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#6163067 - 02/19/18 04:50 PM Uncoperative skunks
wormbobskey Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 1936
Loc: Chauncey, Ohio
I'm currently doing a skunk job where I'm fairly certain is a large skunk colony. I found where they had dug a hole under an addition so I set cages. Turns out the addition has a crawl space with a hole leading into the basement of the older part of the house. When I tried to enter the house I was greeted by two skunks curled up against the door leading into the main part of the basement. The skunks had already stunk up the basement a little and the last thing I wanted was to aggravate the situation more by having them spray again. I was able to slide a cage trap close to them with bait and close the door. Came back the next day to see I had a skunk in the cage outside. Great I thought, that should leave just the other one and hopefully it will be in the cage I set inside. Not to be. I slowly opened the door to the basement to see both skunks staring up at me and the cage set off. I guess they had rooted around until they had set the cage off and stole the bait when it spilled. I reset and baited the cage and slid it in front of them again. My question is, if I have to end up shooting these skunks because I can't get them to enter a cage, what are the odds of them spraying with a well placed heart/lung shot from a 22 caliber air rifle? This air rifle shoots right around 800 fps with a 14.3 grain domed pellet. Shooting them is of course my last course of action, but I just wanted to get some idea from you guys.
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#6163087 - 02/19/18 05:01 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
HD_Wildlife Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/03/10
Posts: 88
Loc: NM
Not he answer you are looking for but we do a lot of exclusion for crawl spaces and one way doors
and a camera setup works great if the houses foundation doesn’t just let them move
down a bit and dig under again.

Folks do of course sell 100% perimeter exclusion with various buried systems of wire but many of ours
we can block out.

The clients often don’t realize just how many skunks are in the area, they assume these are the only skunks
and no more issue once they are gone.

Just .02 on another way...

I had just as much luck with squirrel sized smaller excluders in the 5x5 range with just a spring door as I do with
the “controller” which does make me feel warm and fuzzy that the door locks once they are out.

I keep a stack of pavers with me and rebar to reinforce around the device. Have been using this method for 5 years
now and have had happy clients and maybe 1 time when the skunk was able to get around the first attempted exclusion.

I sure wouldn’t want to be the one shooting one under someone’s house!

You could try water in a squirt gun to move them into a trap. They move pretty well for that, comes in handy!

Has been mentioned on here before and Rob Erickson’s Skunk book has it as a method too.

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#6163162 - 02/19/18 06:10 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
EatenByLimestone Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/01/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Schenectady, NY
I had to shoot a skunk once. Heart lung, with a 22lr. It didn't spray, but leaked. The trap stunk for a while.

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#6163205 - 02/19/18 06:46 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
wormbobskey Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 1936
Loc: Chauncey, Ohio
I honestly believe there are more skunks in the basement, but because these two skunks are camped out in front of the basement door like guards, I can't get past them until I get them out of the way. I believe that there is a 3-4 foot drop from the height of the crawl to the basement floor and I don't think these skunks can get out of the basement to the crawl to get out of the house. I'm using small 8X8X20" single door cages for most of my skunk jobs, but plan to take a larger 12X12X30" tomorrow if the skunks pull the same trick as they did this morning. With the larger trap I can effectively block them in the corner so the only way out is to go through the cage. This is going on day 4 and while that is ordinarily not that long it is if your paying for a motel room. Mom and Dad are want this to be over. LOL
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Lanums ADC & Repair
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#6163248 - 02/19/18 07:26 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
Michigan Trappin Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 3780
Loc: Southwest Michigan
Why only one trap when there are 2 skunks?

Put 3 or 4 traps down there. If they set one off there is another open for them

I would not shoot them, if they are stuck because they can not get out Food should be unavailable so the trap should get them to respond. If you are on the road and only have two traps. Go to the local farm store and buy more, even the cheap ones will hold the skunks

Good luck, skunks can be easy and can be hard. I threw every bait I could think of and many that were suggested on here and had no luck. Then out of desperation I put some Bob Wolsons Green Beaver Lure in the trap and boom both caught in three days

Wild animals never stop surprising me
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If they have plenty of food, give them something interesting to smell

