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DexterII 03-13-2012 01:21 PM

skunk removal
We have a skunk that has been ripping the heck out of the yard, so he's now at the top of my to do list. My plan is to bait one of my live traps with peanut butter, set the trap on a piece of scrap plywood or OSB, so that we have something to pick it up by, cover the top, sides and back with felt (tar paper), leave a flap that I can fold over the door once he is in the trap, and tie a rope to the release on the door. Then, once he's in the trap, haul him out to the state land, set the trap on the ground, pull the rope to release the door, and let him find his way out. Make sense?

PAbugman 03-14-2012 07:44 PM

Sounds good; got a couple thoughts. The board underneath will also keep the skunk from digging up the soil, grass, and roots and pulling it into the trap. Makes it very hard to lift. I never used the board to carry as I was afraid the skunk could make the trap roll off. Try to leave the handle exposed, or fashion one out of rope if no handle exists.

When you take him to game lands, slowly roll the trap onto its side before opening the door otherwise skunk may set off the trap again.

Move slowly, talk to it, keep dogs away, keep audience to a minimum. If at any point you want to put a tarp over trap and skunk, donít throw the tarp but quietly put it over. Do nothing fast or abrupt and you will be fine. Watch the skunk before you approach him. Is he agitated.? He will show it by pacing back and forth. Also by stamping his front feet. Itís kind of funny unless youíre the guy who has to get him out. Oftentimes they will go to sleep. Iíve had trouble getting them out of the trap because they like the dark. If this happens, be ready to cut off some tar paper (slowly and quietly) to expose him to daylight so he leaves the trap.

DexterII 03-14-2012 11:15 PM

Thank you, Sir. I sincerely appreciate the tips. I have trapped a few, but probably none in the last 20 years or so; back then I might have been able to get out of range fast enough, but wouldn't waste a nickel on that bet today! You're definitely right about the board; I grabbed one out of the scrap pile last night, set the trap on it while I was wrapping it with felt, and decided that he could roll himself and the trap off of that with no problem, not to mention that it would probably take two to carry it that way. So, as you suggested, the trap is still sitting on it, but I was able to slit the felt a bit to leave the handle exposed, and will use that to carry him. I had a "duh" moment when you suggested rolling the trap on its side to release him; I've trapped a lot of pests over the years, and have fought with that very thing a few times, but never thought of doing that. As for the light, yes, unfortunately, I assumed that might be a problem, so glad to have you confirm it in advance. I mentioned that very thing to my wife the other night, and she quickly agreed that "oh yeah, they don't travel during the day", but neither of us had a solution. Fortunately though, the area where I plan to take him is not too far away, and nobody is around there much this time of the year, so I may just set the trap out, wait a bit to see what happens, and if he doesn't come out, go back and get my trap the next day. Well, again, thank you. I guess the only two things that I have to do now is wait for him to take the bait, and then find out if we have just the one as I suspect, or if I am going to have to repeat this process a few times!

oh'mike 03-15-2012 06:20 AM

I've moved 7 of them without an issue---good luck or a good method?

I used a sheet of plastic---a plastic garbage can--and a large plastic tool box.

Cover trap with plastic after you have one caught.----gently rock the trap so the critter is off balance-

Empty trap into garbage can---gently rock the can--tip can into big tool box--close lid.

Sounds crazy now that I wrote it out---Worked for me---critter never sprayed in the tool box
--no smell at any time--

DexterII 03-15-2012 07:21 AM

Thank you, Mike; I think that I am going to give this a shot as well. I have had the trap out two nights, and nothing yet, but we have several acres ourselves for him to wander, as well as adjoining property, so I was thinking this morning that it would probably be smart to set out a few more traps, and this sounds easier than felt and duct tape around the trap.

oh'mike 03-15-2012 07:31 AM

Peanut butter--marshmallows and pancake syrup---

They like it ---

DexterII 03-15-2012 07:48 AM

Right now I have a slice of bread with enough peanut butter on it to ensure that he doesn't just pass it by, but hadn't thought about marshmallows or syrup; sounds like a good idea though. Had wondered about sardines, but gave that up pretty quick, because I figured that either a stray cat or coyote would mess up my plans.

oh'mike 03-15-2012 07:52 AM

An old varmint trapper told me about that mix---Skunks and coons like it---Caught a few possums also--

creeper 03-15-2012 08:25 AM

I used to have a farm and the house was set back about 1500 feet from the rd. It backed onto another acreage so it was quite isolated. lots of wildlife.

After loading all the garbage bags into the pick up one morning, imagine my surprise when suddenly one of the bags was moving and I was face to face

with little pepe la pew.

