Jun 262009
 

Our next door neighbor Heather called us about seven this morning, warning us to stay away from the area between our houses.  A skunk had entangled itself in a lawn chair of theirs (in the garage), and her husband Jeff had used a fishing pole to drag it out in the yard while he decided what to do next.  He succeeded in doing this without getting sprayed, so I was already impressed.

I stepped out with binoculars to have a look.  It looked to have only one leg caught.  Tail and head were up and free.  I closed our garage door, which suddenly looked like inviting cover to a potential newly freed skunk.

You know, skunks really are attractive animals.  I understand their appeal as pets.

I finished getting ready for work, and stopped by to speak with Jeff on the way out.  He was trying to determine whether there was anyone to call.  (The ultimate answer was “no, not outside city limits.”)  Then he said “Yeah, my neighbor over here on the other side has killed nine so far this year.”

“Damn.  How does he do it?”

“.410.”

“Ah.”

I bade him good luck and went on to work.

So then Lea called about a quarter of ten.

“There’s a dead baby skunk in the dog pen.”

“Are you sure?  Maybe it’s a piece of that other one the dogs had squirreled away.  Can you get close enough to it to tell me what you see?”

(pause)  “No, it’s a whole animal.  I see the head.”

We wrapped up the call, and I headed to the parking lot.  I didn’t like the sound of “baby skunk” at all.  That means there’s a den close by.  That means I’m going to have to do some very unpleasant poking around when I get home.

After putting on some might-have-to-throw-these-away clothes, I headed back there, and was somewhat relieved to discover it wasn’t a young kit.  It was small, but I think large enough to have been on its own for a while (maybe a foot long).

It was perplexing, though.  My dogs just flat ate the last one.  I didn’t look very closely, but this one seemed intact.  What the hell?  Our best guesses are that in the middle of the night, a) a bird of prey dropped it; or b) it was .410ed two doors down and got that far before it died.  By the time the dogs found it, it was carrion and not a fresh kill, so there you go.

After disposing of that, I began my detailed property inspection.  I’m now 99% certain there is not a skunk den under our deck or in our crawlspace.  I found no evidence of digging, no tracks, and no animals.  (I forgot to check the back shed; I’ll look there in the morning.  I was concerned with living quarters today.)

While I was cleaning up, Heather called back to let us know that Jeff had “taken care” of their skunk, and that the chair was gone too.

Wow, what a skunky summer so far.  And it’s so early yet.

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 Posted by at 12:42 pm

  4 Responses to “The skunk saga continues”

  1. Our only problem is an abundance of squirrels and rabbits this year. The spawn from hell that was the woodpecker seems to have grown tired of the metal cap on my chimney.

  2. My only skunk story:

    A lady I worked with lived in CT and she and her husband had gotten dressed to go to a wedding and they heard an awful noise in the basement. When they followed the noise, they found a skunk stuck in the window sill. (apparently some sort of funky basement window with a gutter) Anywho, she went to the neighbor’s house that she always suspected was in “waste management” and asked if he had a gun to kill the skunk. The man came back with a gun that had a silencer on it! Suspisions confirmed. They shot the skunk and he sprayed their basement. They never made it to the wedding because they smelled so bad.

  3. Buzzregog: Please forgive me for not feeling too sorry for you with a bunch of squirrels and rabbits running around. 🙂 Though, I imagine the peckerhead got tiresome.

    Jenny B: I don’t want any more skunk stories at all, but if there are more out there for me, I hope none of them are mob skunk stories. 🙂

  4. When I was 9 years old I had a pet skunk. Really. My dad was working on the road as an ironworker, mainly doing prison work. So he’s working at Angola (yes, that Angola) in Louisiana. One of the inmates with privileges had somehow gotten a skunk that the prison let him keep. Then said skunk had babies. Somehow they were de-skunked by a vet. Don’t know how they arranged payment for that, but long story short, they eventually made him get rid of them. So, on a visit home, my dad brings me a pet skunk.

    I use the term “pet” loosely. It was as mean as a snake. Couldn’t pet it. He would bite. Kept him in a rabbit cage. He got out a couple of times and ended up two blocks from my house in the backyard of a schoolmate. Go figure. Anyway, eventually, we found somebody who wanted him. Good riddance.

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