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#6163263 - 02/19/18 07:37 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
strike2x Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 1758
Loc: Houghton Lake, MI
Good luck, I had a colony under my home once and it was a battle...
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#6163279 - 02/19/18 07:43 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
wormbobskey Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 1936
Loc: Chauncey, Ohio
Where the two skunks are there isn't enough room for two traps and I seriously doubt I could have pushed my luck any further by trying to get in there again at the time. I'm not even sure if I can get the bigger cage in there and still be able to close the door. And I am in complete agreement. I use as many traps as I can to get the job done, but if there isn't room then there isn't room. I already have the hole outside covered by two cages as its in a corner. The bait I use is one that I make myself and it seems to be very appealing to about all I go after. They obviously like it as it was all gone. Not entirely sure, but won't the females be giving birth within the next month or so? One of those skunks looks to be about the size of an over inflated soccer ball.
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#6163628 - 02/20/18 05:01 AM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
sgs Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 790
Loc: NH
The females probably wont be giving birth until sometime in May. No big rush there.

If the skunks are really stuck in the basement, why not just open the door and let them out? They would probably appreciate it. Set some cages outside with some good stinky bait and you'll probably get them and any others in the area.

It's breeding season now so there's no telling how many are around.

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#6163808 - 02/20/18 08:41 AM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
traprjohn Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 7171
Loc: Central NC
Can you put a 2x4 to act as a ramp for them to get out?

I have done it with skunks and woodchucks.
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#6163862 - 02/20/18 09:42 AM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
wormbobskey Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 1936
Loc: Chauncey, Ohio
Door was opened last night and skunks vacated the basement. Inspected the entire basement and found no other skunks. I imagine I will be getting calls as soon as that female has her young. I didn't think it was a good idea opening the door and letting them loose to be someone else's problem, but it wasn't my call. Job security I guess.
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Lanums ADC & Repair
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#6163965 - 02/20/18 11:10 AM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
HD_Wildlife Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/03/10
Posts: 88
Loc: NM
wormbobskey,

Most wildlife we all work on are numerous and plentiful as we all know of course. So if a homeowner has opened real estate (crawl space, shed not on slab, attics, etc...) that aren't sealed up or modified or excluded they can likely expect a wildlife issue sometime in their ownership of the house.

I know this isn't news to you or anyone on here, but when it comes to excluding or trap and removal, the facts with many species are they are already next door or down the street 2-3 doors.

In my area I can literally find you a new set of skunks every 3rd house on the street, either in the crawlspace or under a shed or outbuilding. If the people don't fix their foundation or shed or gates or fences, they will have
them too.

I like exclusion because it settles the deal for the homeowner in a long term fashion in my zip codes. Not every home mind you, but when it comes to skunks most of our residential communities have cinder block walls, 5-6' high between all homes and 1 or 2 metal gates going to back yard. Super effective place to exclude and resolves the issues for that owner in a permanent fashion where skunks are concerned with how we modify those gates once they are out. With foundations, screens broken or bad wooden lids that are rotted after excluding are modified and again a done deal.

Do a lot of work with pigeons too, and can stand in any neighborhood and on the roof I'm working to exclude on view pigeons roosting or loafing on nearly every home in the neighborhood.

Resolving the problem for the owner who calls and sees the wildlife as a problem is the way I feel good about it, but I get that for many the notion they left animal or bird X to roam to the next spot in the area isn't a feel good thing, but based on native or non native species, they will always be there if there is available habitat.

Many other reasons I prefer exclusion when possible, but just saying, you resolved the issue if you got them out for that owner and they don't have access to get back in.

I know everyone has a different view on removal, relocation, exclusion, and thats the way it will always be, just saying, if the problem is resolved for that owner, I'm sure they will be happy. I've also had multiple neighbors want exclusion at the same time to fix their issues when no one else in the neighborhood was interested in removal, relocation or exclusion.

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#6165130 - 02/21/18 10:36 AM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
wormbobskey Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 1936
Loc: Chauncey, Ohio
Yeah tenants and owner are happy skunks are gone so I guess they don't care if they are someone else's problem or not. Leasing agent plans to install cement footer around addition to exclude any future digging. The rest of the houses foundation is already secure so there shouldn't be any problems in the foreseeable future.
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Lanums ADC & Repair
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#6165664 - 02/21/18 06:30 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
Ron Scheller Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/19/07
Posts: 1160
Loc: Mt. Olive, IL
In my opinion (backed by 35 years of fur trapping and wildlife control work) it is extremely hard to get skunks to spray. I've handled hundreds of them, including releasing dozens from DP traps by hand during coon season. This one was in a baler at a recycling center, and the employees wouldn't even go in the building that morning. I climbed in with a PVC skunk trap, placed it 2 feet in front of the skunk, and used a small stick to *push* it into the trap. The skunk stuck in the generator took me 40 minutes to get out. Had to run up to Dollar General and buy some baby shampoo to get it slicked up enough to work the back legs through one at a time. Couldn't go backwards as the rib cage had made it through the 3-inch hole. No spray. I would bet you could have taken a trap to where the skunks were and coaxed them in with very little prodding, though inside a home may not be the best place to try it for your first attempt!







