.22lr & possum-one shot kill,what works?


Tropical Z
March 28, 2003, 10:24 AM
I need techniques and what ammo has worked for you.I most likely will be using a Remington 597.What have YOU found to be the quietest and most effective ammo out there? I normally use Remington golden bullet HP's in all of my .22lr's.I ask,as i soon will be moving from non-possum country to possum country and have never dealt with these vicious beasts.I may have a city house but then again i may not.What REALLY works?

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Matt G
March 28, 2003, 10:39 AM
Longest barreled .22 you have, with CCI Mini Mags. They're not the fastest load out there, but they shoot a FULL-weight bullet, with extra oomph. One to the head does fine. Consider: 3 shots with a CB cap sound more like gunfire than a single shot from a full Long Rifle.

I'm moving this to Hunting Forum.

March 28, 2003, 10:40 AM
Any 22lr hollow point will probably do. The important thing is shot placement. I've been having some trouble with an arnadillo myself.
My entire yard is dug up and full of holes. I've seen him once early in the morning. I'm going to have to use night tactics on him I think. I feel like Bill Murray in Caddy Shack going after the gopher.

March 28, 2003, 10:42 AM
Win 40.gr Powerpoint, is what I use for rimfire critter control.

Word is ahem- CCI CB longs are quiet. Word is a fellow had bushy tails falling from trees around his garden...coincidence? Not sure that bigger critters would 'fall' as easy.;)

Carlos Cabeza
March 28, 2003, 10:43 AM
Vicious ? They don't bother no one. Only if they are around the dogs or kids (around your house) should you be concerned. They are nasty and could carry diseases, but otherwise harmless unless you mess with it. A .22 will take care of the job, but be careful if your shooting around homesites. (you mentioned quiet).

March 28, 2003, 10:45 AM
My recommendation is.....DO NOT USE A 22 ON A POSSUM !!!

I speak from experience. Trust me here. It is cruel and horrifying to watch. It can take 10 shots or more to kill one even with potent rounds such as CCI Stingers.
The only way to drop one in one shot it to hit it square in the brain and even that usually takes 2 or 3 shots. They make the most horrible screm when they are suffering and it will really bother you if you have any compassion at all for animals.

Rodents like possum and armadillos are tougher than you might think. There's no need to be cruel on that level.

Use a 223 and they die in the blink of an eye. If you can't use enough gun then don't shoot.

Also, a hollowpoint won't help. They won't expand much in such a small target. I've even tried Quickshock fragmenting 22 and it didn't work either.

There are lots of options for you. You can buy stuff to sprinkle on your yard that will keep them away. Don't leave tasty garbage where they can get to it.

Believe me when I tell you that killing a few here and there will make no differance in the population. You won't be helping as much as you think by shooting them.

They won't really hurt you if you don't confront them. We have them here and it's not a big deal although they do scare the crap out of my wife sometimes at night. :)

March 28, 2003, 11:00 AM
I agree with Bonker. We had one in our garage once in Ohio and dad shot it in the neck (missed the bobbing head) with a 45acp and it went into a frenzy like. They are very tenacious and are not to be toyed with. Shot quite a few in Ohio with .22's and I dont remember any one shot kills.


charlie d
March 28, 2003, 01:19 PM
I had one of those ugly suckers show up on my back deck one night.
Here's what I did to it.


March 28, 2003, 01:27 PM
A .17 hmr within 100 yrds aught to do the job.....

The Pig

March 28, 2003, 02:14 PM
a .22 on a possum is just fine. they do indeed carry diseases and we've had a few kill our cats and mangle others. at the very least ,if the tangle with your pets, your pals will end up with infected bite marks. i have killed them in one shot with regular old round nose lead stuff. one shot behind the shoulder just like you would on a deer.

a .223 might be a little much for a house with neighbors within earshot. if you want more gun, consider something like the Kel-Tec Sub 2000 9mm carbine. should be good for 50-75 yards at least. or if you live in a state that allow suppressors, there are a few internally supressed pistol caliber carbines out there.


March 28, 2003, 02:15 PM
Never shot one with a 22lr. Winchester Supreme 22 magnums seem to work.

My favorite game bullet for the long rifle is the sadly defunct CCI SGB (Small Game Bullet). Heavy 60 Gr bullet doesn't seem to expand a whole lot but penetrates pretty well.

Funny, but I don't think I've ever even tried to take game with a Stinger or Yellow Jacket.

March 28, 2003, 04:06 PM
I think that a plain old possum is the "terminator" of the animal world. They seem to be able to withstand terrific amounts of abuse. Someone hit one with a car outside my old workplace one night(I worked out in the country) and I went out to see what I could do to help it. It was sitting in the middle of the road, with a good-sized puddle of blood around it. At least 2 legs badly broken, back looked broken, and it had a HUGE wound in its side. It saw me and hissed very loudly. Even tried to take a step towards me. It would almost pass out and slump over, but would gather its strength and get back up... time and time again. I didnt have a pistol that night, so I had no easy way to end its misery. I stayed with the possum about 30 minutes until a big 4x4 approached. After flagging him down and talking about what to do, we figured the best thing to do would be for him to back up a ways(1/4 mile) and run the poor beast over. He hit the possum very hard but had to do it twice to kill it. Thats one tough animal and it was pissed and defiant right to the very end. One of the reasons that I now carry a pistol all the time is so I can quickly help an animal end its suffering.

