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How to kill a skunk?

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How to kill a skunk?
Over the years I've dispatched a couple skunks. One was a disaster with a .22 CB cap that resulted in a big spray that lingered for weeks, the other (more recent ;) ) was a fairly efficient job with the .177 pellet rifle that resulted in no lingering scent. Both were intended to be head shots with a markedly different result.

Is there any conventional wisdom of how to properly dispatch one with minimal spray?!?!?
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
From what I understand, a jab stick is about the only sure way.
Back when I was trapping, I (fortunately) only ever caught one skunk. My results with a .22 were not good either.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
Timely post Tod, I'm struggling with this very problem myself. Over the years I've shot a few but as you note only a perfect head shot keeps them from blasting. And their head is really tiny, the ball of fur makes it look much larger. Our current dog tangled with the Pepe du Jour a couple months ago and luckily only got a partial shower.

My dad should have gotten medals for bravery, he didn't mind trapping them in a Havahart and driving them somewhere to be released. He'd toss a blanket over them in the trap, it calmed them enough that they didn't spray. I can't get myself to try it.

The one (or ones) in the yard right now retreat to a woodchuck hole. I'm thinking a cover over the hole and a rodent gas bomb is in order. I picked up the gas bombs a while back but haven't had the heart to use them yet. Seems like a cowardly way to dispatch the beast. Maybe if he does his thing again it will convince me.
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
SJ Fairbank wrote:
Timely post Tod, I'm struggling with this very problem myself. Over the years I've shot a few but as you note only a perfect head shot keeps them from blasting. And their head is really tiny, the ball of fur makes it look much larger. Our current dog tangled with the Pepe du Jour a couple months ago and luckily only got a partial shower.

My dad should have gotten medals for bravery, he didn't mind trapping them in a Havahart and driving them somewhere to be released. He'd toss a blanket over them in the trap, it calmed them enough that they didn't spray. I can't get myself to try it.

The one (or ones) in the yard right now retreat to a woodchuck hole. I'm thinking a cover over the hole and a rodent gas bomb is in order. I picked up the gas bombs a while back but haven't had the heart to use them yet. Seems like a cowardly way to dispatch the beast. Maybe if he does his thing again it will convince me.


This most recent one was sick... He has been around the house for years and we were quite familiar with him, he did spray the neighbor dog, but he was 100% nocturnal and our dogs are in the fence at night. I did almost step on him one morning in the dark headed to the tree stand in the back yard as he was digging out a ground hornet nest and was nearly completely in the hole digging away. Anyway, he was out in the day time and kept stumbling and falling over, so I thought it best to take action.
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
SJ Fairbank wrote:
My dad should have gotten medals for bravery, he didn't mind trapping them in a Havahart and driving them somewhere to be released. He'd toss a blanket over them in the trap, it calmed them enough that they didn't spray. I can't get myself to try it.


This is what my neighbor does when there is a skunk problem at his house. The house has never been sprayed that I could tell. Or him.

Can't help you Tod....my only thought was find someone with a great horned owl that needs to stretch her wings and practice killing things.
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
UhOh, as you know they contract rabies like it's their job. Time for this guy to embark to the happy hunting grounds. In this case, I'm thinking by any means possible.
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
I've taken out a lot of skunks when I was trapping and learned to never, ever shoot them in the head - they always sprayed. The jab stick with syringe is supposed to work but the skunk needs to be in a trap first. The only method that ever worked was a low impact shot to the stomach with a .22 short and leave them to bleed out - granted, it's not very appealing. I'd imagine a live trap/blanket would be perfect but haven't used it on skunks.


Pete


MOLON LABE [mo 'lon la 've]

Technology has it's place, hunting isn't it.

Life's a blink, never have to say ....... "I should have"!

"That human optimism & goodness that we put our faith in, is in no more danger than the stars in the jaws of the clouds." .................Victor Hugo
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
I have no idea. Good luck!
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
SJ Fairbank wrote:
UhOh, as you know they contract rabies like it's their job. Time for this guy to embark to the happy hunting grounds. In this case, I'm thinking by any means possible.


