OUR SKUNK HUNT
One morning as usual we went to visit our traps and to set some more traps, as it was the only morning it had frozen hard enough for the ice to hold us up. When we got to our traps we found a few muskrats (as this was mostly what we trapped for) in our traps. Then we went to set the traps. When we got to the house we found a trap with a muskrat in, which was not our trap and we knew someone was taking them out of our ponds. When we went to the other houses to set the traps we found, they had also been opened and we thought someone must have been spearing them, so we set a few traps and went home, sad at heart.
We skinned and stretched the rats we had and made up our mind to go for a skunk hunt once. That afternoon we took the spade, axe and rifle and went for the hunt. We walked about a while, when at last we came to an old ditch which ran along a tile line. We walked along this ditch a little ways, when we came to a place where there were paths through the grass. We followed them, when we came to a skunk den. The entrance of the hole was filled with old hay and rubbish. I tore this away and we got a wire and unraveled the ends for a little ways and then put this wire in the hole and began to twist and sure enough, there was a skunk hair on the wire. I had the rifle and I had never had any experience shooting skunks, so I refused to shoot them and handed my brother the rifle and I began to dig, when I saw one's tail appear. I kept on digging, when we could just about see his neck I took the wire again and twisted it in the hair on his neck and told George, my brother, to get the rifle ready and I began to pull, when suddenly his head began to appear above the others. George fired and hit him square in the head. He died without odor escaping.
Now for the rest of them. We got them all out with little odor, at least we thought so, except the last one, which had gone in a little deeper and we had some time getting him out. Once he tried to run out and I hit him with the spade and he went back into the hole and then we began to smell some strong odor. Well, at last we got him out, too, and there were in all six nice narrow striped skunks. You can imagine our joy then when we carried them home, although they were rather heavy to carry so far. But hardly noticed it. I would like to say this to the readers of Fur News, that the easiest way to get a skunk out is with a wire like this; twist this in their hair and then pull and they will come out without much trouble.
Franklin Co., Iowa.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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