We all know this is my nemesis ... my Moby Dick ... the creator of chaos in my back yard ever since April and maybe longer. Big? Oh yes ... MAMMOTH I would say, something skin to the dinosaur age.
When I went outside and saw the trap was sprung, with no accompanying noise, I was sure I had missed the mark again. Surely this is the big orange kitty cat. I snagged the game camera for a look see.
This time I had decided not to take any chances and completely wrapped the cage, even the back end viewing section. The camera was my only witness.
Well well well little kitty kitty. Take a look and see what I found. It has taken me awhile to figure out why the camera isn't capturing everything. It works off of movement. The problem comes when black is against the black of night ... it doesn't see it.
OMG OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! Look closely .... unfortunately the video is set for only 20 seconds with a 5 second delay before it tapes again. I missed the MAGIC MOMENT when the trap slammed SHUT, but that's okay!
Of course my first move was to call my BEST FRIEND for a little help. No answer. He probably KNEW what had occurred. The problem was he still had my safety blanket in his truck. I scrounged around the garage and came up with a very old sleeping bag. THIS will work just fine.
I ever so gently tried to pick up the cage to instantly hear tap dancing inside. They stomp their feet before they spray. Oh my goodness it's HEAVY!!! I took a deep breath and slipped the black garbage bag over the door end in preparation for the odoriferous moment. Nothing happened. I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief as I walked the tight wire back to my truck.
Good Heavens ... this thing weighs a TON!! It took everything I had to lift it almost four feet onto the tailgate. I held my breath and my nose, just in case. Nothing ... whew!! Quiet as a mouse, I wrapped her up in the sleeping bag. Night night!!
The drive to Skunkville was slow and some idiot honked at me. That made me jump!! We rested after I arrived, hoping to settle any nerves, mostly MINE! At last I slid the trap to the edge and lifted with all my might. She ran to the back end, her weight slamming the trap onto the tailgate, whereupon I almost dropped her. YIKES!!!
Talk about frayed nerves!! She moved back and forth, making the cage tip one way, then another. I put her down as quickly as possible and RAN. Seriously, I needed to catch my breath after all that!!
I let her sit quietly while I contemplated the "opening". I hoped to do it much faster than last time. There would be no opening of the rear panel because I knew she wasn't going anywhere. They think they are safe in a culvert and won't go out until dark. That's called honing my skills.
Finally I screwed up my big girl pants, took a big deep breath and quietly tiptoed up to the side. There was no movement. I unlatched the door and reached down for the catch to snap on and hold the door open. PLEASE DON'T SPRAY ME!!!
When the latch made a loud snap, I ran like a crazy woman to my truck, jumped inside and slammed the door!!! On this occasion, NOTHING was a GOOD thing. There was no movement at all. Whoa Nelly ... thank you for small favors. I drove off and left her to contemplate her new surroundings.
This morning I'll go back and retrieve the cage. Am I setting it up again? YOU BETCHA!!! I'm on a roll and not taking ANY chances. I think I've found my new calling. I bet I can get $100 for every skunk I remove.
Since I never saw the route the skunk took to get to the trap, I walked the back fence line. Just to show you how persistent they are, this girl dug underneath the fence, then underneath a chain link fence panel for over 12 inches. When she didn't get out in the yard, she turned 90 degrees and dug another 15 inches and moved a huge piece of concrete to come out from under the panel. Good thing I'm more stubborn than they are!!
I seriously hope this is the end of the saga, but I have that sinking feeling it is not. I've seen not two but THREE skunks in the past, roaming the neighborhood together. There may be one more!!