Michael in Sandy, OR

Double Maduro
March 28, 2003, 04:20 PM
If you think that you might move to the country and need some 'possum control, keep in mind that there are many more 'possums that live in the city than the country. There is a lot more food for them in the city.

The 'possum has more teeth than any other land animal and they know how to use them.

Yes they on occasion do play possum, that's is usually to make you think they are dead so they can get you when you get up close to look.

They taste really good if you roast them nice and slow.

March 28, 2003, 04:27 PM
Both the possums and skunks in my neck of the woods will usually take more than 1 hit to stop them. A single hit and they will take off. I still use .22 because they are cheap and won't travel as far as other calibres. I really don't like shooting at night (that's when those critters show up) so a small calibre is what I prefer.
BTW, I actually will start out with .22 birdshot. I figure I will give the critters a 1st chance. If they show up again, then I give them the full and final treatment.

March 28, 2003, 05:02 PM
"Rodents like possum and armadillos are tougher than you might think. There's no need to be cruel on that level."

No need to call'em rodents on that level either, as they aren't.

Any regular solid 22 LR. Look up a skeleton of one on the net to get an idea of where to place the bullet. They may be tough but I've seen several shot pretty much stone dead with head shots.

Pepper spray might be a better and quieter thing to try first. Don't just puff it at em....pour it on. They can move faster than you think.

a picture, no less


March 28, 2003, 06:08 PM
Anything in a .22LR will work if you hit them right. Just bear in mind that nothing dies instanly, short of literally being blown to bits. Nobody thinks anything of a deer running 100 yards right after being shot. Small animals like possums and coons, just flop and growl. Its not a pleasant sight, but its the facts of life. Once in a rare while one will just keel over, usually if you shoot it again it will majically come back and start the flopping. It all depends on their nerves and where you hit.
Shoot it in the head if possible, or a good shot to the vitals or spine that should anchor it, and you can walk up and put another one in with the muzzle of the gun up close so it doesn't make much noise.

March 28, 2003, 08:14 PM
Tough little critters. Yep, Yep on head shots.

I noticed "quiet" as a criteria. IMHO, the CB's a little lacking in energy (only around 750 fps). Remington Subsonics keep a 38 grain pill under the speed fo sound, at least eliminating some "crack" and still cycle my semi for quick followup shots if needed.

Aquila's fairly new SSS is promising, especially on short range shots. 60 grain bullet at 950 fps.

March 28, 2003, 09:38 PM
I dispatch skunks fairly regularly this time of year with CB caps out of a Browning rifle. I drew a skunk sized head on plywood and practiced until I could hit it consistently. CB caps WILL do the job. They'll penetrate up to the base of the bullet in plywood at 10-15 feet. Wonderful little inventions. I turn the possums loose, so don't know if the CB caps would do it, but I can't imagine why they wouldn't.

March 28, 2003, 10:00 PM
This may be a little hard to believe, but I had a racoon up a tree, a Browning Buckmark, a flashlight and one .22 short.
The racoon took the shot under the jaw, danced on the limb for a few seconds and fell to the ground quivering. Musta hit the artery, because the blood was pooling fast. I think he was dead as he fell off the limb. :evil:

March 28, 2003, 10:30 PM
Had'em -

Agree that the CBs are a great little round for certain applications. And agree that, if quite close, they would likely anchor with good shot placment(s). CBs are indeed about the quietest load available without dropping down to Colibris or air guns (definitely neither recommended for possum).

However, the possum in these parts are at least twice the weight of skunks. And seem to have much more of a will to live. I've had good hits on crows with CBs (even 1000 fps Rem Subsonics) that still flew some distance before going down. Not that I've weighed either :D , but it might take a skunk plus a couple of crows to get in same weight class as a possum!

The SSS loads, altho "subsonic" are not necessarily quiet, but do have excellent penetration. In last testing done with them, after around 60 yards, they completely penetrated one 2X4 (actually 1 1/2" thickness) and dropped after hitting face of second 2X4. My thinking with them is similar to big game hunting - two holes generally better than one.

As stated tho, good hits to the brain pan with normal .22 rounds should do it. Either way, killing things does sometimes simply get unpretty.

March 28, 2003, 10:55 PM

I bow to your experience regarding the CB caps and anything other than head shots on skunks. The only reason I have to dispatch the skunks is that around April they start looking for places to have babies, and under my deck seems to be ideal for them. The scent wafts into the house and the family is miserable. I keep a Have-a-Heart trap baited out in the yard, and in addition to catching the skunks one at a time, I get a lot of cats, possums and squirrels. I turn everything but the skunks loose. No city agency will pick up skunks, and the one volunteer agency that does makes you feel so guilty about calling them that it's not worth it. So unfortunately I have to shoot them in the head through the 1 inch squares of the mesh cage, which is why I practiced diligently until I found out just how much front sight I had to hold up to be dead on with the CB's at 15 feet and shooting downwards. Being in the inner city does make quietness mandatory for me. If I was rural, I'd use a .243:D

March 29, 2003, 08:55 AM
Had'em -

I would be curious as to success you've had with putting down skunks while in the cage. Are ya able to do it without 'em dumping their load? If so, the technique might sure save some grief here.