That one is gone already :). I'm planning for the next....
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
sorry did not see this sooner -

scent free skunk executions became a needed specialty here for a while

don't shoot, doesn't always prevent spraying - and you don't have to ask how i know

catch it in a have a heart - dry cat food seems to work good as bait

once it's trapped - hold a tarp up in front of you and slowly walk up and cover the trap

at this point - if you have to - you can pick up the trap with the tarp completely covering it a few inches off the ground and slowly move it a short distance if you have to

now weight down the edges of the tarp - back you truck/car up to it and put a hose (shop vac hose works good) into the exhaust and under the tarp. start the vehicle let it run for 20-30 minutes and done

dead no odor




"Just because the man does not offer you a drink Hastings, does not mean he is automatically guilty of other crimes" Agatha Christie's Poirot

Last edited by:

Rick L: Dec 22, 2021, 8:38 AM
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
There is only one way to kill a skunk - teach it how to swim!!! :) Trap it in a live trap - grape jelly works best. Use a 8" square trap, that way one cannot get sprayed when one lifts up the trap. If the skunk cannot lift its tail, it cannot spray. After it has been trapped, put a tarp over it, walk slowly to some source of water (deep enough to submerge the trap), leave in water for at least 5 minutes. Now, one can go bury the beast! Works every time! Have done it for the past ten years. John
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
Reminds me of this story.... buddy bought a camp on Lake Champlain. The raccoons moved into the attic and made a huge smelly mess. He was not willing to kill them so he borrowed a hav-a-heart trap and caught one. Called the Vermont game warden to come take it away. The warden took the trap to his truck, fastened a length of line to it. Walked to the end of the dock, and dropped it in. Back to his truck for a cigarette. Then pulled up the trap, dumped the dead racoon in the back of his truck and gave my buddy the trap back. He and is wife were mortified! I laughed my ass off! I suggested the very same and they would not hear of it. I got to dispatch and discard the remaining critters when he and the wife would leave.

Dave Diefenderfer
Manassas, VA

"Once you set out to build a boat, throw away your square. And if you work on her after she's launched, throw away your level." author unknown

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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
John DePuydt wrote:
There is only one way to kill a skunk - teach it how to swim!!! :) Trap it in a live trap - grape jelly works best. Use a 8" square trap, that way one cannot get sprayed when one lifts up the trap. If the skunk cannot lift its tail, it cannot spray. After it has been trapped, put a tarp over it, walk slowly to some source of water (deep enough to submerge the trap), leave in water for at least 5 minutes. Now, one can go bury the beast! Works every time! Have done it for the past ten years. John


Not a trapping situation, but thanks I'll remember that.
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
Dave Diefenderfer wrote:
Reminds me of this story.... buddy bought a camp on Lake Champlain. The raccoons moved into the attic and made a huge smelly mess. He was not willing to kill them so he borrowed a hav-a-heart trap and caught one. Called the Vermont game warden to come take it away. The warden took the trap to his truck, fastened a length of line to it. Walked to the end of the dock, and dropped it in. Back to his truck for a cigarette. Then pulled up the trap, dumped the dead racoon in the back of his truck and gave my buddy the trap back. He and is wife were mortified! I laughed my ass off! I suggested the very same and they would not hear of it. I got to dispatch and discard the remaining critters when he and the wife would leave.


Now that is the sort of stimulating discussion that I like my questions to generate! Thanks for the story. :).
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
3? 2 shot or bigger 12 gauge blast has gotten rid of a couple out at the fa m. Could have just gotten lucky but no smell.
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
tod osier wrote:
Dave Diefenderfer wrote:
Reminds me of this story.... buddy bought a camp on Lake Champlain. The raccoons moved into the attic and made a huge smelly mess. He was not willing to kill them so he borrowed a hav-a-heart trap and caught one. Called the Vermont game warden to come take it away. The warden took the trap to his truck, fastened a length of line to it. Walked to the end of the dock, and dropped it in. Back to his truck for a cigarette. Then pulled up the trap, dumped the dead racoon in the back of his truck and gave my buddy the trap back. He and is wife were mortified! I laughed my ass off! I suggested the very same and they would not hear of it. I got to dispatch and discard the remaining critters when he and the wife would leave.


