Skunk trivia and stories to amuse Send us your anecdotes

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by Nina Wood
If you’ve noticed smelling and seeing more skunks, especially dead ones on the road, this fall, you aren’t alone. Jim Hooks, who owns and operates J & M Unlimited Inc. Wildlife Management Services in Kremmling says Kremmling and Granby have both seen a higher than average number of the black and white pests this fall.
Like many other creatures, the skunk population runs in cycles with number dependent on disease and food supplies. Hooks says six years or so ago the numbers dropped significantly after distemper ran through the population. He also noted there has not been a rabid skunk in the county for some years.
Residents at the extended care part of the Kremmling Hospital were being inundated with the nightly discharges right outside their windows, likely because of skunks trying to establish territory. Hooks was engaged to help alleviate the problem and reported taking 11 skunks in live traps from that locale and another 6 or 7 from elsewhere in town.
Skunks don’t hibernate, but as the colder weather arrives they do eat to add layers of fat to help them get ready for winter. For now it seems the annoyance has decreased. But there’s always next year!
If you live here, you may have your own skunk stories. Here are a few:

• Charging into the house one night and finding a skunk eating with the cats in the utility room. Did not spray. Got in through the dog door.

• Family from years ago left house door open when they went to town. Skunk in the house was shot under the bed in one bedroom. They moved out for awhile.

• Skunk walking through the yard one day crawled into a piece of pipe in a shed. Husband got gun and had wife pick up end of the pipe so he could shoot through it. Worked so well got the skunk AND the tire on the brand new manure spreader on the far end.

• Teacher working for the Forest Service in the summer had been told baby skunks could not spray and decided to get one as a pet. Found a family so grabbed a sack, gloves and one of the babies. His mouth happened to be open as the baby discharged. Use your imagination.

• Fellow found a skunk in an otherwiempty trash can, so he put lid on the can and transported it to an relatively remote area to release it. Critter took off under his pickup and disappeared. Problem solved. He chose to stop at the grocery store for a snack on the way to work. Had gotten about 40 feet into the store when the ladies behind him started screaming. “There’s a skunk in the store, THERE’S A SKUNK IN THE STORE.” No doubt it had gotten up under the pickup and rode to town, then followed him into the store. He did not admit his knowledge and later learned a couple of clerks were able to herd the skunk out with a couple of broken down boxes.

Have you ever heard the term “polecat”? Research shows it is NOT the same as a skunk as they are only loosely related. In the US polecat is a black-footed ferret. Both animals have strong smells.

If you haven’t already learned more about skunks than you wanted to know, here are two more points. A baby skunk is a kit, and a group of skunks is a surfeit. Have a skunk story to share? We’d love to hear them at [email protected]

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