Skunks sometimes decide to take up residence under a couple of structures, even start coming in the cat door into office/classroom and I have to "deal". To avoid what I've perceived as risk of really stinking up the place, last year I "engineered" some rigging with strings/ropes to the trap to be able to release from a distance (the roof) or slowly drag away. Caught a big old 'coon the first night tho and he decided that much of my "engineering" needed to come inside the trap with him. :uhoh: Sure glad it was not Mrs. Skunk. :D

The cat-door-invasions by various critters have not yet been a problem so far this year. But ... I figure they are comin' ... Sorta hate to set the trap too far from building as I don't care to catch anything that's not a problem.

Tropical Z
March 29, 2003, 12:41 PM
This is gonna be an awakening.Im a city boy and have never had to deal with skunks,possums or racoons.Im sure i will have to soon.
I didnt know you could eat possum's,id always heard that they were greasy and awful tasting and even a hungry dog wouldnt touch one.By the way,i guess doggie doors are pretty much out of the question in areas with these critters huh?

March 29, 2003, 12:55 PM

Them critters can get into the darndest places...and won't leave.

Here for raccoon , one must use a 22 short if treeing at night. Yes 22short. Gets back to shot placement, doable. 22 short is quiet form a rifle. 22 short for possum works. I'd see what my rifle liked as far as noise and accuracy. It ain't cheating to find to used single shot at the pawn shop that'll feed short,longs and long rifle btw. Excuse for a gun, cheap, will feed anything, fun, teaching tool, re-live your youth, and with iron sights you'll get back to basics and improve your shooting all around.

Shot placement

[whirrll...........TZ's off to the pawn shops folks...];)

Tropical Z
March 29, 2003, 01:23 PM
I do have the single shot Garcia Bronco i bought about 8 months ago (remember when i thought i was such a smarty pants at TFL!)for all those who remember the thread.Alas i havent even shot it yet so i have no idea how accurate it may be.:(

March 29, 2003, 08:36 PM
Critters are a definite issue out in the country but there's alot you can do to prevent problems.
1. outside pets have to have free choice of water, but only feed them twice a day and only as much as they need to stay healthy/will eat right away.
Having a bowl of food and water out there is an open invitation.
2. Keep things reasonably cleaned up. Your yard doesn't have to look like a putting green by any means. Try to avoid piles of junk/brush and possible nesting places though. If you have more land than you want to maintain as a "yard" IE mowing regularly, make sure it gets mowed once or twice a year. There's usually someone in the neighborhood with a brush hog under these circumstances that will help you out if you prove to be a decent neighbor.
3. Keep the house/buildings in good repair and trees trimmed away from them. Old timber framed barns are a favorite for critters, its almost impossible to get one sealed up tight enough to keep them out but you can keep the inside cleaned up so they don't have a lot of places to nest or find food.
Make sure all the vents into your attic etc. have good screens over them and things like that for the house.

Its all pretty much common sense. Don't provide them with food or a nicer place to stay than the hollow trees they're used to and you won't have much trouble.
I raise a garden in the summer, and have found that the only way to keep racoons out of my sweetcorn is to set a trap for them regularly(also keeps them out of the haymow, we raise horses). We have alot of neighbors that just moved out here and don't practice any of the stuff above, so there are lots of critters in the area. I got 16 racoons and one possum last summer alone. Shot them all. At least here, its a misdemeanor (lesser degree, carries a fine) to release what are considered pest animals (coyote, racoon, skunk, possum, groundhog etc.) on ANY property but the property they were trapped on. Releasing them right where they were caught is pretty much recycling, so there aren't alot of other options. I think its a good law personally. It really would piss me off to catch someone dumping off a coon they trapped, in my backyard dumping THEIR problem off on ME. And theres always the issue of spreading disease to different areas by moving animals. Don't be suckered into paying some con artist $25 to come euthanize something you caught either. Taking care of it yourself isn't really pleasant (unless your really needing some revenge, like the time racoons knocked down and destroyed 8 rows of corn in my garden in ONE NIGHT) But if you do your part, you can make it humane. And chances are the sight of the animal dying won't bother you much after you've seen it a time or two and realize thats just how it goes and what to expect.

March 30, 2003, 09:01 AM
Hmmm, maybe I just didnt hold as steady when I was a kid as I do now. I'd like to try it again just to see but dont shoot em for fun anymore.

