The mention of skunk oil in the last blog caused me to have a twinge of shame. Early in my career I received a call to remove a skunk from a leg hold trap. The caller was using a leg hold trap to catch his neighbor’s cats. He caught a skunk instead.
Most cities or counties have animal control ordinance that prohibit leg hold traps. It is pretty callous to put such a trap where children and pets can be harmed; to be honest, I don’t think much of them being used in the wild either. I only have mixed feeling about them with rodents. When I got the call, I was pretty angry. I was so full of self righteousness that I wanted to teach this person a lesson.
I discovered that I could get the skunk to spray towards me six times. For this, I admit my shame. For months, maybe six or eight, I would drive through that neighborhood and smell the results of my actions. Although I was new in my career and didn’t know what I was doing, a half of squirt would have been more than effective in sending my message. Of course the caller just assumed that the smell was associate with the act of removing a skunk from a leg hold trap… which, it was. He was just happy that he had someone else to call to clean up his mess.
I fear that the rest of the neighbors were collateral damage. They never came to know that their cats were being trapped, but they had to suffer the consequences of my actions. Even releasing the skunk into the wild gave me no comfort. I carry that shame. However, I was never called to that house again.
I guess it would be appropriate for me to now have a tutorial as to how to remove a skunk from a leg hold trap. But, in life, some things are best learned by doing. Just one word of advice, don’t step in any area in which the skunk sprays.