A truly negative skunk....

Just this morning my wife and I were doing some work in the garden when a skunk emerged in our vicinity and proceeded rather slowly to disappear through the fence. We've seen the same fellow before for the first time this year around early spring and two things seem strange about it.... 1) It appears in broad daylight and 2) It's white with a black stripe along its back. Aren't skunks supposed to be nocturnal and aren't they supposed to be mainly black with a white stripe?
Our Havahart trap has done well catching 'possums and groundhogs but don't want to chance it with skunks even though there are several instructions on how to proceed after catching a skunk with this type of trap. Instead, we're looking at something like this;
http://sprayproofskunktrap.com /
Anyone with skunk trapping experience with this type of trap? Any bait recommendations? Thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I've never trapped a skunk or anything else. There is a guy here in my town who traps up to 60 skunks a year. He told me once how he does it. I believe he uses a regular have a heart trap. He walks up to the trap slowly, holding up a blanket so the skunk doesn't actually see him. He lowers the blanket over the trap, picks up the trap through the blanket and takes it away. If I were doing it. I would place the trap in the very back of my pickup truck and I don't think I would do it if I only had a car. Skunks can be quite variable in their color pattern. I saw one in my yard last fall that was completely white except for its feet and belly, which were, of course, black. Quite an impressive skunk. He (or she) was hanging around with another skunk that had normal color.
Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Presuming you didn't see a badger which has black stripes down its head and often abroad by day, then your white skunk with black stripe is an often reported though uncommon color variation. Skunks generally have two strips with a narrow black zone down the back either thin or broad. If the two white zones on the back are unusually broader extending down the sides, you end up with with a skunk that appears to have only one black stripe.
There used to be a lot of skunk breeders in the deep south, especially Georgia, up through the 1970s, and they'd developed domestic strains with the black stripe, or entirely white without being albino so dark-eyed, or all whlite on top without the thin black stripe, & long-haired strain with most of the extra hair on the back and tail so they looked like waddling horse manes without the horse. There are still a few breeders in the south but relatively few and I suppose most of the domestic strains except albino have been let to die out. Descemted skunks do make good pets, though males should also be neutered or they can get aggressive.
I used to care for skunks and found them mostly of identical character traits showing very little individual personality, except the spotted skunk which is a lot more like a cat in its physical movements and swift activity and a little smarter than cats or a ferret because they can learn to come when called by an individual name. If they were legal in my state I'd have a spotted skunk for a pet I liked them so much. But they were included years ago in a broad, ill-considered ban on animals associated with rabies. So even a captive-bred domestic strain is illegal to own in Washington state, damned stupid law it is too, I wish the breeders had a lobby able to effect such lame-ass legislation.
Skunks learn to go abraod by day if there are easy food sources only available by day, if they are semi-tame & have human friends who feed them by day, they're escaped or improperly freed pets still expecting those bastard humans to take care of them -- or if they're ill with pnemonia or rabies & can no longer nest properly. In the latter case they can be very dangerous, but you can usually tell they're ill because they'll be thin, very dirty & scruffy, don't find their way about very smartly, & no longer have enough sense to stay out of the road.
-paghat the ratgirl
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snipped-for-privacy@paghat.com (paghat) wrote:

Good information. I've seen healthy skunks doing business during daylight hours from time-to-time, but never a raccoon. A raccoon seen in broad daylight must be presumed rabid until proven otherwise. ----------------- www.Newsgroup-Binaries.com - *Completion*Retention*Speed* Access your favorite newsgroups from home or on the road -----------------
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In article

Don't feed the tweakers.
--

Billy


http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=7WBB0svwMdY&feature=related

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In article

I've been away awhile. When'd you start picking bones with paghat?
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Since I stepped on her ego by disagreed with her on exploding eucalyptuses. She would tear them all out although pines, firs, and redwoods all exhibit the same proclivities. It wasn't just me. She has been having trouble getting along with the other kids too and it all seems to boil down to ego. I have only found her type of cleverness (I didn't say intelligence) and lack empathy in one corner of humanity.
Keep some popcorn and cider handy;-)
--