I had a coon back by the side door last summer on the fence. I thought about it, know I could've made a good shot but gotta deputy living back there too and he's one of those guys that I just know would frown on his house being beyond the line of fire...rats. Couldn't do nothing but chase him outta my yard into the deputies... :D

March 30, 2003, 11:28 AM
Hadem All, and everyone else....
I want to know how to get rid of a skunk in the cage without it spraying too. I think I remember hearing that they won't spray when they're confined like that but I really don't beleive it.
So far I haven't caught any in my trap. My current game plan is a 400grain maxi ball out of my great plains rifle from about 100 yards....and then buying a new trap :D
If you know something better I want to hear it!

March 30, 2003, 12:00 PM
It's been years since I lived in possum country, but I had an exceptional year with red foxes using a Winchester .22 rifle and CCI shorts. Nice and quiet, shot placement is the key. I do go for head shots. Shorts travel @ about 1000fps w/ 29gr HPs more than adequate for possums.

March 30, 2003, 12:40 PM
I think your single shot might prove a good choice for critter control. Try various loads , including CB's and shorts.

Skunks in a trap. Well you see my gunsmith had finished a trigger job on a Ruger .480. Neighbor was burning a big ol brush pile. It had just become dark when the phone rings and informs us he has finally caught that rabid skunk in a trap.

I sit, use knees as rest, using lite from fire, lets just say one shot from a .480 will keep a skunk from spraying. :D

Must have something to do with my sig line...

March 31, 2003, 02:57 AM
Maybe possum are smaller up in Alaska than down here in Indiana but I couldn't recommend 22 shorts of the possum that I've seen around here. I mean, if you've got to kill something, you've got to kill it, I suppose. But if you have a 22LR, I'd try to at least use a 22LR. Unless you're in city limits. In that case, how much to possum like antifreeze? :uhoh: Or heck, even one of those crossbow pistol things? You can get those for $15 plus shipping and they seem like they'd hurt pretty darn good.

March 31, 2003, 08:49 AM
Redneck quote:

" Hadem All, and everyone else....
I want to know how to get rid of a skunk in the cage without it spraying too. I think I remember hearing that they won't spray when they're confined like that but I really don't beleive it. "

I PMed Hadem on this a day or so back, so maybe he'll be getting back to us shortly. I'm guessing the DESIRED point of impact is the base of skull (to immediately cut central nervous system).

I think that skunks have got to get their tail raised for their "payload" to carry very far. An "unknown" here if one would be able to completely do that in my trap (about 12" height), but I don't care to find out!

Due to the usual excitement/movement when out in the open, if given the option, I've always gone with a shotgun - and not been in a position (or had the cajones ;) ) to get close enough to keep the pattern tight enough to hit only the head. I prefer to chase 'em/follow'em at least a couple of hundred yards away, preferably downwind, before doing the deed.

The last one I put down was on very short notice with a .38 ankle gun. It had to be done near a couple of structures and subsequently required some quick shovel work. :barf:

Art Eatman
March 31, 2003, 09:22 AM
Unless you're raising chickens or suchlike, there's no real point in doing anything with a possum or skunk besides just ignore it. They don't bother anything.

I grant that a possum in the attic calls for some home repairs, as does the proverbial skunk under the house. The first can easily be handled by throwing a blanket over the possum and tossing him out the front door. (And then fix the place he got in through...)

Skunk under the house? Just put out some dog food by the hole, a few feet out. When he comes out, block the hole. Simple enough. Skunks are basically fearless. If you don't bother them, they won't bother you.

Skunk in a leg-hold trap? No choice but to shoot him in the head and come back later. HavAHart? I suggest caution. You can drape an old towel between you and the Heavy Artillery to catch the spray while you open the door. :D

My grandfather would just grab a possum by the tail and swing it against a tree and break its back and then give it to the dogs. When my grandmother was raising chickens, 60 years ago, she'd put a dab of strychnine paste on a piece of bread as "one-time-event" bait.


March 31, 2003, 10:43 AM
"Unless you're raising chickens or suchlike, there's no real point in doing anything with a possum or skunk besides just ignore it. They don't bother anything."

I don't agree with this. The skunks around here are probably the most common carrier of Rabies.

March 31, 2003, 11:01 AM
Art -

Pretty much in agreement in just letting 'em be - if not a problem.

All the nearby residential and commercial development in recent years tho has sometimes made the critters seem to come out of the woodwork. And our county often leads the state in rabies counts, especially in skunks.

I've used everything from lumber, fiberglass skirts, gravel and dirt to fill holes where they appeared to be going in and out - and they sometimes just dig 'em a hole somewhere else!

As you probably know, every 'coon seems to tell all of his friends about a good source of food. Due to the cat door, I've gotta keep any snacks in a coon-proof (ammo) box and be sure to empty the indoor trash receptacle each night if anyone happens to throw any food in it. I have even completely blocked the cat door, but "Bud" gets real upset about that - and it may be one of the things that has helped him survive there for 7 years in the midst of the coyote population. I know he's been inside at the same time as a 'coon, but he seems to have the sense not to mess with one.

Last year, I got the bright idea of planting a little 110 decibel alarm with a motion sensor to scare off the critters as soon as they poked their head in the pet door. It worked. But ... it also scared the **** out of the cat! To the point that "his" door became useless.

