laser sight for the Remington .22 rifle. Once I spend some time at the range sighting the thing in, I should be able to pop him right in the head. It also means I get to look at some fancy schmancy lasers for my shorter irons. ;)

Tod, your solution has got to be the most original one I have ever heard, but the closest zoo is in Philly, and I can't imagine getting down there with a request for lion poop and actually getting it, much less hauling it back home. Besides, this particular perimeter is well over three acres on this side of the road! That could end up being a lot of poop!

Bill

Bob Weisner
07-07-2006, 7:56 PM
Bill:

I have been a trapper for 26 years and with any animal that is suspected of having Rabies, it is best to shoot it in the chest. If you suspect Rabies, don't shoot in the head or the spine. Rabies is in the Nervous System. If you can't shoot it, set out some traps baited with Marshmellows. Trap size for Skunks are 1 1/2 coilspring, 160 and 220 Conibear, and if you have any concerns about catching pets, they have dog proof coon traps that will catch skunks, but not a dog.

Frank Fusco
07-07-2006, 7:59 PM
bill, a trick i learned as a kid to keep skunk/dear/rabbits/ect. away from the garden was go to the zoo and get lion poop. a few piles around the permiter and pests find elseware to play...02 tod

So, your'e the guy who's been getting all the lion poop from the Mountain Home zoo. :D

Frank Fusco
07-07-2006, 8:06 PM
A daytime skunk is 99% of the time a sick skunk. And 99% of the sick is sure to be rabies. Skunks are the #1 rabies bearing animal.
When I raised cattle, I would shoot any daytime skunk I saw. I think i was very lucky, none ever sprayed. I would pick up the dead ones with an inside/out plastic garbage bag.
Some statistics put cattle as the #2 rabies affected animals. They are curious and get bit on the nose by the stinkers.
Trapping, live or otherwise, presents problems. Getting them out without being sprayed is near impossible. Some trappers have tricks (e.g. putting to sleep by wrapping with a blanket. good stories, methinks).
Shooting is the way to go IMHO, shot in body they can spray from an involuntary nerve reaction. Head shot, as advised, might be better. Ye a gud shot? Thems heads is tiny.
Stock up on tomato juice. Works for neutralizing the stink. Get enough for a bath.:o

Allen Bookout
07-07-2006, 8:15 PM
The trick is to hold them up by their tail. They cannot squirt you while in this position so you are in complete control.

Jim O'Dell
07-07-2006, 8:56 PM
Ok, as long as we're on skunk stories, I have to tell mine. :rolleyes: I was probably 12 or so at the time. Every summer I was invited to go to Lake Texhoma with my best friend and his family for vacation. His mom was my second mom. Anyway, he had a brother and a sister. His dad, mom and sister slept in the tent, Jerry, his younger brother Rick, and I slept on cots under the tent awning. I was in the middle. In the middle of one night I woke up, and rolled over, and Geneva, the mom, very sternly in a loud whisper said "Jim, don't move" Of course I say "What??" and I get a slightly louder, more stern reply, same as before. So I asked "Why?" The reply was that there was a skunk roaming around under the cots. I don't think I breathed, I was so still. But about that time, Jerry starts to move, I plant my right arm across his chest, don't remember if I said something, or if Geneva did. Then Rick started moving, same thing with the left arm. So here I am, spread eagle holding these two still with a skunk underneath me. Pretty soon it wondered up to the picknic table where the food was, and when it didn't find anything, went to another campsite looking for food. We all got up and had a snack and some iced tea before we could even think about going back to sleep! It's a good memory these many years later. Jim.

edit. Powdered douche mixed into a paste works much better than tomatoe juice, so I'm told. We've heard this remedy on several dog lists for when a dog gets sprayed. The story was told about a man that had to go to the late night drug store to buy all that they had! Said he sure got some weird looks.

Don Baer
07-07-2006, 9:48 PM
Bill,
I'd have gone for the .357 and been doone with it. Off course. I'f I missed there'd be a hole in the foundation of the house..:(

John Kain
07-07-2006, 10:05 PM
I have put a couple down in my life.

The first, when I was about 11 and it sprayed too close to my tent by the time it died. Stunk the whole night.

After that first skunk I put about 10 shots into them with my semi-auto .22 cal. I still have the gun.

Frank Fusco
07-08-2006, 10:46 AM
The trick is to hold them up by their tail. They cannot squirt you while in this position so you are in complete control.