Fortunately, I was able to back up to a small hill. He didn't like the ride. He couldn't wait to jump off and waddle back to the woods.

hyunelan2 03-15-2012 08:55 AM

I was told here (don't know if it's county, state, etc. ordinance), you can't [legally] relocate a skunk. If animal control has to get one, it is destroyed.

Typically skunks are nomadic, and will move on in time. If you can wait it out, the problem sometimes cures itself.

oh'mike 03-15-2012 08:00 PM

You are correct---any trapped skunk or raccoon is to be killed(Illinois law)----I'm a sinner --lord forgive me for I have not the heart to kill.

firehawkmph 03-15-2012 09:35 PM

1 Attachment(s)
when the skunks are ripping up your lawn, they are usually digging for grubs. We get them once a year, around mid-summer. Get a bag of grubex and a spreader and follow the directions on the bag. Gets rid of the grubs and the skunks go somewhere else and leave your lawn alone. I came across this skunk trap the other day. Looks pretty foolproof. Here's a pic and a link for a site where I saw it.

Mike Hawkins:)

DexterII 03-15-2012 11:33 PM

Hyunelan2, I can't believe that I am admitting this online, but I believe that is fairly common, and quite likely here as well, so am actually surprised that nobody mentioned it. Yes, I have been considering that, but do me a favor, okay? Don't tell my wife, please. We both shoot, her target, me targets, game sometimes, and out of control pests. But, she took pity on this "cute little guy", so I had been debating whether to actually let him go, or take him out away from the buildings, and just tell her that I let him go. I'll tell you what though, I'm going to assume for the moment, by your picture or whatever they call them, of the pony, that you're the same person I have seen occasionally on a different and unrelated site, and whose opinion I value, so I will make a phone call or two tomorrow, and do the right thing.

Firehawk, I believe that you are 100% correct. The problem is that I did that for several years, but with over 3 acres of lawn, couldn't justify doing the whole thing. No problem; it kept them away from the house. So this one came along last year, and he is now so aggresive that he is ruining the part of the lawn that I figured I was okay with letting them have, but he has reached the point where what didn't matter a year ago now matters. Plus, although I don't hug trees, and do find chemicals useful for certain things, I'm really not big on spreading any more of them than absolutely necessary. On the other hand, I do accept cash, in case you would care to buy into an "adopt an acre or two" program! :laughing:

Well, off to bed. We live in the country, but the small town we call home got slammed with a tornado late this afternoon, and I got myself sort of wound up checking up on some people, etc. Think I can lay down and go to to sleep now though. So far, it sounds like no deaths or serious injuries, but, nevertheless, over 100 homes damaged, and a dozen or more destroyed. One of them, I believe, is a house that we worked on a few years ago; a very nice widowed lady. Anyway, not much more that can be done tonight, as a lot of the roads are blocked, and the phones are hit or miss, so we'll see what tomorrow brings. See you guys later.

PAbugman 03-16-2012 07:06 AM

Dexter: Glad you and family are ok. We feel bad for your friends and neighbors. Hang tough. Weíve had a few tornadoes close to us and no one here has experience with them.

DexterII 03-16-2012 08:23 AM

Thank you, PA. Probably not the right section to post a storm report in, but it's where I happened to be when I started to crash last night. Anyway, storms have never bothered us much, but this one was more that a little spooky once all of the pieces fell in line. It just happened that I decided to drive the convertible yesterday, so, as the weather started to look worse late afternoon, I decided that I should get it home and in the garage before a limb blew down on it. Just got it inside when the skies opened up; turned out to be about 5" of rain over the next hour. So, I walked into the house, said hi to my wife, looked outside, and the hail started; it was mixed in with the rain, and most of it was about an inch in diameter, with some larger than a ping pong ball. I ran out to back my Dodge Ram into the barn, and it was raining so hard that, even with about a 20 degree grade away from the house, it couldn't run fast enough, and I was literally standing in 3-4" of water on the side of a hill. The thing that didn't occur to me until later though, was that when I ran back outside, and while I was moving a set of saw horses and a few pieces of lumber out of the way, and opening the door to back the truck inside, my ears kept popping. Well, I'm no rocket scientist, but based on what I have read and seen over the years, in regard to their paths, I'm now thinking that the tornado quite likely went over us before it touched down; wish now that I had thought to check my barometer. Anyway, now that it's getting daylight, I'm going to head back home in a bit, and check our roof vents, etc. for any damage, but not aware of any at this point. The town on the other hand did not fair so well. Thankfully, the official count is that everyone survived, and no serious injuries, but lots of structures damaged or destroyed, so I'm sure that we have some work ahead. I told my wife this morninjg that the only times I remember getting choked up taking a shirt from the closet were the two mornings that we buried my parents, and this morning, when I had an even better understandingt of the many things that we have to be thankful for; i.e a clean shirt to put on my back.

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