Thursday, August 7, 2014

How do you release a skunk from a live trap......


You might first wonder why I have a skunk in the live trap, well, it's like this. I found some vandalism at my bee hives, something was chewing on the observation door. I don't think it wanted to see the bees, I have a feeling it wanted some honey and thought that was the way in. When I told Bruce, he said it was probably a raccoon so I baited the live trap with grapes, something they love, and staked it down by the hive. Bruce offered to 'take care of it', they are very destructive so I agreed.

I heard him take off in the early morning on the 4-wheeler but was soon back with the news, "It's a skunk in the trap!" Great. What do you need to get a skunk out of a live trap without getting sprayed?

#1 - a tarp to cover the cage.
#2 - a big rock, no, not what you are thinking.

I hauled them over in the old car and, sure enough, a rather small skunk was curled up, sleeping in the trap. I tip toed through the trees, holding the tarp in front of me, skunks have very bad eyesight and I hoped the big blue tarp would distract him. He did wake up and was watching me advance, when I reached the trap, I covered it with the tarp.

I went back for the rock, pulled the door lever back and weighted it down and got the heck out of there, sure he would come shooting out the door.

He didn't.

When I finally went back to look, he was curled up in the back of the trap, sleeping, with his nose buried in his tail. It was morning, I had all day so left, he would leave when he got darned good and ready.

He didn't.

I went back in the evening, Mr. Skunk was still sleeping in the trap! I pulled the tarp off, thinking if he saw  the light, he would leave.

He didn't.

He curled up in a ball and went back to sleep! Dang it! There are some old apple trees nearby so I started pulling apples off and chucking them at the trap. Every time one connected, the skunk would flinch, I yelled, chucked more apples, the skunk flinched. It was obvious I was going to have to take drastic measures.

I hid behind the tarp once more and tossed it over the cage, closing the door. I pulled it off the stake and carried it down the drive until I was a good distance from the car. Then I used the 'shake and bop' method, it was much like dumping bees in the hive. I gave the cage a good shake, a skunk can't spray unless he is firmly on the ground, pulled back the lever for the door and bopped it upside down on the ground, dumping the skunk unceremoniously out on his head.

He looked astonished, then a bit peeved but I didn't stick around so he could express his displeasure, I was high tailing it back to the car. When I finally stopped to look, all I saw was the tip of his tail in the tall grass as he was hauling off into the brush.

I still haven't caught what was chewing on the hives but at least Mr. Skunk had the good sense not to return, maybe he thought it was just a bad dream.

1 comment:

  1. So he didn't spray at all after all of the apple throwing, cage shaking, and then dropping him on his head? My brother-in-law accidentally caught a skunk in a live trap, and although he was extremely careful, and only gently pocked the skunk with a long stick to get him out of the cage, the skunk sprayed him. I guess you got lucky, and your skunk wasn't as trigger happy as my brother-in-laws.
    Skunk Removal