The Warning Signs of Skunks

What Are The Warning Signs of Skunks?

Skunks are a funny lot. They amble through their day leisurely looking for grubs and other crawling creatures. Their mischievous little noses always working, their large and lustrous tail rising high above them as the saunter along. It seems most people, and animals, give the skunk a wide berth. Their reputation precedes them and allows them full access wherever they may roam. Everyone I’ve ever met seems born with an instinctual internal dialog that screams, “leave them skunks be!” Folks like myself, who push their limits with skunk behavior, often find themselves with friends that would rather talk online or on the phone than in person.

Skunks sure do get a bad rap, but they really don’t enjoy spraying their calling card everywhere. They’re actually limited in the reserves they have. The sulfurous liquid will be replenished eventually, but it takes time to refill the tanks. Much like a honeybee that shows great restraint and generally only stings as a last resort, skunks hold back as long as possible before firing. Of course, the honeybee dies after it drops its load, but that’s a story for another time. Back to our “Master of self control”. Like any self respecting community member with a set of standards and values, theirs always that one. You know, the trouble makers. That may be hard to believe but it’s true, they’re found in the animal kingdom also.

Let’s not get bogged down though in the actions of a few loose cannons that ruin the integrity of the many. Skunks don’t want to spray you anymore than you want to be sprayed. A skunks first line of defense is actually aversion, to get away. Give them some room and they’ll move on. Skunks are not in a rush, and perhaps you shouldn’t be either. Heck, what better excuse to exploit as to why your late to work. Your co-workers will probably treat you first class for not coming in and contaminating everything. You may find your friends start hanging out with you again.

Skunks Love Your Patience

Try talking softly and sweetly, and be nice. Skunks appreciate compliments as much as anyone else. This isn’t the time to be arrogant. A little humility will go a long way. If your coming on too fast, slow down. It’s a lot like that first time dating a new partner and feeling things out. If things move too fast, you risk ruining the evening. There’s no rush in this game. When your eyes lock, your staring intently at each other, and the stamping of the ground begins, watch out. It’s a good indication the dates either gone horribly wrong, or the skunk is super agitated. Either way, back off a touch, hold your ground, but stop the advancement. Most skunks will calm down and warm up to you slightly. Be sure to say nice things, don’t be a vulgar. This is a great way to advance on an open cage trap. It just requires some patience.

Beyond this point your really left with few options. You can slowly continue to advance all morning, a little at a time. If the skunk is in the open, and your just trying to get to your car, taking those moments to ponder life’s greatest questions should allow the skunk plenty of opportunity to move along. If you push when the skunk stamps the ground, the next warning is the tail raise. If it’s slow, it’s maybe a bluff. Maybe. Remember that one bad apple in the lot? It’s a delicate balance here between trying to get close while respecting the boundaries. If it’s a bluff, just start all over again taking your time and waiting. Ever hear the expression, “you’ll learn more from bad experiences, than you will good ones?” Well good luck out there. Skunks are a funny lot. Some days your the hero, and others days it’s best to just call in sick

Little guys like this one have trouble holding on to their spray, and even a successful relocation could involve some cleanup.

Little guys like this one have trouble holding on to their spray, and even a successful relocation could involve some cleanup.


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