Skunks keep coming in our yard!

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MortgageOnBlack
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Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:49 pm

My dog has been sprayed 2x in the past 2 years and tonight I came home to another one in our backyard (have seen quite a few this year!). If I hadn't had my dog on a harness, he would have definitely gotten a good spray tonight! I watched the skunk leave and was amazed at how small of a hole he was able to retreat from under the bottom of my fence. I'm guessing I may need to trench out the entire section of fence and put some type of chicken-wire mesh to hopefully keep him out.

Does anyone have any tricks to keep these guys out of my yard? It doesn't help that the neighbor 2 houses down feeds the stray cats in the neighborhood :|

sport
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by sport » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:27 am

You may have grubs in your lawn. This is food for skunks. If you kill the grubs, your yard becomes less attractive.

CurlyDave
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:10 am

Fight fire with fire.

A spray bottle of ammonia that puts out a strong stream will discourage skunks (and anything else).

livesoft
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by livesoft » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:46 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:49 pm
Does anyone have any tricks to keep these guys out of my yard? It doesn't help that the neighbor 2 houses down feeds the stray cats in the neighborhood :|
Get a dog that is kept outside all night and day.
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mancich
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by mancich » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:36 am

sport wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:27 am
You may have grubs in your lawn. This is food for skunks. If you kill the grubs, your yard becomes less attractive.
+1. They love grubs. Look for patchy brown spots in your lawn. If you have them, pull back the sod, and see if they are under the surface. I would apply Grub-Ex in any event. I’d also look into a pest control company; it may be a few bad characters that keep coming back. Once they’re trapped and relocated, that may solve the problem.

ernieM
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by ernieM » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:52 am

If it is indeed due to grubs, might want to try Merit 0.5G granules (imidacloprid)...timing is key to efficiency....best to apply near the time of egg hatch (your local extension service can give you a rough estimate). Once under control, you might get away with skipping a year every so often. Armadillos love grubs, and we have plenty of both here in East TX. In my experience, the granules work pretty well. Grub-Ex has a different active insecticide that seems to work well, though I have not as of yet tried it.

Nowizard
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by Nowizard » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:33 am

Yep, grubs will attract a variety of unwanted things, both below and above the surface. Get rid of the grubs, and you get rid of the unwanted moles, skunks, armadillos, etc.

Tim

HomeStretch
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:43 am

Do you see evidence of digging by skunks for grubs in your yard?

Do you have any pet food, garbage, etc. that could be attracting them?

Agree with flared buried chicken wire to discourage digging.

Put ammonia soaked rags in any holes you see.

Bait a couple HavaHeart traps. Check daily. Have an animal trapper on call to remove any captured skunks same day.

If you have a pet door, disable it. Friends had a skunk venture into their kitchen through a pet door to eat the cat food in a bowl on floor. Luckily when surprised at 3am by the homeowner getting a glass of water the skunk retreated out the door rather than spraying in the kitchen.

jebmke
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by jebmke » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:45 am

I have found that spreading Milorganite around a lot of planted areas not only helps the plants, it keeps a lot of critters away. Not sure about skunks -- we don't have them. But the deer, rabbits and foxes don't like the smell.
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abyan
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by abyan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:51 am

Skunks are awful. My mom has been suffering an invasion (well, invasion force of one) for a year now. They do INCREDIBLE damage digging in just a night or two. And yes, as others said, it's likely grubs. So you need to get some grub killer pronto and spread it around. I believe you have to water it well immediately, like half an inch or an inch of water. Also, the warnings were pretty scary on the grub killer -- having to wear rubber boots, protective gear on your hands etc. Be careful with pets, at least for a a day or so. Double check how long. But you really have no choice. We tried the other cures, buying coyote urine (zero effect), putting our rags with ammonia, nada. And be careful with poison or other chemicals, in case you end up poisoning the neighbor's cat, which would not be a good thing. I'm pretty sure we used Bayer Advanced 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus, Granules, 10-Pounds. It was what they had locally, but also when I googled on it, it seemed to be what a lot of folks recommend. Then consider applying more grub killer in the fall, and maybe next spring. You want to get their entire life cycle.

Beatle Boots
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by Beatle Boots » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:33 am

Dont have any Tricks to keep Skunks away, but here as some good news at least related to Stinky Skunks!

Scientists at OU find molecule that neutralizes skunk odor

https://kfor.com/2019/08/08/scientists- ... kunk-odor/

David Althaus
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by David Althaus » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:43 am

You might try cutting up a bar of Dial soap into slivers and distribute around their areas of entry--or the entire perimeter if necessary. Dial has tallow amine as a surfactant (makes water wetter) that is processed from animal fat. Skunks may interpret as another animal's territorial claim. From personal experience it works for rabbit and deer invaders.