' Had a lady friend a couple of years back who said she'd take any 'coons (trap and all) if I'd just call her. That worked until they started eating her out of house and home - and I looked it up and showed her that transporting 'em is actually illegal.

Fortunately, my trap has been "in retirement" for a while. ' Hope it gets to stay that way. :)

Tropical Z
March 31, 2003, 11:24 AM
"My grandfather would just grab a possum by the tail and swing it against a tree and break its back and then give it to the dogs. When my grandmother was raising chickens, 60 years ago, she'd put a dab of strychnine paste on a piece of bread as "one-time-event" bait."

WOW! I cant even imagine doing that.Arts from tough stock!:what:

Art Eatman
March 31, 2003, 04:48 PM
Aw, yeah, if you got a rabies problem around, the only good skunk is a dead skunk...

Tropical Z, my grandfather came of farming/ranching stock in the Hallettsville area of Texas. Sorta west of Houston a hundred miles or so. At age five he was the "horse boy" when the various neighbors would gather up all their cattle to herd them to winter range down on the coast. This was 1890 or so.

You grow up milking cows and hoeing corn and your hands get large and stay tough forever. If a wasp or yellow-jacket flew too close, he'd just slap it. Typically, a one-time event for the wasp.

He had a second full time job during 1937-1939 besides his school-teaching, plus wrote math books and made a few dollars working on the high school year book. That gave him the cash to buy 150 acres just outside of Austin. That's where I learned about plowing behind a horse, fixing fence, hauling hay and doctoring screw worms in calves...And shooting and hunting. :)


April 1, 2003, 02:37 PM
Possum facing you--base of the neck, or a little lower in front.
From the side--through both lungs, heart if you're lucky and know where it is
Quartering away--side of the neck, into the head.

Be prepared for either a lot of thrashing around or no reaction at all. Sometimes they play possum until they depart this world.

April 2, 2003, 12:10 AM
I would like to leave the skunks alone since they do eat a copious amount of bugs, but they hunt during the night, and seem to get into combat with dogs and cats out in the creekbed behind my house. When they come back and hole up under the deck, they reek, and it wafts into the house, and makes using my spa on the deck impossible. Can't tolerate that and neither can the rest of my family.
I've disposed of 10 in the last three years while in the trap. 9 good shots, in which none of them "let loose" and 1 not-so-good shot in which case the skunk did emit. That one smelled up the whole neighborhood for hours.
In an attempt to make under my deck less desirable, I've tried boom boxes playing the most obnoxious rap music I can find, 10,000 heat cayenne pepper, mothballs, flashing strobe lights under the deck, and there's just something about my place they like. Plug the holes and they'll dig another pretty darned quick. The trap gets them every time, and good markmanship and CB caps do the rest.

A little history:

The first skunk I caught, I felt bad for, sitting out in that hot sun waiting for the agency to come pick it up. They're nocturnal creatures and that black coat has to make it hot for them. I couldn't get closer than about 15 feet before the skunk assumed the launch position, so I ended up giving it food and water through a 20' stick of PVC pipe. When the volunteer showed up about 1:30 in the morning, I watched through the windows as she approached the trap with her own cage. She got sprayed, because I could smell it from inside the house. She carried it out to her car in her cage, put it in the BACK SEAT and drove off. I couldn't believe it. I called the next day to thank her. She wasn't there, but the person that answered the phone kind of laughed and said she didn't have much of a social life.
The next one I caught, I let the wildlife rescue folks guilt me into trying to approach the trap slowly while hiding behind a shower curtain. When I let the shower curtain fall, the skunk let loose. So unfortunately, I've had to go with what works.

April 2, 2003, 11:59 AM
So it sounds like a 400 grain buffalo bullet from 100 yards would work quite well. Even better if I hit it in the head, but sufficiently either way :D
I've also got a 30ft tree trimming pole with a hook attachment. I suppose I could strap that over the top of my pickemup and dispose of the trap and everything while safely inside with the windows rolled up too ;)

April 6, 2003, 03:58 PM
I use to catch possums by hand. Just run up to them and kick them, they play possum and you pick them up by the tale: then, as someone already said, whack it up against a tree. It's impossible to drown a possum FYI.

Most any head or lounge shot will kill quickly.

As for polecats (that’s a skunk for city folks) there is no 100% way to shoot them and not get a spray. Head shots almost never stop them from spraying but a double lung shot with any .22LR will work most of the time.

The best way to keep polecats out of your yard is to broadcast grub killer, pellets, on your lawn. The polecats are digging grubs when you see the little holes in the lawn.

April 7, 2003, 06:12 PM
Pole cat ! :D I've not heard that term since my before Grandfather died back in '95. Come to think of it, I can't recall him ever calling one a "skunk".

Horsesense - Noticed that was your post numbeo uno. Welcome to The High Road. :) Methinks you'll like it here. ;)

April 7, 2003, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the welcome Graybeard!