Now that is the sort of stimulating discussion that I like my questions to generate! Thanks for the story. :).


When I was about 12 I had the morning paper route in my neighborhood. On of the houses on my route had me bring the paper inside their garage and leave it by an inside door. My sister was best friends with their daughter so I knew the family well. They'd been over at our house for a cook out and complaining about a stray cat that had been getting into their garage and tearing into the garbage bags.

One fine spring morning I walked up their driveway and saw the damn cat squeeze into a narrow gap under the garage door. I opened the door, dropped off the paper inside, and saw it scurry past the trash bags and under one of their cars. I figured I might get a decent tip if I chased it out before it got into the garbage--word would trickle back from my sister to their daughter to the parents. So I hopped down next to the car, started clapping my hands and stomping my feet and shouting to scare it out. It scurried out from behind on of the tires just as as I was stomping past the rear bumper, then paused at the between the car and the garage door--a splendid black cat with a lovely white stripe and fluffy tail.

It turned, pointed its hind end at me, raised it's tail, and did the full front foot stamping skunk anger display. I was in full cat-chase mode and still moving rapidly towards where it was standing, with all the grace a hormonal 12-year-old who'd grown about 6 inches in the past 6 months could muster while running down a set of stairs on size 13 feet. To this day I have no idea why the skunk never sprayed. When I finally stopped my forward momentum I was maybe 4 feet from it. I froze, the skunk relaxed and slipped back under the door, and I never had to find out what my "tip" would be if I goaded a skunk into full spray mode inside a customer's garage with both of their cars in the line of fire.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
Todd,
Skunks can be dispatched using a syringe and acetone. Here is a link to the equipment used. The Acetone takes effect within seconds, paralyzing the skunk and killing it. There are plenty of How to videos on You Tube.

https://www.wildlifecontrolsupplies.com/removal/NWS0120.htm




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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
A #220 Conibear set in a cubby box so that it is in deep enough to not allow a dog to trigger it. Unless you have feral cats around... bait it with canned cat food.
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
we have cats at the barn to keep the rodents in check. My wife also supplements their diet with dry cat food. the left over food is a magnet for possums, skunks, and raccoons. i have live trapped dozens of critters out of the barn over the past 10 years. we have a crick that runs through the property and 30 acres of set aside across the road. all of that habitat process a plethora of animals. for years, I did the "tarp over the trap" trick with skunks and carried them down by the crick away from the house. I set the trap down, slowly lift the tarp off and back away. I give the skunk a couple of hours to settle down. I then slowly approach the trap (from the upwind side); slide a .22 rafle barrel through the wire and shoot the skunk. it always sprays. I leave it set for a couple of days and then come back, dump the body out and put it into an empty feed sack and go dispose of the body.

two years ago, I discovered the "skunk spray proof"
trhttps://www.ebay.com/...tkp%3ABFBM1Kvh-L1fap.

this link is from ebay. if it doesn't work just search skunk spray proof trap. this thing is work it's weight in gold. I bait it with an open can of cat food and set it along the wall of the barn at the corner that faces the "prairie" I have have caught possums, skunks, several stray cats, and a silly rabbit that must have hoped into it thinking it was a tunnel to a carrot patch. on the possums, I take the trap out into the hay field, stand over and behind the trap; remove the "access gate" and when the possum starts to crawl out, a .22 to the back of the head finishes the job. with the skunks, I tie a a piece of baling twine to the handle and drop the trap into the deep hole in the crick. the skunk does "release" it's spray but it comes to the surface in small "oil bubbles" i watch from a safe upwind distance and pull the trap out in a couple of hours, dump and dispose of the body.
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
I think I have posted some of my "stories" here before; but here is one of my "skunk" stories


Today, I started training for a 2K; not a 5K but a 2K. This wasn?t on my original plan for today but at 6:00 a.m., my day started a little different.

