Polecat problem

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Looking for suggestions for what is a new problem in my 5-6 years of targeting coyotes in my very far No. GA woods. This is the first year I have caught skunks, and now for the 4th time in 3 days that is exactly what has happened. I generally use either a dirthole or post set with a chunk of beaver meat, sprinkle of 'yote urine, and Gorman's coyote gland lure, and sometimes a dab of commercial bait. I am not complaining about the two 'yotes I caught in the last week, but to have twice as many skunks in that same time is getting a little tedious. Questions are---is this week a particular time to best catch polecats? (something I would very much like not to do), is there something to change on my sets?, is there a best way to handle the trapped skunk? (so far, in attempting to shotgun the rascals in the spine, two of the 4 have sprayed).
I am open to any and all help.
 
They are in the rut. I see and smell a lot of dead ones on the road this time of year since they are on the move. Seems like you bait and lures are fine for coyotes. They best way to dispatch a skunk is with a .22 hollow point behind the shoulder. If you shoot in the head they will always spray.
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
From now until mid-March, skunks will be running everywhere.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
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I saw two dead on the road yesterday. One in Dougherty and one in Decatur County. First polecats I`ve seen since 2010. When I was a youngun they were common.
 
I saw two dead on the road yesterday. One in Dougherty and one in Decatur County. First polecats I`ve seen since 2010. When I was a youngun they were common.
I use to catch a lot of them when I trapped in the 70s and early 80s when pelt prices were up. When the coyotes moved in they all but disappeared. Could be the yotes now have enough deer and turkeys to prey on that they leave the skunks alone. I too am now beginning to see them again. When I caught one I would soak the trap in a creek for a week to remove the awful smell before resetting the trap in a different spot from the place I caught the skunk.
 

Nicodemus

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I use to catch a lot of them when I trapped in the 70s and early 80s when pelt prices were up. When the coyotes moved in they all but disappeared. Could be the yotes now have enough deer and turkeys to prey on that they leave the skunks alone. I too am now beginning to see them again. When I caught one I would soak the trap in a creek for a week to remove the awful smell before resetting the trap in a different spot from the place I caught the skunk.

I don`t think they mess with em, myself. I know great horned owls prey on them, and possibly barred owls as well.
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
I saw two dead on the road yesterday. One in Dougherty and one in Decatur County. First polecats I`ve seen since 2010. When I was a youngun they were common.
I have seen about a dozen dead on the road here in the last week. And piled on the brakes about half a dozen times to keep from adding to it.
 
I don`t think they mess with em, myself. I know great horned owls prey on them, and possibly barred owls as well.
Nic I agree with you about the owls preying on them but strange how skunks went amiss when the yotes became numerous and back when I was trapping the yotes I caught stunk a lot like a skunk. They still stink a lot. I am not saying the yotes are the reason skunks went away because it could be disease, parasites or many other things. Maybe just a coincidence the population of skunks went down as the population of yotes when up, maybe not. There is no doubt Yotes for sure have had a lot of impact on native wildlife.
 
LOTS of Skunks this year around Hancock County, , We have caught three in traps in about a month, We try to shoot them in the head with a .22 then let the buzzards or whatever get rid of them, about a week later there will just be a lil fur and the foot left, after I shot one I went by the trap a couple hours later and saw a big Red tailed hawk was eating on him, I guess the smell doesn't bother Raptors as much.??
 

Milkman

Retired Moderator
Lots of skunk in my vicinity. Have seen at least a dozen dead since their rut kicked in
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Staff member
LOTS of Skunks this year around Hancock County, , We have caught three in traps in about a month, We try to shoot them in the head with a .22 then let the buzzards or whatever get rid of them, about a week later there will just be a lil fur and the foot left, after I shot one I went by the trap a couple hours later and saw a big Red tailed hawk was eating on him, I guess the smell doesn't bother Raptors as much.??

Only birds I know of with a sense of smell are buzzards.
 
From what I read the two vultures/ Buzzards we have in Ga., the Turkey vulture has the nose and the black Buzzard has little but mostly uses vision or Turkey buzzards to find their food.
 
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