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Hand To Gland Combat - The Skunk's Revenge
By David L. Falconer

Sometimes you wish the end of the story was something that just fades away, becoming a non-issue that never resurfaces. Such was my hopes for my skunk problem of a few days ago. Alas, it was not to be.

After three nights and one near miss, that odious varmint that sought refuge under my house appeared to have vacated for less dangerous climes. I could not have been happier as I dismantled the brilliantly engineered skunk chute (It was never a skunk funnel as my wife claimed!), stowing the parts back in my storage building. Up went the flashing across the bottom of the house vent and finally the vent panel itself. End of story, right?

Hmm, no.

When I bought my home back in 1990, I had four towering Hackberries to the east of my house and three statuesque grand Pecans on the north side. These trees added a cool shade and quite comfortable air to the entire piece of property. The pecans still stand, elder giants reaching for the sky. The hackberries, on the other hand, took turns seeing which one could fall on my house! They met their demise in ice storms, cracking near the base where the inherently soft-hearted hardwoods tumbled straight for my home, just missing it with an angled shot or not quite being able to reach the house with enough of its weight to actually break something.

One of them even split in half and just the side toward my house fell and while it touched the siding, it did no real damage. Hackberries have the will for mischief, but just not the stomach to actually go through with a real house smashing thank goodness.

The last full tree fell in October prior to muzzleloader season. Like a good husband I assured my wife I would work over that tree posthaste, just as soon as deer season was over. All of the seasons. So here I am in March, a few days after the last day of deer season, cutting up this gargantuan hackberry that seemed to only be a few steps away from being the size of a red wood along the coast of California.

A brush pile in my backyard waited to be burned and I had started pulling brush to the pile when I noticed a pair of dark beady eyes peering at me from within the brush. Malignant eyes, full of feral hatred and harboring recent memories of being evicted stared at me. If they had been human, they would have been criminal.

I froze listening to the pat-pat-pat of his back foot, knowing from the lessons taught to me by my grandfathers that he was within seconds of spraying whatever threatened him! I stood motionless; the patting getting faster and faster until I realized it wasn’t his foot stamping the ground. It was the blood in my ears as my heart raced at this closeness to such a vile creature as this skunk. Seeking a large chunk of wood I tossed it on the wood pile screaming and running away from the pile in an attempt to educate the skunk in the actions I wished it to take!!

He did not move and I swear he actually backed up!

Determined to roust this skunk I threw a large chunk of tree trunk above him and in his best Bruce Willis rendition, the skunk exploded from his hiding place. Pieces of wood sailed everywhere.

Strictly in the competitive nature of the challenge I foot raced this skunk across the back yard, me peeling to the left and heading around the house, the skunk peeling to the right and running right under my storage building. Yep, the same storage building on a peer and beam foundation, small cracks in the hard wood and housing the very traps, bait and steel chute pieces I used against him before.

I noticed my neighbor sitting in his yard propped against a tree laughing so hard he could not stand. He has no appreciation for my respect for wildlife.

He did not understand this lesson learned, but I am sure many of you will.

1) The speed of a charging skunk is directly relative to how close you are too him.

2) A high pitched yell (some say scream) emitted just prior to leaving your starting gate is ineffective in slowing down your opponent.

3) Skunks are not slow-witted ambling creatures, but vicious animals, fleet of foot and devious in their abilities to plot mayhem in your yard.

4) Throwing whatever you have in your hands (jettisoning all baggage) may not slow your opponents charge, but it does reduce wind friction as you build up speed.

5) Don't battle a skunk in your back yard with a witness just across the street.

I am not sure what I am going to do now, but I think I may go buy a can of sardines and entice my friend Donnie into going in the storage building to get that trap. Every man has his price!

About The Author: David is an avid outdoorsmen who grew up in eastern Oklahoma. He has hunted, trapped and fished his entire life. David also has a love of writing and has written two novels, The Realm Of The Wolf and The Realm Of The Wolf 2: Law Of The Wolf. David and his wife Sheila live in northeast Texas only a couple of hours drive from his hometown and his ranch. He has a daughter that is attending college.

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