All the best

ladycat
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by ladycat » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:12 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:49 pm
I watched the skunk leave and was amazed at how small of a hole he was able to retreat from under the bottom of my fence. I'm guessing I may need to trench out the entire section of fence and put some type of chicken-wire mesh to hopefully keep him out.
That's essentially what we did. Luckily 80% of our yard has a concrete strip beneath the fence, but anyplace it was lacking we dug down a few inches and put in 3 inch pvc lawn edging. Chicken wire should work too. No chemical deterrents worked for us (skunk-be-gone, cayenne pepper, coyote urine, etc). You might try a motion detector lawn sprinkler or those cans of air if Pepe le Pew has a predictable path into your yard. Good luck!

treadingwater
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by treadingwater » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:23 pm

We had some living under our deck. One afternoon putting away items in a deck box, lid slammed shut. The noise startled the skunk, and thats how I found out he was there. We put moth balls under there and they moved on. They don't like the smell..

mak1277
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by mak1277 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:27 pm

can you shoot them?

GoldenFinch
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by GoldenFinch » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:29 pm

When I was a kid my cat got sprayed right before the whole family (including our darling kitty) had to drive for 11 hours back to our old house. I actually don’t mind the smell at this point in my life because I associate it with summer and my cat. I still miss my cat.

fru-gal
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by fru-gal » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:58 pm

Skunks eat mice and various insects.

The dog does not sound like a mental giant if he keeps going after the skunks. Just saying :-)

Are you always in the yard when the dog is out? I'm surprised a skunk would come into the yard when a human is there. There are skunks in my yard and they always flee when I go outside, although I present no danger to them, I'd never hurt them.

alter
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by alter » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:05 pm

I have this exact same problem right now and nothing I tried worked, ammonia, mothballs, lemon juice, pepper spray, and commercial powder that is supposed to repel them. I even tried a sonic device and they still cone in the yard and dig under my stairs. So I ended up having to apply for and be granted a trapping permit. Now am in the process of ordering a cage and will end up having to euthanize them once caught. Not looking forward to it but they have become simply too big of a problem to deal with any other way.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:57 pm

Several years ago we accidentally caught a skunk in a Havahart trap that we had set out for a possum. Quite the quandary for us. But after searching the internet for the best way to release him, we proceeded. Fortunately we had a teenager who was up to the challenge. He got the door to the cage open and came back to watch the skunk leave. Much to our surprise the skunk did not exit the cage and seemed quite happy there as he had built himself a little nest inside by pulling up the grass that he could reach. We sent the teen back into the fray, and after he lifted the back of the cage to about a 45* angle, the skunk ambled out and headed toward a neighbor's house.

That is my only experience, but my advice to the OP is to be certain that you don't accidentally "trap" the skunk in your own yard with no egress available to him.

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abuss368
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:02 pm

Napalm?
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by whodidntante » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:15 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:02 pm
Napalm?
Anyone who says violence doesn't solve anything has never had a proper varmint issue.

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abuss368
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:18 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:15 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:02 pm
Napalm?
Anyone who says violence doesn't solve anything has never had a proper varmint issue.
Priceless!
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windaar
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by windaar » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:37 pm

alter wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:05 pm
Now am in the process of ordering a cage and will end up having to euthanize them once caught.
How will you deal with a skunk in a trap without being sprayed? How will you "euthanize" without cruelty? Even though these are varmints there are legal (and ethical) issues, and I know someone who found himself in trouble when seen using a pitchfork against a raccoon in a dumpster.

FI4LIFE
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by FI4LIFE » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:15 am

mak1277 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:27 pm
can you shoot them?
I don't know how this wasn't the first and only response.

goodlifer
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by goodlifer » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:04 am

We have a skunk problem all over our neighborhood. I smell skunk spray every night on my evening walks. There are several things you can do, but the best is to call an animal rescue group to see what can be done about feral cats. Skunks LOVE cat food, especially the wet kind. There is probably local laws about not feeding ferals, so your neighbor might get into a lot of trouble if caught. Plus, their will multiply and damage property so much that you will pray for skunks to come scare them away. Trappers will have to euthanize what they catch, so I don't recommend them unless the skunk is tearing your house apart. I also do not recommend poisons because there is a good chance it will crawl into a space where you can't reach, and then you will have to smell decomposing animal for a while.

In the mean time, sprinkle coyote urine granules all over your property line. This will probably even help with the cat problem. And blocking their egress under your fence wouldn't hurt.

alter
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by alter » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:03 am

windaar wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:37 pm
alter wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:05 pm
Now am in the process of ordering a cage and will end up having to euthanize them once caught.
How will you deal with a skunk in a trap without being sprayed? How will you "euthanize" without cruelty? Even though these are varmints there are legal (and ethical) issues, and I know someone who found himself in trouble when seen using a pitchfork against a raccoon in a dumpster.
I've already cleared this with the DNR and Sheriff, a high powered .22 caliber air pellet to the head or in the chest from a distance is an approved method. It might spray, etc. But they spray anyway even without being euthanized.

hudson
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by hudson » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:19 am

I worked at a school with a skunk problem...inside and out.
The inside problem was solved by sealing all entrances.
The outside problem was caused by 2 trash cans at the entrance of the school. Students would throw remnants of their breakfasts into the can; that attracted the skunks. It was solved by a skunk removal person. He set out a trap with lettuce type food. The removal person showed up every morning before many students arrived and checked his trap. He caught 4 skunks; he charged $25 per skunk. I watched him at work one morning. There was a skunk in the trap with a few students hanging around...at a distance. The removal person rolled up in his truck and removed an empty 20 gallon drum and walked over to the trap, saying nice calming words to the skunk. He put the drum at the door of the trap, and the skunk walked right in. He continued to speak calming words to the skunk as he turned the drum upright and lifted it into the back of his truck...reset his trap...and drove away.
Last edited by hudson on Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

fru-gal
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by fru-gal » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:20 am

whodidntante wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:15 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:02 pm
Napalm?
Anyone who says violence doesn't solve anything has never had a proper varmint issue.
In my view of the planet, humans are the varmints, Who else does so much destruction?

GrowthSeeker
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by GrowthSeeker » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:21 am

I used to hear a show on the radio: a guy who called himself the "Critter Getter".
Anyway, he used to say that to get rid of grubs, use Beneficial Nematodes.
Living creatures who either eat or infect the grubs. No more grubs, no more bigger things digging to get at the grubs.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by JW-Retired » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:53 pm

abyan wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:51 am
Skunks are awful. My mom has been suffering an invasion (well, invasion force of one) for a year now. They do INCREDIBLE damage digging in just a night or two. And yes, as others said, it's likely grubs.
We have skunks, raccoons, possums, and our neighbors cats going through our fenced yard at night. We have a critter camera and see them fairly often at night but only rarely in daytime. The skunks have dug under the fence in several places to get in and the others can climb it. We have no dog so we don't try to keep the skunks out as they never seem to spray or significantly harm any plants. Squirrels are the only real pest because they eat a lot of our fruit and tomatoes.

Question, are you sure your mom's skunks aren't getting a bad rap? Our skunks seem to only dig rather tiny holes here and there that a trivial raking fixes. The raccoons are the ones that can really excavate but they only hit us rarely. We don't have a lawn, but other neighbors have had the raccoons turn over the sod over huge portions of their lawn looking for grubs.
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Pancho
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by Pancho » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:45 pm

I had a problem with skunks/dogs getting sprayed a couple of years ago. Until I was able to figure out how they were getting into my fenced backyard, I would flick the lights on and off and yell out the door. Skunks seem pretty timid and they would always run away. Once I found the holes they were using under the fence, I used stacks of paver stones to block them. I stacked 2-3 paver stones along the bottom of my fence on the side they were entering.

sil2017
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by sil2017 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:47 am

Possibly grubs. I found many holes in the ground last year due to skunks digging for grubs.

This year in early May , I applied Scotts Grub X. No grubs or June bugs , no skunks either.

Presintense
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by Presintense » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:50 pm

Possibly some predator urine granules would be an easy way to start. We put down fox urine to keep rabbits away and three weeks later a fox family showed up and "removed" the rabbits for us.
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JBeck
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by JBeck » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:12 pm

Last night at 3:30 AM my dog got sprayed not once but TWICE :oops: . To top it off all the windows in the house were open too :x

bradpevans
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by bradpevans » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:52 pm

JBeck wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:12 pm
Last night at 3:30 AM my dog got sprayed not once but TWICE :oops: . To top it off all the windows in the house were open too :x
Dogs and humans are the only creatures that will get sprayed more than once

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources ... g-your-dog
^^^ this will help remove the smell by scavenging the stinky (mercaptan? thiol?) molecules

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FlyAF
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by FlyAF » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:22 pm

bradpevans wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:52 pm
JBeck wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:12 pm
Last night at 3:30 AM my dog got sprayed not once but TWICE :oops: . To top it off all the windows in the house were open too :x
Dogs and humans are the only creatures that will get sprayed more than once

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources ... g-your-dog
^^^ this will help remove the smell by scavenging the stinky (mercaptan? thiol?) molecules
I can vouche for the peroxide/baking soda/dishsoap remedy. My dog got hit a few times (of course right before bed) and it does the best job I've found. What an absolute pain, I'm not jealous.