Billy


http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=7WBB0svwMdY&feature=related

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(paghat) wrote:

no true. mothers with babies frequently are about during the day, as they have to hunt when the kits are sleeping (same with skunks & foxes). seeing normally nocturnal animals out & about during the day in spreing is not unusual, nor necessarily cause for alarm (assuming that it looks healthy & isn't acting otherwise strangely)
lee
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the daylight hours are more likely to be unhealthy than skunks, but that there is no reason to irrationally fear these animals in such events unless they are obviously behaving strangely or appear ill. One should never attempt to approach a wild animal which is behaving in a friendly or submissive manner, particularly a nocturnal animal during the day. One other point to consider is that skunks can be lifelong asymptomatic carriers of rabies virus.
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Thanks for the skunk tutorial.
On Apr 20, 1:08pm, snipped-for-privacy@paghat.com (paghat) wrote:

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From what I understand, sometimes healthy, normally nocturnal critters wander in the daylight when the spirit moves them. Think if they're nesting or just hungry, they may come out to forage. Could be this one's discovered a food source and he's just crossing your garden on the way back home to sleep off his breakfast. We have skunks wandering our property occasionally too - they seem to stay around for a bit, then move on. No harm, no foul. Worst damage a skunk ever did around here was to squirt one of the neighbors - and that was only after he'd literally stepped on the poor thing in the dark one night. Wouldn't mess with trying to trap your skunk unless he was creating a real problem - and then I'd bring in a pro.
Nancy T
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From what I understand, sometimes healthy, normally nocturnal critters wander in the daylight when the spirit moves them. Think if they're nesting or just hungry, they may come out to forage. Could be this one's discovered a food source and he's just crossing your garden on the way back home to sleep off his breakfast. We have skunks wandering our property occasionally too - they seem to stay around for a bit, then move on. No harm, no foul. Worst damage a skunk ever did around here was to squirt one of the neighbors - and that was only after he'd literally stepped on the poor thing in the dark one night. Wouldn't mess with trying to trap your skunk unless he was creating a real problem - and then I'd bring in a pro.
Nancy T
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said:

I've seen them in the mornings, occasionally. The only skunk I ever saw out in the mid-day was one that was seriously wounded. Which later died, thankfully, not under the neighbor's deck, which is where it went when it saw me, but after leaving there to continue in the same direction it was going when it saw me.

How easy is it to see that you have a skunk in the trap? I'd think that any skunk that would spray in a regular trap (most of them don't) would spray in that trap, too.
I've trapped several skunks while trying to trap rabbits and groundhogs. The rabbit cage is easy to open, so for that one I walked up gently with a large towel, dropped it over the trap, opened it and left. No harm, no foul oder; the skunk walked away.
The groundhog trap is harder to open, so the couple of times I've caught skunks in it, I've called in professionals to remove the skunk. Dropped a blanket over the trap, carried it up to a shady spot to wait for the pro, no spray, trap brought back, no problem (just out some bucks).
Oh, and they asked me what I used as bait (apparently skunks are not especially easy to bait for) and seemed dissapointed when I said apples.
In only one case did the skunk ever spray in the trap, and that skunk was seriously deranged. The critter-control guy said that normally skunks don't spray when confined. This one was pacing and snapping. Not acting anythink like any of the other skunks I (or my neighbor) had ever trapped before.
We had some cases of confirmed rabies in foxes elsewhere in last year in the township...this skunk I caught two years ago, and I'm guessing it might have been rabid.
Had to wash the trap with bleach to cut the stench. Very comical enterprise as the only tub large enought to use outdoors was our big yellow wheelbarrow.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Good point. You may relocate the neighbors cat.

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Thanks for the replies folks.
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