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Old 04-22-2012, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Townsend, Massachusetts
298 posts, read 835,093 times
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Any one ever caught a skunk in a hav-a-hart live trap? How do you release it without getting sprayed? We have groundhogs that we are trying to trap because they eat my wife's flowers from her gardens. I hve seen skunks in the area also and am wondering how to go near the trap without getting sprayed if I catch a skunk?
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:35 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 8,980,991 times
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Once.

My kids threw an old blanket over the trap and managed to hook a rope to it and pulled it up the hill to the driveway where the truck was, managing to keep the blanket on somehow. They managed to get a long stick through the handle of the trap, each kid took an end of the stick, and lifted it into the bed of the truck.

We drove a few miles up the road where there were no homes or nearby farms but where there was a creek.

Using the stick, they lifted the trap out of the truck and set it on the ground and then one of the kids used the stick to open one end of the trap from a distance.

The last we saw of that little polecat, he (or she) was waddling away from us into the tall grass.

I think the key is to make it so the skunk can't see you, either with an old blanket or a tarp. In fact, if I were to do it again and I knew my target was a skunk, I would have the stick in the handle and the trap covered at the time that I set it up.

I think there were some harrowing moments (for the kids - I made them do it) when it came to getting the stick in the trap and the blanket on AFTER the skunk was already in the trap.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,023 posts, read 4,843,643 times
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I caught 10 one year, but we paid an exterminator to release them at higher elevations....they lived under our hot tub deck and came out after dark....my first Have A Hart was stolen, so I had to buy another and with it, a huge chain and padlock to lock it to a huge avocado tree trunk......and then hauling each skunk away cost $50.00 each, so it was not a cheap ordeal...(and this was 25+ years ago)....

I learned a lot about them.......they have poor eyesight, so they wait until their 'victim' is very close before they spray...dogs run up to sniff them....and then they get it in the face and it really burns their eyes.....

Skunks love avocados, but I had huge trees that dropped them, so we didn't use them as bait. What we used for bait was a can of tuna or cat food. They loved it.

The exterminator had a big, heavy tarp.....he went up to the cage and threw it over the cage.....they didn't see him that way..... He picked up the cage, put it on his truck and took it into the mountains and released them....(always keeping the tarp on the cage)....... He wore thick gloves, too.....

Skunks tear up the lawn looking for grubs......our lawn looked as if somebody had been practicing golf......so maybe spread some grub killer on your lawn......

This is a temporary fix, but they don't like water......turn on your sprinklers at night......they go away for a little while. I stood outside with a hose so many times holding my arm out spraying, spraying, spraying.......I had nightmares, would sit up in bed, hold my arm straight out and make a sound like a sprayer......(not kidding!)

They are nocturnal and we were basically prisoners after dark......it was a terrible time......and our dog got sprayed 2 days in a row and ran into the house and leaned on me, tried to rub her fur and face in her bed, on the carpet, etc.....it was a TERRIBLE TIME! I washed her with vinegar, tomato juice, dog shampoo, Johnson's baby shampoo, you name it. I burned a lot of incense in the house, put perfume and baby powder on the dog, replaced her bedding, threw baking soda on the carpet, shampooed my carpet......anything to mask it, anything to get rid of it. There are skunk shampoos out on the market now, but I don't know how well they work......worth a try if your dog ever gets sprayed.

To somebody who has never been sprayed, the smell is not the scent that you smell when you are driving down the road. It is like toilet water vs. expensive perfume.....it is extremely strong and you can't get it off for days and days....the smell gags you......

Skunk spray has an oily base to it......it's so hard to get off..........

Hope this helps....
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:35 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 8,980,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurzig View Post

The exterminator had a big, heavy tarp.....he went up to the cage and threw it over the cage.....they didn't see him that way..... He picked up the cage, put it on his truck and took it into the mountains and released them....(always keeping the tarp on the cage)....... He wore thick gloves, too.....

They are nocturnal and we were basically prisoners after dark......it was a terrible time......and our dog got sprayed 2 days in a row and ran into the house and leaned on me, tried to rub her fur and face in her bed, on the carpet, etc.....it was a TERRIBLE TIME! I washed her with vinegar, tomato juice, dog shampoo, Johnson's baby shampoo, you name it. I burned a lot of incense in the house, put perfume and baby powder on the dog, replaced her bedding, threw baking soda on the carpet, shampooed my carpet......anything to mask it, anything to get rid of it. There are skunk shampoos out on the market now, but I don't know how well they work......worth a try if your dog ever gets sprayed.

