July 26, 2008
Dad was walking past our east garden yesterday when he observed a rather large skunk meandering through the corn and squash plants. Now dad is not the excitable type and although he did feel we should be informed about this interloper, he meandered quite a little himself as he walked to the house to tell us in his typical “non-excited” way.
At the mention of a skunk in our garden (which by the way is right next to our henhouse) our entire family sprang from their seats and ran pell-mell out the door, Tyler flying down the stairs on the way to retrieve a rifle as he did so.
What’s all the “hub-bub” about one measly little skunk you might ask? Well we deal with these odiferous visitors every year. On year I caught 17 of the scoundrels. But our first encounter was the one that set the tone for any that should be stupid enough to set foot on our property since. This particular skunk killed 17 of our laying hens (over half our flock that year) before he met his demise at the hand of an angry egg eater – Me.
This is where he ended up. A nice winter hat for my son Matthew!
Now where was I? O, yes – flying pell-mell out the door with rifle waving high! Well, by the time the troops arrived at the garden, the black and white terrorist was no where to be found, and our laying hens and turkeys were contentedly scratching in the grass of the orchard, oblivious to the danger that had lurked nearby.
I politely suggested to my father, that the next time he observed one of these smelly balls of fur, that he fly to the house in the same manner that we flew out, so that we can kill the scoundrel before it gets away!!
After a little investigation we found a “crawl-under” where the skunk had dug under the fence to make access, and I have set our skunk trap next to it. Hopefully he will come visiting again when he can stay longer – and I will have the makings for another hat!
A little interesting information to pass along should you find you have odiferous visitors on your farm. I have trapped many a skunk over the years and I have found dry cat food to be an excellent bait for this guy. In addition to his taste for chickens and eggs, they also enjoy fruits, berries, insects, mice, snakes, frogs and other small animals. They also destroy the eggs and young of birds that nest upon the ground. Often, when a skunk burrows beneath a barn or out-building, it will rid the whole place of mice – a very nice trait indeed. Just a little something to think about before you exterminate a skunk under your shed.
Update: Aug. 1
Got another at the same crawl under.
Promised Land – 2, Skunks – 0
Promised Land – 3, Skunks – 0