Releasing an Accidentally Trapped Skunk


Last week in the garden we were stymied by excess rain (yet again). Beasties were eating our crops. I caught two groundhogs already, snacking on our kale. In the process of trapping groundhogs in a live trap, I accidentally caught a skunk. This happened last year and I wrote about it on my blog, It could even have been the same silly skunk - it had a lot of white and not much black to its fur.

Live-Trapping a Skunk

Mug shot of skunk

So, how to let the skunk out of the trap without arousing its ire? We brainstormed a bit and I told the crew what I did last year, using sticks to open the trap and a plastic sack to screen myself. One of the crew came up with a better idea, which I'm passing on, in case you ever need to know! She got a large piece of cloth, draped it over the trap and then delicately opened the trap by hand, through the fabric. It worked like a charm. The skunk ambled out. But then it turned round and went back in, back to sleep. Skunks are nocturnal, so I suppose it thought better of setting out in bright daylight to find a new place to sleep. We left the trap open all night, and in the morning it had gone.

The fabric was so perfect we are now keeping it in the garden shed in case we need it again. It was a large piece of knit polyester - thick, drapeable, washable, and not the sort of thing anyone would have wanted to make clothes out of!

Moles in the Garden

Havahart live trap

Meanwhile, we have also had a burrowing animal biting off our broccoli seedlings from flats in the cold frame. It isn't eating them, just cutting them down and stashing them in piles. My prime suspects are moles. Although carnivores, they apparently use leaves to line their nests. We tried hot pepper on the seedlings, the rain washed it off. We set the flats on landscape fabric. Now they chew through the landscape fabric. The tunnels are too big for voles or mice. We tried to fob them off with old lettuce, and spare kale seedlings. On my blog, I asked anyone who had ideas to please leave a comment.

7/10/2017 7:49:32 AM

Back when I was in 9th grade, the kid sitting behind me in homeroom was really spiced up with cologne on day. I asked him why so stinky. He told me that he was out trapping on the weekend & managed to catch a skunk. By the time he freed it, the skunk gave him both barrels. He told me that he had to bury his clothes & take a tomato juice bath. The juice might have helped but he still needed the perfume kicker. He had a tail wind for a few days, and I do believe that he was double dosing the perfume.

4/27/2014 1:55:39 PM

Here is a great way to get rid of the skunk smell in clothes if you get sprayed.

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