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I caught a skunk...now what?

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  • I caught a skunk...now what?

    We've been having a critter problem in the barn lately, so we set a humane trap and caught a skunk! The trap is under an old horse blanket and the skunk has not sprayed so far. But now no one wants to release it for fear of getting sprayed.

    Anyone have experience releasing skunks from humane traps?

  • #2
    Personally, I have no experience....but I did find this on a website that may be helpful to you!!!

    Cage traps come in two different versions, gravity doors and spring-loaded doors, and they require different techniques to open.

    Gravity Door Traps. Gravity closing doors, like the name suggests, rely on the pull of gravity to close the trap door when the trap is sprung. Once the door has reached its final destination, a locking mechanism engages to prevent the animal from pushing his way out of the trap. These traps are rather popular as they are generally less expensive than their spring-loaded door counterparts. To release a skunk from this type of trap, simply take a long extended painters pole (18 feet), fully extend it and then from that distance, gently push the trap onto its roof. Once the trap is flipped over, the gravity door should open allowing the

    Don’t be surprised if the skunk doesn’t leave right away. The presence of people, dogs, and general fear may cause the skunk to remain in the trap. Keep people and pets away from the area and the skunk should leave on its own when things quiet down. If the weather is warm and you are in a hurry, you can use a garden hose to make it rain on the skunk to help encourage it to move on. The key isn’t to hurt the skunk with the force of water. You just want to make it get wet so it runs out to dry cover. A word of warning here, make sure the doors to area structures are closed or you may find that the skunk runs to hide in your garage.

    Spring-loaded Door Traps. Spring-loaded traps are more difficult as the door must be manually manipulated to be reopened. In light of that, you should always place a cloth cover over half the length of the trap (at the end opposite the door) whenever you set it. The cloth allows you a way to approach the skunk without being seen. The cloth should be durable, like a towel, canvas or denim, as well as disposable. Secure the cloth on the trap so it won’t blow away. Make sure you are comfortable with opening the trap door BEFORE setting it. If you catch a skunk, you will need to be able to open the door quickly to reduce the risk of being sprayed.

    Once you discover a skunk, you will need another cloth, large enough to completely cover the trap, and a brick or object that is tall and wide enough to keep the trap door open at least 5 inches but one that won’t block the skunk’s escape. With this equipment in hand, quietly approach the trap from the cloth side (so the skunk can’t see you), holding the large cloth in front of you. Gently drape the cloth completely over the cage. Get the object that you will use to keep the door open. (Some spring-loaded traps actually have a device to do this.) When you are ready, take a quick peek to make sure the skunk is at the opposite end of the trap. Chances are he will be facing you as the noise will peak his interest. Quickly open the door prop it open. As you walk away, take the large blanket with you. Keep the blanket open between you and the trap as you quietly and methodically back away. While it is possible for the skunk to bolt out of the cage, it rarely happens. Usually, the skunk remains in the covered portion of the trap until he feels safe enough to walk out. Don’t be surprised if he remains in the trap until nightfall.

    Keep in the mind:

    Always wear quality leather or canvass gloves when handling traps. They will protect you from various scratches and reduce your exposure to feces and urine.
    Skunks will pound their front feet (thump, thump) when agitated. If you hear this sound, it means the skunk is warning you that he is likely to spray. It means you have been too noisy or have come too close for his comfort.
    If the skunk sees you, don’t loom large. Crouch down so you appear less threatening. Sometimes quietly talking to the skunk can have a calming influence.
    Rural skunks tend to be more fearful of people than urban and suburban skunks.
    Skunks are less likely to spray what they can’t see. But if you handle a caged skunk in a rough manner, such as shaking, banging etc., they will spray.


    GOOD LUCK!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yup, keep it covered until you get it to its drop off place. And...make sure that place is 20 miles away or it will come back.

      I remember reading a letter to the editor for some magazine like Hobby Farm and a gentleman said he was inundated with skunks. He had caught almost 50 in two months in his live animal trap and release them a mile away. LOL, he was catching the same critter over and over!

      Good luck and just in case you do get sprayed there is a great product by Nature's Miracle called Skunk Odor Remover. I purchased it at one of the large pet stores.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know where you are, but here, skunks are our main rabies reservoir, many every year come up positive when tested after biting some cat, dog or horse.