I'll take your word for that. :o

Frank Fusco
07-08-2006, 10:55 AM
You wanna 'nuther skunk story? Don't matter, here is one. As you may have guessed, I am a historical reenactor. As such, we do strange things, like make clothes from animal hides. Well, I had always wanted to make a hat from a skunk hide, figured it would look neat. One night, my wife comes home and says she has a surprise for me. In the trunk of her car was a fresh road-kill skunk. So, on our front porch, I proceeded to skin the thing. This a very cold night with only the porch light to work by. As careful as I was, I hit the scent sack and got covered good. (meaning BAD). When I finished skinning, I took the hide to the well house where our freezer was, put the hide in a plastic garbage bag and put that in the freezer.
Then, I stripped naked, left my clothes outside and ran to the shower. That was a chore, nearly took my skin off getting rid of the smell.
A month or so later, we took some meat out of the freezer to eat and found that everything in the freezer was saturated with skunk stink. Everything ruined. Including my attidude, I never tanned that hide.

Roger Bell
07-08-2006, 11:58 AM
Skunks are primarily nocturnal, but they do move around at times during the day, like other nocturnal animals. That alone is insufficient evidence to conclude rabies.....although rabies is always a possibility and it doesnt hurt to work from that assumption.

They like to den up under buildings....that is why so many of us are familiar with them.

A word of advice....when shot, they generally, but not often, do NOT release instantly....but they will do so within a minute or so of their demise. Therefore, you want to have a hole dug and the shovel ready for immediate deployment. Do not dillydally around with the burial unless you wish to be treated to a full release.

Dan Connolly
07-08-2006, 1:32 PM
Dish soap, baking soda, and Hydrogen perxoide (spell) work much better than tomato juice. Search the net for the correct reciepe but trust me this is much much more effective because the chemical reaction kills the smell of whatever the skunk spray liquid is.

Moth balls scattered around will make them go find a new home too.

Bob Weisner
07-08-2006, 4:18 PM
Here is the Rabies statistics for Arkansas :


http://www.healthyarkansas.com/data/pdf/rabies_results2001-2005.pdf
http://www.healthyarkansas.com/data/pdf/rabies2001-2005_map.pdf

Bob Weisner
07-08-2006, 4:26 PM
"So, on our front porch, I proceeded to skin the thing. This a very cold night with only the porch light to work by."

Have you tried skinning them in the basement? I did that last Fall and the smell came up through the air ducts in the furnace. The combination of Red Fox, Gray Fox, Mink and Skunk pelts drying in the basement left a funny smeel in the house. LOL :o

Vaughn McMillan
07-08-2006, 4:42 PM
...I will be leaving for Cabela's shortly. We have one of their stores only 16 miles away. :cool: At least I get to turn this into an opportunity to buy a toy - uhhh, tool. SWMBO has given me the go ahead for a laser sight for the Remington .22 rifle. Once I spend some time at the range sighting the thing in, I should be able to pop him right in the head. It also means I get to look at some fancy schmancy lasers for my shorter irons. ;)... Going semi-OT here, but Bill, putting a laser sight on my Sig Saur 9mm was a good lesson in how much my hands shake. :o ;) I'm a decent shot with open sights, but when I had to change my focus to a red laser dot off in the distance, that dot danced on the target like a drop of water in a hot skillet. I had a hard time even hitting the paper. :p It didn't help that every shooting lane at the range went silent when I turned on the laser...all the other shooters apparently wanted to see the laser in action. After I made about 3 bad shots in a row, they all had their laugh and went back to their own shooting. :D

That's my short iron laser experience...I'd bet on a .22 rifle it's be a whole different (better) ballgame. I still have the laser on the Sig and if the wrong person surprised me in the house, and the Sig was closer than a shotgun, I might use it just for psychological effect, but for accurate shooting I'd be aiming with the iron sights. ;)

- Vaughn

Tom Hamilton
07-08-2006, 5:30 PM
Hey Bill you are not alone. My brother Mike in Indianapolis had a skunk under the porch this week. Yesterday he picked up a live trap and this AM had a live, mad skunk in the trap. Hmmm, says he, cover with plastic and throw in a poisonous smoke bomb, take the dog for his morning walk, and return to dead skunk.

Didn't quite work that way; the skunk apparently liked the noxious fumes, was lively and still mad upon Mike's return. So out comes the 22 rifle and on the third shot into the trap, Mr. Skunk left this world.

Mike had predug a post hole for Mr. Skunk and there he lies as we speak, er, write. All this before the coffee pot quite dripping.

Mike is expected, PETA, Animal Society and the Sheriff sometime today!

Lesson: make the first shot count.

All the best, Tom, in Houston, currently without skunks under the back deck.

Larry Klaaren
07-09-2006, 1:09 AM
We used to watch skunks "parade" down the bean rows during the day. You could only see their tail.

It did seem that activity was mostly when they had a group of little ones trailing them. I think it might have been about this time of year. The beans were short enough that the skunk's tail would stick out above them but you couldn't see the skunk.

They are nocturnal, but have daytime activity, like cats.

Larry

Matt Meiser
07-09-2006, 1:22 AM
I will be leaving for Cabela's shortly. We have one of their stores only 16 miles away. :cool:

Hah! Ours is only 12 miles. But then again based on their expansion plans, they plan to have one close to just about everyone. They are even planning two in the Chicago area.

I actually describe where I live by referencing Cabelas. People have no clue where Ida is, but if I say I live two exits south of Cabelas, they know exactly where I'm talking about.

Barry Stratton
07-09-2006, 3:57 AM
Mike is expected, PETA, Animal Society and the Sheriff sometime today!

Great story! I don't think PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals) will be upset over a skunk though:D

Robert Mickley
07-09-2006, 10:24 AM
I've been lucky. NEver had to deal with dogs and skunks :p The wife on the other hand has since she groomed dogs for 18 years.

Without getting fancy there is one surefire way to deal with the smell
Dawn dish soap

The trick is DO NOT wet the dog. Rub the soap in to the dogs fur thoroughly. Adding water before applying the soap sets the odor.

Now coons and groundhogs are another story. I was sorting through some rough sawn cherry the other day and my black lab was going nuts he was all over the woodpile. Under the storage trailer and just generaly being a pest. I looked under the pile and there was a groundhog. Well the dog was on the other side trying to get it so I started poking it with a sticker and got its attention. Then I shoved it out backwards. Needless to say The dog made short work of it.

Whats fun is to watch the dogs tag team a coon. My chocolate will distract it and the black jumps them from behind.

Bill Grumbine
07-09-2006, 8:28 PM
Skunk Update

He must have been reading here at the Creek and learned what was in store for him, since he has not reappeared yet. I got a laser sight, and promptly returned it. It did a great job in the house, but disappeared in virtually every level of light greater than "dark" outside. And since I do not plan on inviting him in before I shoot him...

I did pick up a red dot scope on the advice of an Iraq vet who was next to me at the shooting range. I can see the dot in all levels of light, and it is a lot easier to acquire the target. I just scoped a bunny rabbit out the window as I am typing this. Don't worry though, the bunny is not on the list of varmints to be regulated. We don't have our vegetable garden this year. But it is back to the range tomorrow to sight the gun in, and then wait for Mr. Skunk to reappear for his meeting with destiny.

Vaughn, what model Sig do you have? I just picked up a SP 2022 in .40 S&W - it was my Father's Day gift. I bought it used, but it had never been fired, having been purchased by a lady who sort of went gun happy, and then returned it without ever firing it. It is a lot of fun to shoot, and as smooth as one could ask for. I think that anyone with a laser sight is going to have more quiver than with open sights. I learned a long time ago that movement back and forth is normal, and target shooters learn to deal with it. On the other hand, I am a little leery of putting a laser on one of the pistoles after the poor performance of the one on the rifle. I will have to do a lot more research before I plunk down almost $300 on a laser sight! :eek:

Bill

Vaughn McMillan
07-10-2006, 5:13 AM
Vaughn, what model Sig do you have? I just picked up a SP 2022 in .40 S&W - it was my Father's Day gift. I bought it used, but it had never been fired, having been purchased by a lady who sort of went gun happy, and then returned it without ever firing it. It is a lot of fun to shoot, and as smooth as one could ask for. Bill, I've got the P226 in 9mm. Like yours, it's very smooth and fun to shoot. Simple to break down and clean, too. I bought mine used from a buddy who needed cash (more like I stole it...I caught him at a weak moment), but it was barely used, and came with an extra clip (about $70 worth). I'm more accurate with my S&W .357 revolver though, because it's got a longer barrel, but the Sig is still a lot of fun to shoot. (And in a self-defense situation, I'd prefer a 16-round clip instead of a six-shooter. Again, only if the scattergun isn't handy. I still think the sound of a 12 gauge shell being cycled into the chamber can make a great intruder deterrent. ;) )

My laser sight is an inexpensive ($100) little thing that's not much more than a glorified laser pointer with a mounting system. I didn't realize a good one could cost $300. Mine's not very bright outdoors in the sunlight, but it is dead on at the halfway mark (25 feet?) at the indoor range. I've just gotta hold it there. :o I know what you mean about target shooters dealing with the inevitable movement, but it just seems more pronounced with the laser because you're seeing the movement at the target, not in the sights.

Good luck with your skunk...

- Vaughn

Cliff Rohrabacher
07-10-2006, 2:19 PM
But unless something has recently pissed 'em off they don't usually stink.

A fellow once shot one with a 12 guage in a dumpster for an apartment I lived in years and years back. I can still smell it - never shoot them with a shotgun.

I would regale you with my exploits at eliminating the little buggers but god forbid a PETA person read it and have the state cops at my door.

I had a neighbor years back who had a family of skunks in his back yard (mommy and litter). They'd go to a sloped boulder in his yard. The little ones would climb up and slide down the slope. The mother skunk would help them up.