At my desk, with my second cup of coffee, and I am thrilled to be having it with all of you. I have so much to tell you, I'm not sure where to start. I am sure some of you are a little lost about what's been happening in my world. Especially if you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Feel free to click the links below and join the group if you like.
If you've checked the blog lately, then you know we have been back in The World of Trapping. Can I just say, I love my chickens? I do not love the endless string of critters they attract. Whether it's snakes in my nesting boxes, or possums looking for a chicken dinner, or skunks looking for whatever skunks look for, They wear me out! I spent a lot of time one summer trapping possums that had taken up residence in my horse hay, also housed in the same barn as my chickens. This event was not pleasant, and was one I never wanted to repeat. I devised a plan to stop the onslaught of critters digging under the wall of my barn and moving their families into a nice new home. I blogged about the beginning of said project years ago. If you missed it, you can catch up here...
How to Vermin Proof a Pole Barn
It was not fun. It took a long time. It was a lot of work, but I managed to get the entire area surrounding my hay storage sealed off. I buried wire around the whole stinkin' thing. I also did the same thing around the section of my chicken barn that houses all the baby chicks. Vermin love the baby chicks. They are easy prey. I have since tabled the rest of the project around the rest of the chicken coup. It hasn't been necessary, and I don't do anything that isn't necessary.
Fast Forward to present times...
I went to put my horse up the other night and close the chicken barn. There was a skunk roaming around in there with the big chickens. It was late and I was tired. I took a different approach this time. I simply stood in the door way and yelled at the skunk.
"You are not welcome here!"
"Now get out!"
I went and put my horse up, and then came back to close the chicken barn. The skunk was gone. I was very pleased.
A couple of nights later, the same scenario played out again. I took the same action. It worked again. Then I came out and found this...
MY HAY IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS WALL!
I put up 170 bales of hay this summer. I have made a nice dent in it. The last thing I want is a skunk or something else living in there. You can clearly see the wire that I spent so much time burying. This discovery really made me mad. This is something that will stop all other projects and get my full attention.
THIS WAS WAR!
I set my live trap that very night. I baited it with a can of Fancy Feast and went to bed.
This is what I discovered the very next day. While pleased with my catch, this is not the skunk I had seen on previous nights! The skunk I had seen was your usual black and white variety. Clearly, this thing is not black and white.
After having a conversation with the Blue Dog Bee Lady down the road, she agreed to come help me relocate this guy. I don't know what to say? She loves me? She's a glutton for punishment? She's a little crazy? Just like me? However, I love her for her bravery!
We met for lunch, you know, because it may be our last meal. I paid, you know, to ease my guilt in case I get her sprayed by a skunk on our adventure. Then, we came back to the house and went about loading this little guy up. It was a little stinkier than I've experienced before, but we walked away scent free. We did move it to a nice location, free from homes, barns, etc. While this was awesome, and a bonding experience between friends, the war was not over.
I set another trap, and caught another skunk on the other end of the barn.
This one, black and white!
For some reason, I don't have any pictures of the latest catch. I did call my faithful friend, and in true friend fashion, she was up for another round of Catch and Release! We did let this one sit in the trap for an extra day before releasing it. We came to an agreement that this is the better plan. No stinking this time. We took the last one to the same location and released it as well.
Could this be the end of this adventure?
I went to the barn yesterday morning and found a new hole dug under the chicken coup wall.
I set two traps last night. I was certain I would trap my cat because he was very interested in what I was doing. I tried to catch him several times, but he was on the move. I left to make a grocery store run, thinking I would check the traps before bed and free my cat if he was locked in one of them. Also, hoping to teach him a lesson in the process.
I pulled in the driveway, opened the door and my first welcome home was Eau de Skunk! My next welcome home, Kid came running around the corner wanting inside the house. I was relieved to find out he wasn't locked in a trap with a skunk, but concerned because there would be no break in the action on my trapping adventure.
I went to the barn this morning. Something ate the Fancy Feast in one trap and tripped it, but managed to escape. The second trap still had Fancy Feast, but it also had been tripped and was empty as well.
Apparently, the skunks are now in War Mode as well. They have upped their game. It's now my turn to counter.