As most who read this blog regularly know O Wise One traps every winter. He comes from a family of trappers and was taught by his grandfather. Even though fur garments have fell from favor here in the U.S. furs are still used in other countries to line coats and hats. For us it is just another way of supplementing our income here on the farm. It also helps to keep down the population of coon, possum, muskrat, coyote, bobcat and skunks. All of which seem particularly attracted to my chickens, guineas and turkeys. The muskrats damage the pond levees. Every year I fight the coons for the corn and trapping them seems to help keep the population down and increase the amount of corn I am actually able to harvest. There have been years when I got no corn at all. Keeping a large dog outside also helps to keep them from the garden and chicken houses. I have never been able to have a barn cat as the coyotes kill them everytime. If I did not keep the little dogs in the house at night they would kill them. So as you see living with the local wildlife can be quite a challenge some years.
This year O Wise One has been asked by several of the neighbors to trap their farms also as it seems the coons have been particularly thick this year and have hit peoples chicken houses and gardens hard. The other day O Wise One got into a bit of trouble though. It seems it was the day for skunks. I was talking on the phone to a friend when I heard him come in the back door into the laundry room. About two seconds later the smell hit me. Seems he had caught not one but three skunks and in the process of getting one out of the live trap had been sprayed. I immediately hung up the phone and started the washer so the clothes could go into it before it dried. O Wise One went into the shower armed with a concoction of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn. After several showers and a vinegar rinse the aroma was pretty well gone from his body. His clothing was on the second wash cycle with vinegar and baking soda. His boots were washed down with a peroxide and baking soda solution.
Then the phone started ringing. It was the neighbor offering tomato juice. Seems that O Wise One needed gas on the way home and stopped at the store in town to fill his tank. Skunk smell and all. The neighbor was beside himself laughing and said that when he went in everyone was holding their noses as the whole store... you guessed it... smelled of skunk.
The doors and windows could not be opened because the temperature outside was about 4 below.
Next problem was the truck. He had now gotten the smell on the seats and floor of the truck and when you opened the door it literally brought tears to your eyes. So the truck had to be taken to town to the car wash and the outside washed off then taken to my son- in-laws heated garage and the inside cleaned with peroxide, baking soda and Dawn solution.
For three days we fought skunk odor. The next day he went to the post office to buy stamps and took out his wallet to pay the postmaster. The money reeked of skunk. They would not even put it in the cash register.
Funny thing was that same day Baby O went to school that morning and seems a skunk had gotten caught in something at the school and the whole school smelled like skunks.
Well the odor has pretty well gone now except for the truck and that is a work in progress. I think this trapping season shall indeed be remembered as the year of the skunk.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter