In November a opossum broke into the hen house and killed a hen. So, we reinforced the suspected place of entry and set some live traps to catch any potential chicken assailants. We loaded the traps with cat food and waited. A couple days went by and nothing appeared in the traps. I had almost forgotten about the traps, until the morning we caught a skunk. The skunk is what we call a "non-target animal". The skunk just wanted some cat food, and was not our chicken murderer.
I called Jason. "We trapped a skunk! What should I do?"
Jason: "I'll take care of it when I get home."
The skunk spent the day in the cage. Have you ever seen a skunk close up? They have a sweet little face. I felt bad for the poor thing. I had no idea how to get her out without getting sprayed, though. When Jason came home he made it clear that by "take care of it" he meant shoot it. I would not let that happen. Jason insisted that I free the thing since I don't have a "real job" and it doesn't matter if I am stinky. Jason gave me a tutorial on how to unlatch the cage about fifteen times, but I still didn't get it.
I put on a raincoat. I don't know why, but that seemed the most appropriate thing to wear when doing a late night skunk rescue. The flashlight was out of batteries. Crap. I had to use a wind-up flashlight, which makes a loud noise every time you wind it. A waeee-waeeee-waeeee noise every thirty seconds is not good when you are trying to not startle an animal. I went out to the cage, and attempted to throw a sheet over the cage. I missed. The skunk sprayed because I scared her. Foul number one. I went back inside and told Jason that he had to do it. He went to get his gun, and I went back outside. I stared at the cage and talked to her for about twenty minutes, before I got the nerve to just unlatch the cage. I couldn't unlatch it, took too long, she sprayed again. Foul number two. I stood back again and thought long and hard about the trap tutorials Jason had given me and looked at the cage. I had to wedge a stick in the door once I got it open so she could get out. I leaned down, pulled back the door and shoved the stick in, and then ran.
I came inside. "I did it! I did it!"
Jason: "Oh my god, you stink! Take those clothes off."
I had been downwind of the spray, and was smelling pretty foul. I didn't care, though. My little skunk was free. She probably got run over the next day, but I like to think she is enjoying a long life in the wilderness.