Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: About skunks

  1. #1
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    On the Road
    My Bikes
    Custom built tourer, custom electric bike, beaters everywhere
    Posts
    1,260
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've done a couple of short tours recently in Southern Ontario. One around Paris, the second near Port Hope.

    I stealth camp using a Hennessy hammock so I am suspended less than a metre from the ground. Both times I was awoken around 4:00 in the morning by the smell of skunk. To our European, African and Australiasian members, a skunk is a small mammal, black in colour with a white stripe up the centre of its body. It is quite timid but is capable of projecting a musky smelling fluid which is quite offensive. You can smell the skunk if you are within close proximity. They usually only spray when challenged.

    The question to my North American members is this:
    Is there anyway of making your camp site less attractive to skunks? If one is nearby what are the best practises?
    http://www.saskschools.ca/~gregory/animals/skunk.html
    Last edited by stokell; 06-28-05 at 07:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    309
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Skunks love garbage, table leftovers and all kind of food in general... The only way I know to avoid trouble with them is the same most of us use to avoid problems with bears and racoons... put your food and garbage away from your tent/hammock and suspended in a tree.

    Otherwise, I never heard of anyone getting sprayed by these cute animals... only dogs.

  3. #3
    Powered by PB&J
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Posts
    521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I almost ran one over on a MUP once. I was cycling along on my way home from work, going about 20mph when a skunk starts trotting across the trail. About the only knowledge I have of skunks is that their spray smells very bad and it comes from their butts. So I was very concerned when the skunk heard me jamming on my breaks and shouting "CRAP!!" and turned around with it's tail in the air. I was goin to fast to stop outside of stink-spray range so I had to just keep going. Lucky for me it was only turning around to go back into the tall grass where it came from. I count myself as being lucky. I guess if you run across one try to shoo it away, but if it turns around and points it's butt at you RUN!

    Sorry I don't have any real knowledge or advice stokell, but seeing that picture reminded me of that incident.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Skunks are virtually blind, not being able to see much beyond 15 feet which is also the limit of their spray. Before they spray they will usually stamp their feet, raise their tail, and make sounds like a very mad cat.

    I was able to trap 1 that was living under my garage. I thought we were all in trouble when my cat decided to investigate the caged animal, but the skunk never sprayed. I picked up the cage (placing a piece of cardboard between the skunk and I just in case) and released it in the back yard.

    I see them walking down the road occasionally (during the day this can be a sign of rabies since they are nocturnal). They don't seem to be too scared of anything.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Plymouth,WI
    My Bikes
    TREK-520 & 830
    Posts
    724
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Make friends with a squirrel?

  6. #6
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Central Pa
    My Bikes
    2000 Bianchi San Remo and a mint 1984 Trek 720
    Posts
    1,762
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ditto what was said before me. Also the fact that you were awaken by the skunk smell dies not indicate that the skunk was close by. If a skunk sprays, you can smell it quite a ways off. It does not take much skunk scent to wake you up. I have been woken up at night in my house because a skunk let one go somewhere off in the woods.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    On the Road
    My Bikes
    Custom built tourer, custom electric bike, beaters everywhere
    Posts
    1,260
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just an update on skunks. As stated before, they rarely spray humans. One expert told me that because the spray orfice is near the anis, you are in trouble if the skunk turns so you can see both its head and tail. Also I am told, although tomato juice seems to be the traditional way of cleaning up, vinegar and water seems to work quite as well.

  8. #8
    Videre non videri
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    My Bikes
    1 road bike (simple, light), 1 TT bike (could be more aero, could be lighter), 1 all-weather commuter and winter bike, 1 Monark 828E ergometer indoor bike
    Posts
    3,204
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Anyone seen Mythbusters?
    They tried to get "skunked" but the ones they got refused to spray!

  9. #9
    cyclist
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    vermont
    My Bikes
    road bike, mountain bike, touring bike
    Posts
    314
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A lesser know fact about skunks is that they are weasels, hense why weasels stink as well. That also means that they prefer meat and are excelent mousers. Of cource they like garbage too. You got lucky to see that many skunks. I've seen one and its rear end while hiking... That'll scare you. I thought the first skunk I ever saw was a cat at first... Luckily it did not want to get petted.
    Since we are on the topic of usless knowledge of skunks... Does anybody know the only preditor of skunks (asside from cars)?

  10. #10
    Hidden playable character Bikemiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    My Bikes
    Gary Fisher Tassajara commuterized, Evil Imperial stealth bomber, Sun Custom Cruiser, Punk Rock Trike of Doom (in progress), and an S&M Holmes (sentimental).
    Posts
    203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "Ahh, the sweet smell of skunk..." -Edward Abbey

    At a distance, I don't think the smell is that bad. It brings back good memories of times spent where I would rather be right now. I wouldn't wear it out on a date or anything, I'm just saying I've smelled far worse things. As far as avoiding skunks, I don't have anything to contribute. If you get sprayed, just look on the bright side, at least it wasn't a bear/mountain lion(skunks don't eat people), or a rattler/scorpion(skunks aren't poisonous). Also people probably wouldn't notice your BO anymore.
    I gotta Mike my bike.

  11. #11
    Passionate or O-C? desmobob's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    upstate NY; L. George region
    My Bikes
    2005 Bianchi Axis, Motobecane Le Champion SL
    Posts
    218
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jkmartin
    I was able to trap 1 that was living under my garage. I thought we were all in trouble when my cat decided to investigate the caged animal, but the skunk never sprayed. I picked up the cage (placing a piece of cardboard between the skunk and I just in case) and released it in the back yard.

    I see them walking down the road occasionally (during the day this can be a sign of rabies since they are nocturnal). They don't seem to be too scared of anything.
    When I was a young kid, I saved my chore money and bought a Hav-A-Hart live-catch trap (we lived in a rural area). I was excited about catching a young raccoon, baby crow, etc., that I would then train to be my buddy and pet extrordinaire.

    I baited the trap with some barbequed chicken and could hardly wait until the next morning to check it. The first night, I caught the neighbor's cat. The second night, I caught a skunk.

    It turns out the skunk was pretty friendly and I was able to approach the trap and feed it all kinds of stuff from the 'fridge (it LOVED hard-boiled eggs). I talked my dad into buying a big wire cage so I could keep "Sweet Pea," my new pet.

    My folks contacted the local vet to see if we could get it de-scented and learned it was against the law to keep wildlife as pets. Then, by some coincidence, there was a big article about rabies in the newspaper the next day. Skunks were high up on the list of rabies carriers. Mom said the skunk had to go, immediately.

    When I opened the cage, Sweet Pea wandered around the yard a bit, probably not too anxious to leave the supply of good chow I was providing. Eventually he/she ambled off into the woods and never stopped back by to say hello.

    Good riding,
    desmobob

  12. #12
    darling no baka landstander's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    I come from a place where the nuts hunt the squirrels
    My Bikes
    Bike Friday New World Tourist, 2005 Trek 520, 2005 Raleigh Companion
    Posts
    437
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ncscott
    Since we are on the topic of usless knowledge of skunks... Does anybody know the only preditor of skunks (asside from cars)?
    IIRC, it's the Great Horned Owl (which has no sense of smell).
    Dragon... ATTACK!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •