A VERY close call with a skunk proves my previous theories!


I just had THE CLOSEST call with a skunk EVER!!! I’ve gotten a little lackadaisical in my precautionary tactics in dealing with skunks, since I have to date, caught and released 5 skunks since the 2nd of October. I caught a skunk last night in an un-baited trap. It was the trap I had set in tight quarters a couple of nights ago. I figured if I was going to get sprayed, it would be by this skunk.

Ordinarily, I use a blanket that is thick, and at least 6 foot square. I take my time, and walk up very slowly to the trap. If the skunk gets too nervous I stop. That was getting VERY tiresome!

So today, I grabbed a damp ragged old towel, and walked right up to the trap with the only the towel between me and the skunk, and then I just dropped the towel.  What was normally a three to five minute task, including baby talk to a skunk, took less than a minute.   The space was so limited, I just didn’t have time to spread my arms out, and peek around a cumbersome blanket, so I just went for it, you could say!

I bent down to pick up the trap, and almost threw up from the stench. The skunk had sprayed. I thought I was done for. I went up to the road, and had Jen check me out. But my prayer was answered! I had not been sprayed!

After releasing the skunk a few miles from home, I laid out the towel so I could get a picture to show how little protection I had really gotten, and was AMAZED at what I saw!


That green stain is the oil released from a frightened skunk’s scent glands! That is a 6 foot bath towel. My face was directly on the other side of that stain, as I stand 6 feet even!

There was a green/brown stain where the spray had hit the towel! Proving my theory that a cloth held between you and the skunk WILL IN FACT take the brunt of the stink should you get too close to a frightened skunk.






Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.