To somebody who has never been sprayed, the smell is not the scent that you smell when you are driving down the road. It is like toilet water vs. expensive perfume.....it is extremely strong and you can't get it off for days and days....the smell gags you......

Skunk spray has an oily base to it......it's so hard to get off..........

Hope this helps....
I am actually quite impressed that your exterminator was willing to go to those lengths to release them humanely. So many (including my psychotic neighbor) will live trap and then shoot and kill them when they're still in the trap.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting here at the computer watching some t.v. program on-line late at night and I had dozed off. All of a sudden, I got awakened pretty much simultaneously by my dogs inside the house barking like crazy and the most horrific skunk smell EVER. It was so bad, I could have sworn it had to have let loose right out on my front porch - just a few feet from where I was dozing.

The dogs were all in the house, so their barking had to be in response to the smell.

My first thought was that it was after "Greg" - the 10-year-old rabbit who is kept in a cage on the porch, so I opened the door so I could go check on him, and that of course sent a bunch of dogs running past me outside.

I was very, very afraid that one or all of them would get sprayed but wherever the skunk HAD been, I think he must have gotten spooked by the barking dogs in the house and he skedaddled away fast enough that he was gone before the dogs got outside.

Greg was fine - but that smell lingered for days; in fact, I still every once in awhile get a whiff of it when I'm outside.

Between my place and the small town that's about 12 miles to the east of me, there is a creek that runs under the highway and a bridge, and the highway dips down right there; it's between three and four miles from my home. And I'd say AT LEAST 50% of the time when I pass by there, there is skunk smell. Maybe even more often than that. I call it "Skunk Alley" and I think if I ever relocate another skunk, that is where I would take it - it would apparently have plenty of company there.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:09 PM
 
29,986 posts, read 38,300,854 times
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Throw a big tarp over the trap and then throw the trap in a stock water trough or a pond. Skunks are not an endangered species but they can carry rabies.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:14 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 8,980,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Throw a big tarp over the trap and then throw the trap in a stock water trough or a pond. Skunks are not an endangered species but they can carry rabies.
I can't imagine a more INHUMANE way to dispatch an unwanted animal than by a slow death by drowning.

If you're going to kill it, at least please do it as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Drowning is NOT humane.

Edited to add: While I realize that not everyone believes that catching and relocating skunks, 'possums, etc. is the right way to go, I can respect that - if they at least make it a point to kill the animal as quickly and as humanely as possible.

What I can't respect is someone with so little regard to an animal's suffering that they think a slow death by drowning is appropriate.

Last edited by Cinebar; 04-22-2012 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:36 AM
 
588 posts, read 1,242,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Throw a big tarp over the trap and then throw the trap in a stock water trough or a pond. Skunks are not an endangered species but they can carry rabies.
You would allow the animal to suffer by drowning it? That would be torturing the animal!

I hate skunks. Absolutely hate them. But I would never encourage inhumane, purposeful torture of any animal, even one as obnoxious as a skunk. They are still animals and deserve humane treatment.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,957 posts, read 12,745,807 times
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The problem with skunks in the Hav-a-heart traps is that most people use the wrong bait and the wrong time to set the traps. Many gardeners use these traps to get rid of groundhogs. Skunks are nocturnal. Groundhogs are early morning risers - but they can and will forage all day (I have never seen one out at night). Groundhogs love apples - skunks love fish and peanut butter. If the OP does not want to catch a skunk; don’t leave your trap set at night. Also; don’t use bait that skunks love.

As far as getting skunks out of the traps: Calmly talk to them! They do not like surprises. Don’t move if they start to lift their tail. If you are finicky; hold an old shower curtain in front of you and then cover the cage. I have never been sprayed (maybe just lucky) and I usually don’t even use the shower curtain. They just want to get out and they are usually happy to leave.

As far as skunks tearing up the lawn - they are getting rid of the grubs that are eating your lawn. Replacing a few divots is not too high a price to pay.

Decades ago I shot one and it took seven years for the grass to grow in that spot. I now treat them as friends.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Townsend, Massachusetts
298 posts, read 835,093 times
Reputation: 117
How about opposums? Are they nasty critters? Do I have to be careful when releasing these from the hav-a-hart traps. My plan is always to stand in the bed of the pick-up truck and "dump" them out the back. Spoken like a true city boy, I know ha ha ha.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Townsend, Massachusetts
298 posts, read 835,093 times
Reputation: 117
or racoons even.......??????
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