It started like a normal Sunday morning; Ben started throwing up last night, so we were figuring out who was going to go and fulfill nursery duty and who was going to stay home and take care of Ben. (Someone throwing up has been our recent Sunday normal!) At first, I was going, but an errand arose that required JD after church, so it was decided that he and Moriah would do nursery duty and I would stay home with Ben and Julia. We were getting everyone ready for church when James came in from doing animal chores and we all noticed the distinct aroma of SKUNK. We looked outside only to see our two dogs darting in and out of the woods, obviously entertaining a skunk. I thought, great, we'll now have a skunk smelling dog to deal with later; but we continued with our church ready ritual.
JD left with the kids for church and I busied myself with the 20 things that needed to be done, not even considering the skunk, until I walked by the living room window to view our dog, Reagan, being chased by this skunk. Ben and I stood there and watched as Reagan ran circles to get away from the skunk and the skunk continued in hot pursuit. At one point, they took an entire lap around the barn and the skunk wasn't stopping. I went to the mud room door and called Reagan in; as she ran in, the skunk started spraying the house.
I went to the phone and called Animal Control, not open. I called the alternative number, they referred me to the Game Warden. The Game Warden told me that skunks are not an animal they take care of, but if it is aggressive, it may have rabies and needs to be shot before it bites an animal or person. I immediately call JD, but his phone is turned off because he's in the church nursery. I try to call our only neighbor, but am unable to locate his new cell number. I can't think of anyone to call that isn't at church on Sunday morning. Then the reality of the situation hits me; I am going to have to shoot the skunk myself! I have never shot anything other than a paper target fox THAT DIDN'T MOVE! I go to the gun safe and can't even remember the combination. During my struggle with the safe, JD calls me and he walks me through opening the safe. I take the gun and set out in my purple pajama pants and t-shirt, leaving sick Ben in charge of Julia.
I honestly figured that I was so slow in deciding what to do, that the skunk would have disappeared into the hundreds of acres of woods surrounding us. But, NO, he strolls out of the barn and looks like he'll be happy to chase me around the front yard. Now, you may think that I could just shoot him and the story is over, but that is definitely not the way it played out! First of all, the goats and other dog all came running from the backyard, where they literally had been standing in a little group behind the burn pile avoiding the skunk. I locked up the goats afraid that I'd accidentally shoot one of them in my way. I then walked down the driveway a bit, with the skunk following me, because I didn't want to shoot him right in front of Ben, who was plastered to the living room window watching the drama.
The other thing you need to understand is that I really love animals and the idea of shooting anything, even a rabid skunk, required me to keep talking myself into the fact that I had to do it - to protect my children and pets! Once down the driveway, I didn't want to be too close to the skunk, but I don't have good aim either, plus there were trees, fencing, etc, that made my aim more complicated. I shut my eyes and fired; I realized shutting my eyes wasn't going to work, because the skunk was unharmed. I aim and shoot FOUR more times, and the skunk decides he better head into the woods a bit, before I actually get lucky. I am now chasing the skunk through the woods. At one point, he turned and started chasing me; I turned, ran, slipped in the mud, my shoe came off, and I was standing bare foot in mud. I stuffed my shoe back on and and kept going. Our little hunting session in the woods ended when I was sure I lost him and headed back home via the driveway. I heard a car on the road at one point and considered waiting to see if it was someone that could actually aim a gun; but considering that I am wearing mud covered pajamas, I didn't think I looked credible enough to ask anyone for help. I returned home, after losing the skunk in the woods, and guess who was standing back in the front yard, right back where it all began?
I realize at this point that I need to be tough and just shoot the skunk at close range. I aim, fire and actually hit the skunk. But, he isn't dead, just hurt, and I can't stand the thought of leaving him suffering; so I run into the house to reload. This involves calling JD again to ask what bullets to use; at least at this point he is leaving his phone on for me. I told him that I shot it, but I need to shoot it again. He tells me that the gun has six bullets; I explain to him that I know, the 6th bullet was my first hit! I reload and head back out, the skunk is still alive. It took me four more shots to hit it again, since I couldn't stand the thought of getting too close
So, it is finished; well, it's still laying by the driveway waiting for JD to come home! It only took me 10 bullets and about 45 minutes to kill a skunk! I kept reminding myself on my hunt that this farm life was my idea, but sometimes I know that I'm in over my head! It would have been so simple if I had been the one who went to church!
Here's Reagan trying to get in the mud room while the skunk was after her.So if you get tired of the smell of Christmas baking and are looking for something different; you are welcome to come over to the smell at our house - Christmas skunk! The game warden told me that vanilla extract is the best thing to remove skunk smell; does vanilla come in gallon bottles?