May 07

Trapping Skunks

Skunks are a member of the weasel family and are considered a nuisance varmint. They are widespread across North America. Skunks generally dig and root for grubs and earthworms, but also eat chicken eggs and they scavenge garbage. They will warn before they spray but will stink up the neighborhood when they are threatened enough to release their anal glands. As a boy, I had a dog that was sprayed by a skunk and it took weeks to get the stink off of him! Coyotes, wolves and even bears know enough to not mess with a skunk. Skunks are also known to carry rabies and in Pennsylvania, trapping and killing them is acceptable without a permit.

In the past few years, I have come across a skunk while walking at night. It is always best to avoid them but there is one that is frequenting my yard and I don’t want to risk an unpleasant encounter. I have seen this critter several times in the past few weeks and I intend to trap him. Here is some basic information about trapping skunks. Some people advocate trapping and releasing, but I have no interest in carrying a live skunk to another area for release. The primary reason is that I don’t want to risk being sprayed and secondly, I don’t think it is polite to take a problem critter and relocate it to another area to create a problem for someone else.

skunk trapping

This is a picture of the 2 traps and the .22 caliber rifle I will use to exterminate the little critter when he is in the trap. I will use the smaller of the two traps and this will hopefully prevent the skunk from being able to raise his tail and spray. The rifle is a Ruger 10/.22 rimfire with bull barrel, competition stock and a 4 power scope by Bushnell.

I will bait the trap with a can of dog food and hopefully this will entice the little stinker to investigate. The trap will close after the spring is shut and then I can shoot the skunk and remove him.

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