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Skunk! I saw this black & white “kitty” walking in my backyard

By Gary Bogue
Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 7:40 am in My backyard, Skunks.

Let’s go hunt snails! Striped skunk in my backyard. Photo by Bogue, Benicia, Calif.

We were cooking dinner Sunday evening when my wife, Lois, looked out the sliding glass door in the kitchen and yelled, “Quick, bring the camera!”

It was the neighborhood skunk, wandering around our patio and looking up on the deck.

Striped skunk checking out my back deck. Photo by Bogue, Benicia, Calif.

We’ve been encountered this particular skunk in our backyard over the last 5 or 6 years. There’s a hole under the fence on the north side of the yard and another hole under the fence on the south side … and the skunk passes back and forth through our yard via these holes as it makes its nightly rounds through the neighborhood in search of snails, insects, small rodents and other good things to eat.

Several years ago I tried covering the holes but the skunk just dug them up again. It finally dawned on me that the skunk wasn’t really causing any problems, so why bother blocking its holes? So I stopped and we’ve been getting along just find ever since then.

Striped skunk in my patio, near a soapstone sculpture of a skunk I’m working on. Photo by Bogue, Benicia, Calif.

Sometimes we run into each other in the spring and summer when I’m out late watering the garden. “Hi, skunk,” I’ll say. “Hi, man,” he/she responds.

There’s never been even a “hint of mint” in the air when I encounter the skunk … but I don’t think I’d like to be around if a dog ran up and started barking. /Gary

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8 Responses to “Skunk! I saw this black & white “kitty” walking in my backyard”

  1. Joann Ludwig Says:

    We also had a skunk coming under the fence, but he was more sophisticated. He came on in the kitty door and walked to the kitchen and ate cat food. We tried blocking the hole under the fence to no avail. Then we put a wire fence about a foot high around the kitty door. Cats jumped right over. Skunk shook it back and forth, but didn’t climb over. No more indoor visits from the skunk.

  2. Gary Bogue Says:

    Proving once again that those chubby little skunks are NOT good climbers. /Gary

  3. Gayle Reece Says:

    We also have a skunk that is persistent about digging under our fence on both sides of the yard. My son blocked the holes many times but our skunk just digs around any obstacle. No harm, no foul, but I definitely lock the dog door every night and keep the dogs in after dark. Beautiful animals and not afraid of anything! Why should they be? Their defense is a sure thing every time! The PBS documentary said they have many dens throughout their range. My fig tree is one of many on his/her rotation.

  4. Barbara Says:

    (Now) it brings back fond memories of a panic attack I had while watering the flowers in back. I was concentrating on zip and just aiming the hose at the garden, when I noticed a little juvenile skunk standing about three feet away from me. The fight or flight reflex took hold. After weighing the pros and cons of the latter, and concluding that the speed of skunk spray would shoot per millisecond in comparison to my running, I considered my only option was to fight. So I sprayed the skunk. With the hose. (Now) it is absolutely precious to remember him wobbling back, shaking off the water, wobbling back, shaking off the water, during his return to the ground-to-fence base entry point. My gardener remedied the situation the next day…
    P.S.–Cute photos. (Blessed be the inventor of the macro lens.)

  5. Gary Says:

    Actually you had a third option: do nothing. Flight would have probably been OK, if done slowly. Do nothing also had good possibilities, because the skunk would have eventually just wandered off. I had one walk up and sniff my leg early one morning when I was wiping off my car window. I just stood there and it wandered off. But to fight is the biggest risk of all. Spraying the skunk with water could have startled it enough to make it spray. You’re very lucky it was just a confused little kid, or I’d be able to smell you from here. /Gary

  6. Barbara Says:

    Oh, I know I was lucky. This was a knee-jerk reaction to a first time encounter. A territorial Yorkie that I had wasn’t as lucky. The aftereffect of his encounter wafted through half of Martinez. (I don’t know which was worse–him or the refineries…) I’ve also learned not to keep garden hoses on “autopilot.” :)

  7. PeyTyn Says:

    It sounds funny but im 15 and im laying in my bed, my window is open and i looked out and seen a skunk. I was like OH MY GOSH! i went to my living room and looked out the bay window to get a better view. Its fat and has a huge white thing across its back and the rest is black. giving me the reason to call it a skunk. It sprayed earlier and it blew through my fan. It was nasty. I was nervous that it was going to climb up the side of my trailor and get inside my window, But then i figured out that they can’t climb. I really don’t think skunks are here to hurt people. they just want our trash. haha.

  8. Alex Says:

    A little late but…


    Skunks that move during the day are much more likely to have rabies which effects their normal nocturnal nature making them forage and roam during the day.

    Skunks that are seen you see only at night night are a little safer (as the rabies chances are less)

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