Glenn
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by Glenn » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:39 pm

I've trapped lots of mammals, including skunks. Here's what I would do. Trap the skunk in the correct size Havahart. Put an old sheet or tarp over the trap before you pick it up. It won't spray once covered, if you treat it gently. Drive at least 10 miles with covered trap, then release skunk. (Release it too close and it will just come home.) Don't shoot it - that's guaranteed to make it spray.

JBeck
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by JBeck » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:42 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:22 pm
bradpevans wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:52 pm
JBeck wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:12 pm
Last night at 3:30 AM my dog got sprayed not once but TWICE :oops: . To top it off all the windows in the house were open too :x
Dogs and humans are the only creatures that will get sprayed more than once

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources ... g-your-dog
^^^ this will help remove the smell by scavenging the stinky (mercaptan? thiol?) molecules
I can vouche for the peroxide/baking soda/dishsoap remedy. My dog got hit a few times (of course right before bed) and it does the best job I've found. What an absolute pain, I'm not jealous.
Luckily, this is the recipe my wife found online as well

JBeck
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by JBeck » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:42 pm

Glenn wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:39 pm
I've trapped lots of mammals, including skunks. Here's what I would do. Trap the skunk in the correct size Havahart. Put an old sheet or tarp over the trap before you pick it up. It won't spray once covered, if you treat it gently. Drive at least 10 miles with covered trap, then release skunk. (Release it too close and it will just come home.) Don't shoot it - that's guaranteed to make it spray.
Thanks for the tip

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FlyAF
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by FlyAF » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:44 pm

Glenn wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:39 pm
I've trapped lots of mammals, including skunks. Here's what I would do. Trap the skunk in the correct size Havahart. Put an old sheet or tarp over the trap before you pick it up. It won't spray once covered, if you treat it gently. Drive at least 10 miles with covered trap, then release skunk. (Release it too close and it will just come home.) Don't shoot it - that's guaranteed to make it spray.
Releasing it 10 miles away is about the same thing as shooting it. It won't survive once moved that far away from it's home.

sport
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by sport » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:46 pm

Glenn wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:39 pm
I've trapped lots of mammals, including skunks. Here's what I would do. Trap the skunk in the correct size Havahart. Put an old sheet or tarp over the trap before you pick it up. It won't spray once covered, if you treat it gently. Drive at least 10 miles with covered trap, then release skunk. (Release it too close and it will just come home.) Don't shoot it - that's guaranteed to make it spray.
Relocating wild animals is illegal in my area.

Trev H
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by Trev H » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:27 pm

Tennessee Hunting season guide..

==
Armadillo, beaver, coyote, groundhog, striped skunk - Open year-round, no limit.
==

I have shot plenty of them. In the mid to late 80's I was a fur trapper. I did not specifically trap for skunk, but did catch them occasionally in a mink or raccoon or fox set.

If you are going to shoot a skunk in your yard... here are some pointers...

Wait - until it is on the down wind side of your property. Even if shot in the head with something like a 17 hmr or 22 mag, they can often still spray.

ShotGun - 12 gauge, 6 shot, turkey loads, at around 10 yards, complete and total destruction is your best bet to disable spraying.

If you do this while they are on the down wind side of your property, you can wait until the next morning, and use something like a pitch fork, (long handle tool), or rake, etc... to pick it up and haul it off (even further down wind of your home for disposal).

Yes - I understand that some of you city folks may not agree with this, but it is common practice by us who live out in the country.

Trev H

megabad
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by megabad » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:48 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:49 pm
Does anyone have any tricks to keep these guys out of my yard? It doesn't help that the neighbor 2 houses down feeds the stray cats in the neighborhood :|
In order of preference:
1) .22 (make sure you are not close to them)
2) Razor wire/barbed wire
3) Trap them (not ideal because you will catch all the stray cats too and then you have to deal with them)

Glenn
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by Glenn » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:58 pm

"Releasing it 10 miles away is about the same thing as shooting it. It won't survive once moved that far away from it's home."

Maybe your experience with trap and release of carnivores is different from mine. I have no inclination to argue this, especially on a finance board (i.e., review the literature, compare knowledge of skunks, or professional credentials in wildlife biology).

JBeck
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Re: Skunks keep coming in our yard!

Post by JBeck » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:36 pm

Pro tip: boil white vinegar to remove the smell from your house

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