I had been following this board and the old one, off and on, for a while now and finally got around to signing up. Guess you could say that polecats are my forte. Even got sent home from school for smelling like a polecat (ran my traps on the way to catch the buss) a time or two; excused absence you know ;)

Any body out there ever seen a "Chivy Cat" (SP?) it's a spotted polecat that looks more like a weasel than a polecat? The spray has an odd, almost sweet smell.

April 8, 2003, 11:11 AM
Horsesense - Yea, a lot of us did a lot of lurkin' before deciding that we needed to start throwin' in our .02 ...

Quote: "The spray has an odd, almost sweet smell."

I sorta like getting a LITTLE whiff of skunk every once in a while. Does the soul good. :D

April 9, 2003, 09:28 PM
Back when I lived in North Central Florida, my Possum control method was simple. I just turned my pack of Scotties loose. It's amazing to watch a cute little 20 pound Scottie bitch dispatch a big possum with a single bite and shake.

I do admit to assasinating a few with a Ruger 10/22. I never had a problem with CCI Mini Mags and head shots. Never did see one fly into a frenzy. All the ones I shot just rolled over and died. If anyone wants, I have a pretty good recipe for 'smothered possum'.

April 10, 2003, 08:44 AM

You are quite right about possums being scary but not a fighter. I've caught 2, distracted them with a stick or rake, then grabbed their tails. I guess I've been a bad boy, I put them in a cardboard box for a short trip outside of town and dumped them.

If I wanted to permanetely dispose of them I probably should have put them in a contracters strong plastic bag, given them a couple thumps to keep them quiet, then taped the bag opening to the car exaust a couple of minutes. Very quiet and the bag can be put out for regular disposal. This may sound shocking but it is similar to what the humane society used to do to unwanted pets, and keeps us from being charged with a firearms crime.

Art Eatman
April 10, 2003, 10:06 AM
Nuthin' wrong with hauling a possum out of town. They at least are "natural", which kitty-cats ain't.

I grew up on B-Westerns, where the epithet of choice was, "You mangy polecat!"

Dunno how the spotted skunk got the name "civet cat". We have a few down here in the desert.


April 10, 2003, 11:01 AM
Dumped another fox lastnight using, guess what? A .22short.

July 12, 2005, 11:47 PM
Had'em -

I would be curious as to success you've had with putting down skunks while in the cage. Are ya able to do it without 'em dumping their load? If so, the technique might sure save some grief here.

Greybeard, It seems that when I put one down instantly, a little of the smell leaks out, but nowhere near as bad as if they have a chance to seriously expell.
The faster I get them in a plastic bag or two, the less lingering odor I have. Now I find the odor repulsive, but the one lady who came from the agency I'm speaking of and got the live skunk from my Have-a-Heart into her cage, and got sprayed in the process, because I could smell it in the house, went and put it IN THE BACK SEAT OF HER CAR and drove off. :confused:
When I called the next day to thank this person, she wasn't there, but when I informed the person I was speaking to that I'd seen this lady put the skunk in the back seat of her car, they chuckled and acknowledged that she was "different".

July 13, 2005, 09:23 AM
now that's some follow through... two years?

personally, i'm sitting here wondering about the effectiveness of a shotgun with birdshot.

Matt G
July 13, 2005, 10:28 AM
Depends. Are you talking #9 light trap loads to the body? No good. Are you talking Heavy Field #5 loads to the head? That'd work.

I've found that skunks are incredibly resilient. I've shot one in an urban environment with a couple of CB caps to the head, and thought I had killed it, only to find it half an hour later dragging itself along through the leaves. I was extremely unhappy about this (not wanting any animal to suffer at my hands.), and shot it again, at point blank, with another CB cap. I sat and watched. 10 minutes later, it got up and began to crawl off again. "Playing possum" is a very real technique, and will fool you. I finally had to use a club to finish it. I wished I'd never started with it. :( Art, as usual, is absolutely correct. If it's not actively messing with you and you're not in HIGH ALERT for rabies, leave the critter alone. My rule of thumb is to pop 'em during the summer if I see 'em in the daytime, as they're nocturnal. I give 'em an hour or so leeway for twighlight and dawn.

I was working patrol one night and came across a large opossum that someone had run over, breaking its back. This was on the edge of a residential neighborhood, so I decided shooting it was not the way to go. I drew my ASP expandable baton, extended it to its 26", and took a mighty swing at the back of its head. Thwock. That matted fur and rolled skin absorbs a lot of impact, and the tip of the ASP is the lightest part of it. It's for imparting quick energy (meaning tip speed), but with minimal momentum that could break bones. It took me 3 hard swings to effectively dispatch that poor marsupial, and my whole intent was to put the critter out of its misery! I swore that next time I would either run over the next one or fade the heat for discharging my weapon. :(

While a .22 will work, use full-power .22s, only take a head shot, put it in the ear, and don't be afraid to use a follow-up or two. Oh, and my new favorite varmint .22 load is the Winchester Power Point.
But if you can... why not let it live?

