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Skunks Invade Northland!

photo courtesy of lesmode/flickr

The snow is melting away, the days are getting longer, and it’s becoming warmer.  It’s spring!  Finally!  And with the spring arriving, so does the smell of skunk.  You must have noticed by now, I’ve seen 3 skunks already this year.  Why do they come out at spring?  And why are they always found dead on the road?  To answer these questions, I did some research today.  I was wondering if skunks actually hibernate over the winter.  Well the answer is no.  But they are relatively dormant through the coldest weeks.  Spring is the mating season, and that’s why you tend to see more skunks on the move.  Most baby skunks or “kits” are born in May.

Last night we saw a skunk strolling through our front yard.  We kinda freaked because we were outside.  I wasn’t sure how far a skunk could spray.  After doing some reading up today, I learned that skunks generally can’t spray more than 15 feet.  And if you are that far away from them, they can’t see you anyway.  Skunks can only see about 10 feet.  However they do have excellent smell and hearing, so they probably know you are there.  Female skunks tend to spray more often, usually to protect their babies.

Why do we always see dead skunks on the road?  It’s the vision factor.  They don’t see you coming, and by the time they hear you they are off to skunk heaven.  Skunks don’t live too long either.  The average life expectancy for a Pepe Le Pew is only 3 years.

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