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Old 07-08-11, 11:40 AM   #1
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Skunks with their tails up.

I was riding home late last night when I noticed 2 tiny skunks off the side of the trail. They both had their tails up and were walking away from me - was this because they were afraid of me or do they normally walk around with their tails up like my cats do? I used to see another skunk further down the trail last year and don't remember if he had his tail up or not, but I'd really hate to get sprayed by 2 of them at the same time!
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Old 07-08-11, 12:34 PM   #2
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My experience is that any skunk with it's tail up is afraid of something and is cocked and ready to fire.
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Old 07-08-11, 12:38 PM   #3
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My experience is that any skunk with it's tail up is afraid of something and is cocked and ready to fire.
Yep! Raised tail, hissing and stomping means "I'm about to spray you."

I've had way too many run-ins with skunks on my trail. I only use it during the day now.
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Old 07-08-11, 12:42 PM   #4
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My rule of thumb concerning skunks is: Stay away. Far away.
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Old 07-08-11, 12:43 PM   #5
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What? No... skunks always have their tails held proud like plumes. The tip of the tail droops a bit. The lowest I've seen a skunk hold its tail is horizontal, but never down or dragging.

When they are acting defensively they raise their hindquarters, lower their heads, and point their butts at you. If you freak them out, they actually do a handstand as they spray you.
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Old 07-08-11, 01:57 PM   #6
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What? No... skunks always have their tails held proud like plumes. The tip of the tail droops a bit. The lowest I've seen a skunk hold its tail is horizontal, but never down or dragging.

When they are acting defensively they raise their hindquarters, lower their heads, and point their butts at you. If you freak them out, they actually do a handstand as they spray you.
+1 This is my experience as well.
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Old 07-08-11, 02:05 PM   #7
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These 2 looked like they were walking away from me when I saw them, but weren't doing any handstands. They looked kind of friendly, I've had cats for years and they looked kind of like my cats do after they've welcomed me home. I wish they'd want to wear hi viz too, I'd prefer to appreciate them from a greater distance when I see them. How far can they spray anyway?
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Old 07-08-11, 02:24 PM   #8
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When you see them do that they want you to quickly run up behind them yelling loudly and waving your arms.*

*Do not really do that. Not unless you want to be wearing a good cover scent for bow hunting.

No, what these skunks are doing is just trying to move away from you. They usually only "fire" as a last resort. Not even skunks like the odor of skunk.
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Old 07-08-11, 02:30 PM   #9
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I used to walk past a family of skunks daily within meer inches.

I guess they were acclimated to humans; never got sprayed as they
were to busy either sitting on a stack of WSJ newspapers or heading
for the nearby dumpster.

They normally had their tails slightly up in the air.

They weren't even bothered by my saying "hello" to them.
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Old 07-08-11, 03:06 PM   #10
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How far can skunks usually spray?
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Old 07-08-11, 03:49 PM   #11
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When you see them do that they want you to quickly run up behind them yelling loudly and waving your arms.*

*Do not really do that. Not unless you want to be wearing a good cover scent for bow hunting.

No, what these skunks are doing is just trying to move away from you. They usually only "fire" as a last resort. Not even skunks like the odor of skunk.
I guess not even skunks like the sight of slow moving bright lights. I used to say hi to the one I saw last year, and that one kept going away from me too. I can handle not being that appealing to them though.
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Old 07-08-11, 04:15 PM   #12
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Look Mom! Kittens!

lookmomkittens.jpg
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Old 07-08-11, 10:21 PM   #13
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Look Mom! Kittens!

Attachment 209772
That's a classic.
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Old 07-08-11, 11:49 PM   #14
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Slightly off topic: in the wild, cats don't walk with their tail in the air, only kittens do. The theory is it makes them easier for their mother to see them in long grass. So when your cats have their tails in the air when you are around, it's because they are in kitten mode, and you are their mum.

btw, I've never seen a skunk, except in bugs bunny cartoons and the occasional photo. I'd definitely be picking up those adorable kittens.
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Old 07-10-11, 05:52 AM   #15
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How far can skunks usually spray?
10 feet according to NatGeo.

http://animals.nationalgeographic.co...mammals/skunk/
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Old 07-10-11, 10:02 AM   #16
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My dad used to run a trap line when he was younger, and one night came up on a skunk caught in one of his traps. They can spray a lot farther than 10 feet if the wind switches just right...
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Old 07-10-11, 10:52 AM   #17
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This really isn't pertinent, but the thread reminded me about a morning last summer I was out running. I looked over to my left and saw a skunk running along side of me about 5 yards away. Not sure what to do, I just kept running hoping that by not making any sudden changes in my movement, I wouldn't startle it and get sprayed. The skunk ran with me for about 75 yards or so, then took a left and scampered off into a field.
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Old 07-10-11, 01:30 PM   #18
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The skunk ran with me for about 75 yards or so, then took a left and scampered off into a field.
Maybe the skunk was looking for a workout buddy.
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