As you all know; my wife has cats in the barn and she really likes them. That?s ok; it makes her happy BUT there is a price to pay for cats and cat food in the barn. Every spring there is an extra critter or two that shows up for the free breakfast. This year is no different. A couple of days ago; Janet informed me that all of the cat food was gone in the morning. That is a sure sign that something has shown up and is ?eating for free? Of course this always sets my trapping skills to the challenge. I set the trap and the little SOB ate all of the food without setting the live trap off. Grrrr. Ok, go to my never fail plan B. get the toilet paper towel roll, line the inside with soft cat food and tie it up in the front corner of the live trap. The little SOB eats the dry food crumbs in the trap and goes for the sweet smelling desert and has to ?fight to get it? and Bingo, sets the trap off.

I went down to the barn early this a.m. because I have to get on the road early for NW Iowa. My anticipation is high. I just know that I caught the furry little critter and I am hoping it is a possum so I don?t have to deal with a skunk. Half way to the barn; I get a whiff of skunk. Hmmm, not good. 75 ft closer; it is more than a whiff. Dang, I caught a skunk and he sprayed in the barn. Not good.

I ease the barn door open so I can look around the corner to check the trap without exciting the skunk any more than needed and the trap is EMPTY. What the heck????? A quick tour of the barn. Nothing. What the heck. Oh well I will check it all out in more detail tonight when I get back

As I stepped out of the barn; I looked out to see a dark spot rapidly approaching across the hay field. Here comes a skunk. One of the biggest skunks I have ever seen. This sucker will easily go 20 pounds. At least that is what it looked like at 6:10 this morning in the ?its still pretty dark out?.

I am scrambling to unlock the barn walk door to my side; where my trusty old single shot barn rifle is laying. I have the barn door open, rifle in hand, trying to get a shell out of the shell holder and into the action. I am loaded. The skunk is on a mission to head for the barn. Wait, he sees me diving out the door to meet him. In the mean time I am trying to remember how to turn on the friggin laser that I mounted on the rifle. The skunk detours towards the road. The little sucker is pretty fast. I am in hot pursuit up the middle of the road. Halfway to the neighbors and I am thinking; Hmmm this might not look good running him up to their front door and shooting him there. About that time the skunk cuts hard right; through the ditch and across the bean field. The SOB is trying to circle back to the barn. Dang. I put it into road gear and get between him and the barn. He is now running straight East. I decide to try a shot. Did I mention that it is a little after 6:00 and its still dark. I can?t see squat through the scope. Wait, there is the green dot from the laser. The skunk is still running; I am half winded and there is a 6 mph cross wind. I missed. Now I have to run like heck to catch up to the skunk who has seemed to have gained an accelerated interest in getting the ?heck out of Dodge?. I ran that skunk all the way across the 80 Acre field to the fence. Of course he slid right under and I am trying to figure out how to get across barb wire and a ?HOT? wire without getting the ?boys? electrified or torn. It looks like I have him boxed in at the crick. I am across one fence and catching some wind. I decide to try another shot. BTW, did I mention about the difficulty of trying to load a single shot bolt action 22 while running?? Sometimes I never cease to amaze myself on my dexterity. Back to the shot. It?s still pretty dark. I can?t find the skunk in the scope. Back to lining up the laser. Missed again. The skunk has a renewed effort in leaving my vicinity. He is now heading North; across the pasture. And that is up hill. He didn?t seem to notice but now I am really getting in shape for a run. I also noted that I forgot my phone so I won?t be able to call 911 when I have a heart attack. Needless to say the SOB outran me. I had another two fences to cross and I just could not catch back up.

Tonight I doubled up on the traps. The challenge is on !! And I am getting in shape for a 2K
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Re: How to kill a skunk In reply to
Rick L, thats the best method. Use it all the time.
"When those birds stool".....takem!
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
Derek, sounds like biathlon training would help too. Great story.
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Re: How to kill a skunk In reply to
John Van Houten wrote:
Rick L, thats the best method. Use it all the time.


While 110s work, they are not strong enough to kill them quickly...
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Re: How to kill a skunk? In reply to
Wow, a replacement skunk showed up yesterday... We got back from walking and Beaver showed an interest in something on the other side of the truck on the other side of the fence. I found him nose to nose sniffing with a friendly little skunk. Both seemed equally interested in each other. I called the dog and sat him and the skunk pushed through the fence and headed off to parts unknown on a run.