Day of the Skunk

This morning got off to an exciting start. Way too exciting.

We have many chipmunks and squirrels around here. They live in various inappropriate places and get in our vegetable garden and flower gardens and eat our plants. So hubby set two live traps last evening. The smaller one on the front porch caught a mouse. He now lives on a nearby, remote, wooded roadside.

The larger trap turned out to be more problematic. We trapped a young skunk. I don’t think an adult skunk would fit, but this youngster did. He was probably an adolescent, judging by his size. Much discussion about what to do ensued. We opted not to relocate him because we didn’t want either of our vehicles to smell like skunk. We nixed a few other ideas and finally decided to just release him.

So how do you release a skunk from a live trap? We retreated to the house and googled it. First, put on old clothes that you won’t mind throwing away. Just in case. Turns out you very slowly approach the trap with a garbage bag or towel to cover the trap. This provides a bit of a barrier and the skunk can’t see you as well. Apparently, skunks have poor eyesight as well. But you don’t want to surprise him, so talk softly while you do this. You should be approaching so slowly that it takes you a couple minutes. Don’t spook the skunk! Once the cover is in place, give the skunk a minute to adjust. Then open the door to the trap. Hold it open with vice grips if needed. Slowly back away.

Our skunk did not come running out. We waited for a while. Nothing. Hubby and I went in the house. Mr. Skunk remained in the cage. In fact, he was laying down. Our dogs were still in their crates from when they ate breakfast. I didn’t want to let them outside in case they spooked Mr. Skunk and he ran. I was afraid our dog Baxter would jump the fence and go after him. Baxter did jump the fence one other time to chase an opossum that was in the yard. After waiting some more, we decided that maybe we should have removed the towel that covered the trap. Maybe this made it seem like a den.

So I slowly crept up to the trap, taking a few minutes as advised. Then I gingerly and slowly lifted the towel from the trap. Mr. Skunk was was curled up having a nap. Minutes went by. I spoke, hoping to wake him up so he would leave. Nothing. We walked around the trap. I could see the little skunk’s chest rising and falling. I went into the house to get my phone to take pictures of this apparently exhausted skunk as the sun shone on him. He kept the white stripe on his head tucked under himself.

This was when hubby decided to take the mouse from the other trap on a road trip to his new home. I continued watching the skunk for a while, but it got pretty boring watching a skunk sleep so I eventually went inside. Hubby came home a bit later and said the skunk was gone. I suppose he eventually got too warm lying in the sun. Or maybe without his audience, the thrill was gone and he went home.