July 15, 2005, 11:18 AM
Won't ever do it again but third shot was the charm, got one into the head and the nerves in the body went crazy. Was a scary feeling to have the dog bring you a "dead" opossum and take it away and throw it in the garbage. 5-10 minutes later finish a beer and go to throw it away and get a nice hiss at you. pop pop pop and lots o flop. but from now on the 60 grain SSS is my way to go-deforms really nicely on impact and has plenty of umph to get through the head at moderate ranges. I aim at the base of the ear. no worries since. I hate the suffering too.

July 17, 2005, 09:56 AM
In day I would use the Remington solid target, go for a head shot. For night I use CBs. If for day, you want more power, try the Remington "Thunder Bolt" as they too are quite accurate. The CBs will NOT cycle your 597 action. I suggest a bolt, or manually cycle. Safe shooting!

November 18, 2005, 01:54 AM
first of all i want to let yall know those opossums are not easy to kill 1 had been bothering me by keeping me up all night scratching around in my pipes i had eventually shot it between the eyes with my crossbow pistol which it in turn ran away looking like a unicorn :cuss: but things had got quiet and i assumed it bled out somewhere until recently it started running along my pipes again and again i found him on my porch eating the cat food i had outside so i opened the door and shot him again between the eyes with my crossbow pistol but apparently hit a more tender spot this time because he opened his mouth real big and started doing a dance after he got his composure back he started to walk off again and i wasn't going to have that so i used my now empty crossbow pistol as a hammer and went to town and lets just say it might not have been a one shot kill but i did kill him with a crossbow pistol :D and i would just like to say if you are being bothered by one of these guys and do get the chance to kill him have a little fun when your done 31403 31404

Art Eatman
November 18, 2005, 11:48 AM
Guns. Huh. My grandfather just grabbed them by the tail and swung them agains a fence post or tree. Back-breaker. Then you just "sqush" their little heads. No biggie.

:), Art

November 18, 2005, 02:35 PM
Possums and Skunks:

Possums - A .22LR, with souped up ammo like CCI Stingers, works OK when placed properly in the head or in the tear duct of the eye if you can get close and hold steady. A .22 magnum with JHPs, or a .38 or .357 revolver loaded with .38 wadcutters(my favorite :), and not too loud if you only shoot once), will usually anchor them with one shot to the head or one shot through the heart. Possums are tough critters, and as far as eating them goes, the country ones are better to eat than the city ones. The country ones eat herbs and roots and stuff, the city ones eat out of dumpsters :).

Skunks - When I worked as a Deputy Sheriff, the County Sheriff (usually known as the "High Sheriff" here in Texas) told us, "If you see a skunk, shoot it". That year the county had five cases of rabies, one was a pit bull and the rest were skunks. Most of the skunks I shot were shot with a Glock 22 .40 loaded with 155 grain Hydra-Shoks, and were usually DRT (Dead Right There), and the 12 gauge 870P loaded with birdshot or buckshot worked well also, as long as the birdshot was at least number 6. Keep in mind that IME if you don't shoot them in the head, they will spray.

Mini-14s and AR-15s work well for possums and skunks also, but are very loud :).

To stay on thread, the .22 shorts/.22LRs are quiet, but not as effective as .22 magnums or the bigger calibers. With the bigger stuff, just shoot once :).

Just my .02,

November 18, 2005, 02:44 PM
A Louisville Slugger works on small critters llike possium, weasels, etc..
My Grandfather 's recipe for possium.
1. kill, clean and skin possium.
2.nail possium to a clean pine board and place sweet potatos and brown sugar around possium.
3. place in oven at 375 deg. F. for two hours.
4. take out of oven, pull out nails, throw possium away and eat the board and taters.

November 19, 2005, 11:45 PM
Try QuickShot. The are pregragmented .22 rounds. The work excedingly well on large skunks and porccipines. My wife had a friend when she was growing up on the ranch who got bit by a skunk and had to have all the injections and it left a lasting impression on her. So its always open season on skunks here since we have two kids. The QuickShot does the job, if you place the shot where it should be.

My oldest daughter seems to get the bulk of the dispatching duties. She has had numerous one shot kills on polecats. I've done in a number of porccipines and the are substantialy larger than skunks are. But bullet placement is more inportant than the bullet. That doens't mean that you shouldn't choose the bullet for the job however.

Good Luck!

Bottom Gun
November 20, 2005, 01:02 AM
We get a lot of rabid skunks around here so I don't like having them around. They also like to get in my crawl space and have litters. It's usually only a matter of time before they tangle with one of the dogs or cats and I'm tried of it.

One year my neighbor was feeding the darned things daily and consequently they bred like crazy. I took over three dozen out in two months time. One of my other neighbors took over 20 and a third neighbor told me she shot close to ten of them. We were infested with the darned things.

I've trapped and shot scores of skunks. I usually put a .22 into their heads. So far every single one has let go after I shot them. When they die, the muscles relax and out comes the old juice.

I used to use a homemade wooden trap which I could walk up to and open from behind without them seeing me. I would then wait until they exited the trap and then I would dump them with a head shot. That method kept my trap clean.
They finally chewed the wooden trap to pieces so I started using a Hav-a-hart wire mesh trap.

