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Do skunks spray bicyclists?

Old 08-04-09, 04:13 PM
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Do skunks spray bicyclists?

I was riding home Sunday night and saw a small black blur running out of the headlight beam. I'm not sure if it was a skunk or not, but it made me glad it ran away instead of spraying me. I don't remember anyone mentioning being sprayed by a skunk either, have any of you?
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Old 08-04-09, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I was riding home Sunday night and saw a small black blur running out of the headlight beam. I'm not sure if it was a skunk or not, but it made me glad it ran away instead of spraying me. I don't remember anyone mentioning being sprayed by a skunk either, have any of you?
If you don't run over it, you'll probably have nothing to worry about. I have not been sprayed, but my daughter's dog hasn't seem to learn that this is not the type of cat that he should go chasing around.
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Old 08-04-09, 05:13 PM
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There is a story among the Manitoba Randonneurs of a rider on a 1000K who ran into a skunk in the middle of the night ............. it sprayed, and he rode behind the group for the rest of the way.
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Old 08-04-09, 05:36 PM
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I doubt a skunk would spray unless it felt cornered by the oncoming cyclist, which seems unlikely. That being said, I'm sure it's happened.

-spence
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Old 08-04-09, 06:13 PM
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I had one lock and load one morning on my commute in, but he never sprayed. It's all about whether they feel threatened. It's basically their "fight" mechanism if they feel like they have no options.

Have a co-worker that got nailed while jogging though. He's still trying to live that one down!
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Old 08-04-09, 06:21 PM
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Skunks will never spray cyclists. I highly suggest you corner it and yell at it. It will lead you to its magical treasure.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:58 PM
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I've sat down within a foot or two of a Skunk eating greens on my old "lawn." I used to live in a forest. As I approached slowly and spoke gently, Stinky would give me a glance and continued his/her meal. Never been sprayed.

Did you know their eyes light up like a cat's in bright-light at night? Cool!

Last edited by Panthers007; 08-04-09 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:04 PM
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If it was running fast enough to be a blur, it was probably a house cat not a skunk. Skunks might do a hurried walk, but they don't run from anything.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:09 PM
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Reminds me of a funny story (well,maybe not at the time) involving my youngest girl. She was seven yeears old and was running to catch the school bus one morning. A skunk was under the car and must have been scared. It sprayed her and she didn't even know it until she got on the bus and no one would sit with her. When she got to school the office called us and made her wait outside until my wife pickerdher up. She lived with that one that entire school year.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:14 PM
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skunks will most likely not spray anything that isn't attacking them or their kits.
i have had them on my porch and they are completely indifferent to me as long as i am not approaching them abruptly.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:18 PM
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5 AM on my ride to work last fall...got hit pretty good. Nailed me as he scampered away after crossing in front of me. My biggest mistake was walking into the work place not thinking about the smell that was about to fill the halls. Admittedly dumb move.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:20 PM
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I think it was on Mythbusters where they were testing skunk scent removal techniques, and had a lot of trouble getting a skunk to spray them.

I've been walking the dogs, and had them walk right up to a skunk in the semidark before I realized it. They smelt skunky, but I don't think they actually got sprayed.

I've never seen a skunk spray a car or anything unless it got hit.

I wouldn't worry about it, just ride on.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:50 PM
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Friend of mine and I found a sick skunk out on a lawn in broad daylight. It was semi-conscious. My friend walked right up and picked it up - curling the tail underneath the animal. We took it to a vet with the Audubon Society at a wildlife park. No one got sprayed.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
Friend of mine and I found a sick skunk out on a lawn in broad daylight. It was semi-conscious. My friend walked right up and picked it up - curling the tail underneath the animal. We took it to a vet with the Audubon Society at a wildlife park. No one got sprayed.
That was brave considering rabies and all.
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Old 08-04-09, 10:04 PM
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I had several skunks lock and load on me as well, but no volleys thrown. I even had one charge at me, first it stamped it's front feet, then came at me sideways, and I wasn't able to determine what it did next since I wasn't going to stick around and find out.
Plus, I was sitting in my yard one afternoon, and out of the corner of my eye I spotted what I thought was the neighbor's cat, only to have Pepe pass within 3 ft of me, fortunately without incident.
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Old 08-05-09, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
If it was running fast enough to be a blur, it was probably a house cat not a skunk. Skunks might do a hurried walk, but they don't run from anything.
+1

I have worried about skunks on the pathways, it was one reason for upgrading my lights. Never seen one on the paths, but have near missed ( twice ) a porcupine!
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Old 08-05-09, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
+1

I have worried about skunks on the pathways, it was one reason for upgrading my lights. Never seen one on the paths, but have near missed ( twice ) a porcupine!
I had some pretty decent lighting on my encounter mentioned earlier. Pushing 1000 lumens actually. Didn't help.
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Old 08-05-09, 07:03 AM
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i dont know if a skunk could hit a moving cyclist. They're not ninjas.
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Old 08-05-09, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by clancy98 View Post
i dont know if a skunk could hit a moving cyclist. They're not ninjas.
Given the right cir***stances, like startling one, and you will get sprayed. No they won't chase you down but they don't have to be close to hit you.

I might also mention that he sprayed me as he was running.
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Old 08-05-09, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
If it was running fast enough to be a blur, it was probably a house cat not a skunk. Skunks might do a hurried walk, but they don't run from anything.
At first I thought it was my little black cat, but between it running so fast and my pedaling I didn't really get a good look at it. I'm fine with that too!
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Old 08-05-09, 08:15 AM
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I encountered a skunk in my neighborhood at night and was nearly sprayed. I climbed a big hill and the critter cut right in front of me across the street, and pointed it's backside to me. It's tail seemed to raise like a power antenna. I promptly went back down that hill.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:45 AM
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I've had one lock and load on me as well, but not fire. I was walking down the sidewalk early one morning and I startled it. I've never backpedaled so fast in my life.

The local coyote and fisher population has put a dent in the number of skunks found in this area, I hardily even see them anymore.

I ran into a fisher one night while trail riding in the woods. Scared the be-jesus out of me. That fisher wasn't backing down at all. I wound up having to backtrack because the fisher was blocking the path howling and screeching at me with it's teeth bared.

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Old 08-05-09, 08:51 AM
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One came through some tall grass on the side of the trail right in front of me .There was no time to really do anything so I ran straight over him.My front tire rolled him over for my back tire to roll him again.It happened pretty quick ,when i turned around he was still rolling and I could see him spraying for all he was worth (wew).I did not go back to see if it was alright(duh).Even though it was all behind me the smell was unbelievable,it was so strong it took a while to get the smell out of your nose.He may have bought it, when they die (espeicially under duress)they empty their reserves(never shoot one in your yard!)
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Old 08-05-09, 09:21 AM
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My neighbor was out of town, leaving her sister to watch the house. The house-cat had escaped into the nighttime outdoors. And she knocked on my door. As president of the condo association, another hat I wear is Cat-Wrangler. So off we set.

There in the parking-lot across from the firehouse was a set of eyes that lit up under my flashlight. "A Cat!" she exclaimed and ran up to...an ENORMOUS Skunk. It was a 'Goldie-Tail' which rarely let loose unless you step on them. Good thing, too. "I thought it was a Cat!" she exclaimed. I was getting a bit perturbed with this sister of neighbor. So I asked her - "Do you think she'd notice if I put the Skunk in her house instead?"

She later managed to light the TV set on fire. A firefighter walked out of the house holding a smoldering Magnavox. I wished I had my camera! "Look! It's A MAGNAVOX! Get One Today!"
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Old 08-05-09, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bikegeekmn View Post
He may have bought it, when they die (espeicially under duress)they empty their reserves(never shoot one in your yard!)
When my sister and her ex-husband first seperated, I loaned her my german shepard, since she was alone in the house with three young children. She set up her garage as a kennel area for the dog. At some point, she left her garage door open and unbeknownst to my sister a skunk had wandered into the garage and had hidden behind a cabinet.

They were woken up in the middle of the night by the sounds of a battle royale going on in the garage. When my sister went to check out was happening, she found a dead skunk, and my dog standing and panting with a very proud look on her face.

Of course the skunk sprayed the dog inside the closed garage. The house stunk a little bit, but you couldn't even approach my dog with out gasping for air. It took about sixth baths with Scope mouthwash to get the odor out of her fur and at that point she still smelled like a mixture of mint and musk. And she kept trying to drink the scope when ever I gave her a bath, which at least did something about the dog breath.
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