        When we have some move around houses or barns, we shoot them outright or trap and shoot them in the trap, then carefully dispose of them.

        If you use a 22 to shoot them and someone that is a good shot, the skunk will just drop dead, won't spray, or we never had one spray, yet.

        Around here the ones out in the pastures, we leave alone, but those that get used to living around homes and barns, they won't stay away and need shooting.

        May be different where you are.

        Comment


        • #5
          I caught a skunk in my Haveaheart cage around this time last year...in the barn. Not quite the 'kitty' I was after. LOL I called Animal Control to see if they had any suggestions on releasing it or would they come do it. They said they would come shoot it (in the cage), but that was all they would do and I had to get it to a 'remote' location for them to do so. Long story short, it wasn't acting sick in any way but AC did come shoot it and was sent off for testing since my dogs had encountered it the night before. It was confirmed rabid.

          Not posting this to scare the crap out of you...just be careful if you decide to try letting it go.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
            I don't know where you are, but here, skunks are our main rabies reservoir, many every year come up positive when tested after biting some cat, dog or horse.

            When we have some move around houses or barns, we shoot them outright or trap and shoot them in the trap, then carefully dispose of them.

            If you use a 22 to shoot them and someone that is a good shot, the skunk will just drop dead, won't spray, or we never had one spray, yet.

            Around here the ones out in the pastures, we leave alone, but those that get used to living around homes and barns, they won't stay away and need shooting.

            May be different where you are.
            Not to mention, in many states it is illegal to relocate skunks to any area other than than one on the property on which it was caught...


            Comment


            • #7
              You can always call your local animal control and ask their assistance
              IN GOD WE TRUST
              OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.
              http://www.horseville.com/php/search...=1&ssid=057680

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              • #8
                shoot it. Re-locating wildlife by non-experts usually ends badly for the animal, much more humane to quickly end it. It may be illegal to live-trap and relocate skunks (and any other wildlife) where you are, you might want to check before re-setting your live trap.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've handled a fair few skunks at work, they are actually quite loathe to spray. Keep the trap covered, prop it open, and it will usually wander out on its own. Skunks are resourceful enough that they generally do fine with relocation. Of course, removing an animal from its territory simply opens up a niche for another one to move in, so I generally leave them be and we figure out how to work around each other. The devil you know and all that...
                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                  We Are Flying Solo

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for the advice, everyone! Animal control around here is pretty worthless when it comes to wildlife, so we were on our own. We did manage to release it with no issues at all. I've already seen another one, so I'm sure this is going to go on for a while. I actually wouldn't have a problem with them on the farm if they just feared us a little more, but the rabies issues and the potential for my dogs to get sprayed is just too great. I don't own a gun but I do agree that shooting them would probably be the best solution.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've had a lot of trouble with skunks getting under our barn office porch and have had a few even come in the barn. We also trapped them at first and released them in a county park a few miles away. I eventually found out this is illegal in my state. After making a lot of useless calls, I finally talked to a local wildlife refuge and was advised to come and pick up some natural skunk predator fecal material and spread it around the barn. I've been doing this for the past two years and have had no more problems with skunks since then.
                      Susan N.

                      Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yeah, I just learned about that trick, and was told to stop by a hunting store and pick up musk of something which is badder than the soon-to-be evictee. Specifically, to get something like wolverine or wolf musk to evict a fisher cat, which is a predator. A skunk is not a predator, but they are a vector for rabies. Spreading around the musk of something which would clear out skunks (by preying on them) if it was around would probably work. Weasle musk - fisher cat, badger - I imagine coyote scent, would do it, and get it down to where they have their den, so they move out. I would personally spread the contamination, so to speak, wide, so they don't just move to the next out building.

                        I don't know it this would work, but I believe the audobon society would know, and very probably the folks at the hunter store.

                        That's what I would try.

                        Relocating these things yourself is very hard on the animal. Biggest chance is you will relocate it into another animal's territory, and it will have to fight and have no where to go, and it will be quite miserable, probably die. Not a pretty way to go. That's why wildlife people will put a critter down, but not relocate it, especially, I hear any of the rabies vectors (which are usually non-predators). Just aren't going to spend the money on testing it for rabies, transporting it, and really doing something miserable to it like put it in a new territory.

                        This is not cut in stone, but all this is an extrapolation of information which Mistyblue gave me, as a wildlife rehab person, so it is the way I might look at what to try for skunks in the barn.

                        Also, I would absolutely clean things up - no piles of bags around, critter proof all the grain, no crumbs around, always swept up, all the shavings and hay clean, swept, locked up. No piles of dirty leg wraps in the tack room, that sort of thing.

                        Good luck.
                        Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ugh, skunks! Last year a skunk was trying to move right in with the horses in the barn and became so bold as to walk right in while I was in the barn with the horses. Only one entrance/exit into the barn, and he was sniffing around for something yummy right there. Finally got the horses back out without incident, but he managed to spray one of my mares in the field (she chases anything in her field) in her brand new blanket. Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover works very well. Quite by accident, I discovered Mr. Pepe LaPew did not like the smell of PineSol. Try spraying some around where you see the skunks (little cone-shaped holes in the ground are where they are digging for grubs - you know they have been there). Kind of a shame they are so stinky and diseased - they are actually very cute and not too afraid of anything.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How to "dispose" of unwanted wildlife

                            Every spring when the raccoons, oppossums and yes, skunks start visiting the farm, killing the chickens and destroying things in the barn, the "war" starts. I've found half a dozen raccons at a time "partying" around the barns, oppossums in the chicken yard and skunks everywhere. I have no sympathy for any of them.

                            I use a humane trap. I have a 100 gallon water tank (filled) next to it.

                            When I catch a skunk, I walk up with a tarp held in front of me and cover the trap....having read somewhere where they are unlikely to spray you if you do this, and so far it's worked.

                            Then I pick up the trap, still covered, and drop the works into the water and walk way. Yes, I still have to dispose of the body, but I take them to the far reaches of the farm and the turkey buzzards handle the rest.

                            I live next to a Forest Preserve..."relocating" doesn't work, and I don't see any reason to dump my problems on someone else. There is a never-ending "supply" of them.These critters have no natural predators in my area....well, except me.
                            Far Away Farm

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                              Animal control around here is pretty worthless when it comes to wildlife, so we were on our own.
                              I'd have to say that if there is one instance where AC should absolutely, in no uncertain terms step up to the plate is when rabies is a concern. If they're unwilling to help you out in a potential rabies situation, you need to get in touch with someone higher up and let them know. Their number one goal should be public safety - why are they getting your tax dollars if they aren't willing to help out with this? Did you even try, or just assume that they'd be worthless?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Drowning them? Wow, could you think of a more inhumane way to treat a trapped animal? Why not set them on fire? Please, people, if you are going to kill an animal do so quickly and humanely, with a firearm.
                                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                We Are Flying Solo

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The best advice for dispatching of skunks that I can give is to dig your burial hole FIRST, then shoot, dump and cover as quickly as possible.
                                  Keeps the stink to a minimum.....
                                  april
                                  Equine Retirement at
                                  www.StonyRidgeFarm.webs.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ladyfarrier View Post
                                    Every spring when the raccoons, oppossums and yes, skunks start visiting the farm, killing the chickens and destroying things in the barn, the "war" starts. I've found half a dozen raccons at a time "partying" around the barns, oppossums in the chicken yard and skunks everywhere. I have no sympathy for any of them.

                                    I use a humane trap. I have a 100 gallon water tank (filled) next to it.

                                    When I catch a skunk, I walk up with a tarp held in front of me and cover the trap....having read somewhere where they are unlikely to spray you if you do this, and so far it's worked.
                                    F'ing pathetic and disgusting...

                                    You can't find more of a humane way, like shooting, instead of a terrifying death like drowning? Unreal..
                                    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                                    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                                      Drowning them? Wow, could you think of a more inhumane way to treat a trapped animal? Why not set them on fire? Please, people, if you are going to kill an animal do so quickly and humanely, with a firearm.
                                      Don't give her anymore ideas. She just might give it a try.
                                      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                                      http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Jesus. You are a miserable excuse for a human being. Trapping a living animal in a cage and then drowning it while it's still conscious? If I knew who you are, I'd report you to the authorities.
                                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

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