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www.thebatguy.com

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#6166032 - 02/22/18 06:42 AM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
bob pake Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 50
Loc: southern ont. canada
I think it also depends on the animal. I have had a small male spray in a cage ( it seems as though nothing provoked it ) Spray again as my truck entered the lane way, and once more shortly after release. I get along with big fat old skunks much better.I am very cautious with the smaller ones.

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#6166656 - 02/22/18 05:26 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
TRapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1292
Loc: Central IA
that is a pretty skunk in that compactor
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#6167109 - 02/22/18 10:52 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
wormbobskey Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 1936
Loc: Chauncey, Ohio
Only time I have had any skunks spray is when homeowners decide to let their dogs out knowing there's a skunk in the cage, but let them out anyway. Happens more than you would believe. I agree with BOB, I have had young skunks spray or at least leak a little where as most adults just seem to take everything in stride. Of course I'm referring to skunks in cages, I don't have a lot of experience with them outside of the cages.
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Lanums ADC & Repair
We don't do bugs

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#6167150 - 02/23/18 12:40 AM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
TONY.F Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/02/14
Posts: 3222
Loc: N.C MO
They are pretty docile as long as you don't get rammy with them! But im still not brave enough to release one from a foot hold or dp yet!!
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#6168082 - 02/23/18 08:25 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: Ron Scheller]
Rebel Rider Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/31/17
Posts: 117
Loc: Eastern Montana
Originally Posted By: Ron Scheller
In my opinion (backed by 35 years of fur trapping and wildlife control work) it is extremely hard to get skunks to spray. I've handled hundreds of them, including releasing dozens from DP traps by hand during coon season. This one was in a baler at a recycling center, and the employees wouldn't even go in the building that morning. I climbed in with a PVC skunk trap, placed it 2 feet in front of the skunk, and used a small stick to *push* it into the trap. The skunk stuck in the generator took me 40 minutes to get out. Had to run up to Dollar General and buy some baby shampoo to get it slicked up enough to work the back legs through one at a time. Couldn't go backwards as the rib cage had made it through the 3-inch hole. No spray. I would bet you could have taken a trap to where the skunks were and coaxed them in with very little prodding, though inside a home may not be the best place to try it for your first attempt!

What's the trick for getting a skunk out of a DP trap? I'm going to be doing some coon trapping and it might be a good skill for me to know if I ever get a skunk in a DP that's in a shed or something.

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#6168212 - 02/23/18 10:40 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
TONY.F Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/02/14
Posts: 3222
Loc: N.C MO
ON one of locklears u-tube videos norm releases one from a foothold unharmed!!
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#6168744 - 02/24/18 12:38 PM Re: Uncoperative skunks [Re: wormbobskey]
star flakes Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/19/15
Posts: 102
Loc: MN, USA
Skunks are just like people and just like grizzlies, meaning ,they have good and bad days, and the young ones are going to spray more readily than the older ones who have seen it all.
I remember there was a great deal of writing on this in The Trapper when Tom Krause was the editor, and there was the shoot them in the lung, the spine, and the inject the with something, and even ether. I believe like bears and people, that skunks have different attitudes depending on the region. I have had them upset and pounding their front feet many times and not sprayed. I administer the heart lung shot, or spine and still get muscle contraction in 60% of the cases so that there is scent.
Just a thought, as long as you do not gas yourself, but you could try an ether swab on a long pole to see if that might work. Fish oil on their end of the pole would help camo the ether to get them to inhale it.
If I could suggest something, just because skunks are in a basement does not mean they are not going outside, as they do have to eat. Water they can live for weeks without that. I would try setting up outside with bait they could smell and try drawing them out.
As for inside, I would put a heavy cardboard or wood sleeve around my live trap, have ends I could gently shut to make everything dark, and haul it out that way. I have had skunks spray when caught as it startles them.
Last thing, talk to them in a low voice. It does calm them as it does most animals.
I hope something helps in that, but know you got the job, because no one else wanted it.

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