I had to change my technique when I switched to the wire trap:

Walk up to the trap behind a sheet, tarp, or old shower curtain. They won't spray if they can't see you.
I cover the trap with the sheet and then I put the trap into a plastic garbage can and fill the can with water. The can I use isn't deep enough to drown them because about 2 inches of trap sticks out of the water when the can is full.
While they are treading water with their noses sticking through the mesh, I walk up and put a CB cap or a .22 short into their brains. That saves a lot or wear and tear on my trap because I always seem to hit mesh when I shoot from any distance.

They still let go in the water when they die and the muscles relax but there is lots of water in the can to dilute it so the odor isn't very strong and it doesn't last long.

If my trash can was deeper, I would simply let them drown but I can't find a deeper one.

November 20, 2005, 02:26 AM
You guys must have some tough possums. I shot one with a 177 pellet gun. A rather powerful one in a PCP design. Using 11 gr. Crossman Premiers I got a heart lung shot in the perfect position. It started to moan a bit as it fell to the ground. Twitched a few seconds and was dead in 30 seconds. Felt bad about shooting it really. For the most part, if you don't bother them, they don't bother you. Mostly eat insects. This one however was getting in the basement, and had to go.

I had a 12x scope, and was only 15 yards away, so the placement was quite precise. Maybe that was the problem, bad shot placement. I would think any 22LR would be plenty for them. Even with subsonic ammo.

November 20, 2005, 10:08 AM
I've shot them with alot of different calipers. From Benjamin pump air rifles to 12 gauge shotguns. I remember one time shooting one between the eyes with a 22 pistol. I was using CCI Hollow points he was on a lower limb having been tree'd by some coon hounds. A constant stream of blood poured out of him for about a minute then he hit the ground fighting with the dogs. "They are easily killed but do not die fast." Thank God they are not the size of cows.

El Tejon
November 21, 2005, 12:06 PM
Marsupials scare me. Cause they're fast!

I can tell you that a 1911 loaded with Black Hills 230 gr. JHP is highly effective on Mr. Possum.:D One shot stop; one shot mess!

Word to the wise, do not stand in your brother's chicken coop when you shoot said possum.:uhoh: What did you say, Matt?

November 21, 2005, 09:45 PM
A relative got one of those traps to catch a bothersom Opossum.. Caught it she did. So she brought it to me to dispose of. I'll tell ya, after unloading a Ruger Single Six in .22mag on the thing to places that should have been considered kill shots, I pulled out the .357mag. Still took that sucker quite a while to stop hissing.

Uncle called my nephew. Hey there's a gray critter up in the tree. Been bothersome to the dogs. So nephew calls, says let's go kill it. Dunno what it is, but let's go kill it. Honestly, we couldn't tell what it was up in the tree. "Shoot it, it'll turn and move, we'll figure out what it is." So he pops it with my Glenfield .22. Man that thing got pissed! Big ole Coon. Ten rounds later, (and Toby's a pretty good shot, and once out on the branch, I put a 300grn slug from my .44mag into him), this thing's coming out on a branch looking for vengence. Growling. He dropped to the ground groweling and thrashing. "Hey, go in and put him out". Toby say's "Heck no, You put another round from the .44 into him before I'm goin in that tall grass".

I never underestimate the resiliency of some small critters. Cats don't like to die. Coons and Opossums either.

"Are you talking Heavy Field #5 loads to the head? "

I prefer some Double OT Buck from a 12ga!


Art Eatman
November 22, 2005, 11:05 PM
My uncle had a big old crazy red Doberman that didn't think any small critter was tough. His idea was to run up and just get a mouthful of head and Crunch!

Sorta startling to watch him run up to an old boar coon that was all ready to fight--and one Crunch! and it was all over. He'd grab an armadillo across the back and shake his head will crunching. Sounded sorta like a kid eating Fritos. :)

My grandma didn't have any trouble with varmints messing with her chickens...


November 24, 2005, 06:36 PM
I've killed two this year in my Chicken Coop.

#1. Found him inside one of the chicken stalls. He was laying down and I thought it was a cat, since I could only see his back. I petted the nice kitty, and he nearly bit my hand. I then went into the house, grabbed a lever .22LR with .22LR CCI stingers, and put three in its face from about 12 inches away. That thing was tough. It would not have gone down with one shot quickly IMHO. He twitched and screamed at me for about 20-30 seconds.

#2. On the other side of our Coop we store firewood. Two of my sons (aged 4&7) and I were stacking firewood in there. Out comes Possum from under the wood pile and started hissing at my 4 y.o. son. I quickly ushered the boys into the truck and went back into the coop. I drew my 1911 loaded with Black Hills 230g JHP from my hip and shot. The round entered the critter's back and exited his chest. He immediately stopped moving and maybe twitched 5 seconds. However, I shot this thing INSIDE the coop and I listened to a bell ring inside my head for about 7 seconds.

I recommend the bigger rounds for killing possums while using Hearing protection.

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