Will an Air Pistol Kill Skunks?


The Expert
September 24, 2010, 10:47 PM
There is a hive of skunks living down the road from me. They come out at night.

I'd like to take a stroll over there and shoot them, but there is a house close by and I don't want to discharge a round but would like to take them out with an air pistol.

Only question is.... will it be effective or am I going to enrage the buggers and get chased down and anointed?

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September 24, 2010, 10:55 PM
You might want to check the local game laws first. I live in VA and was surprised that there were controls on skunks unless they were on your property and causing damage. Mr. Game Warden might take a dim view of your evening hunt. I have my doubts about an air pistol, unless it is really good one, killing them. You may have to get really close which will probably be fun. Good luck.

September 24, 2010, 11:19 PM
Only question is.... will it be effective or am I going to enrage the buggers and get chased down and anointed?

That would be the absolute limit of the equipment, but I suppose that it COULD. Not the same as should. Depends on the make and model. I think some of the Benjamin ones I have run across might, if the shot was good enough.

The perfume is released when they die... BTW.

September 25, 2010, 07:31 AM
Pray tell, what are the skunks doing to offend you?

Or perhaps you want to eat them?

September 25, 2010, 08:34 AM
I seriously doubt that they would chase you down and spray you. Have you thought about using an air rifle as apposed to an air pistol. There are rifles available that should have enough power to dispatch a skunk.

Art Eatman
September 25, 2010, 10:01 AM
If they're not getting into your henhouse, what are they hurting? :)

September 25, 2010, 12:40 PM
Have you knocked on the neighbor's door and asked them about it? That's a good first step.

Not knowing your equipment, I'd generally say that using an air pistol would be unethical.

Onward Allusion
September 25, 2010, 02:10 PM
The proper air pistol will kill a person when shot at an appropriate place.

With that said, why would you want to take out skunks down the road from you? Are they bothering you in any way?

The Expert (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=123697)
Will an Air Pistol Kill Skunks?
There is a hive of skunks living down the road from me. They come out at night.
I'd like to take a stroll over there and shoot them, but there is a house close by and I don't want to discharge a round but would like to take them out with an air pistol.
Only question is.... will it be effective or am I going to enrage the buggers and get chased down and anointed?

September 25, 2010, 02:25 PM
Back in '81 there was a skunk that liked to hide under my trailer.

One summer night, I caught him eating a pile of somebody else's dog's crap in the front yard of my trailer.

Perfect, instant-death, head-shot did not stop him from spraying a full load.

Note to self:
Close all windows in the trailer before shooting skunk in front yard.

Justin Holder
September 25, 2010, 08:54 PM
Hint, the air pistols they sell at Wal-mart aren't powerful enough. :neener:

You can buy magnum class air pistols that would be suitable, but they ain't cheap.

Gadzooks Mike
September 25, 2010, 09:04 PM
Skunks eat mice, rats, snakes, insects... I wish I had some around my house. What are they doing that's so bad they deserve to die?

September 25, 2010, 10:26 PM
Around my place I have opossums, skunks, deer, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, fox, coyotes, groundhogs, deer and maybe stuff I've never seen. Most of them do something bad like chewing on trees, eating garden plants, etc. This far, skunks, opossums and fox are the only animals that have gotten into no trouble and that I see no reason to eliminate.

September 25, 2010, 11:33 PM
I once surprised a skunk... he was minding his own business and I was minding mine.

He was just as angry and surprised as I was... he started posturing...

and I backed away as absolutely as fast as I could, remembering that I once had a dog that got sprayed by a skunk and I had to wash him in a solution of soapy water and tomato paste about 6 times before he was tolerable to pet again... I remember stripe (the dog) rolling in the grass maniacally for hours and hours just trying to get the stink off... only time in his life he did not snarl at a bath that I can recall...

skunks are not varmints... leave the skunks alone if they are not bothering you.

September 25, 2010, 11:59 PM
It depends on how heavy the pistol is and what it is made out of.

September 26, 2010, 06:32 AM
Place a baddly aimed shot on a skunk and you will have one mucked up smelling house for some time. He will move along. unless there some easy pick'ns.

September 26, 2010, 11:43 AM
He can call me flower if he wants to

September 27, 2010, 08:28 AM
Another thing to rember is that beyond a foul smell the 'green mist' is quite the irratant. I got a full dose from what I can only guess to be a rabbid skunk once. He was out durring the noon-day and chased me in reverse. Fortunately I was wearing sunglasses so I didnt get any in the eyes but it burns the face.

An hour later I'm standing in line at the grocery store with my arms full of tomato products...the line shortened quickly.

September 27, 2010, 03:48 PM
There is a hive of skunks

It's actually a surfeit of skunks.

One of those stupid things I had rattlin' around up there waiting to be used...

September 28, 2010, 01:14 AM
An hour later I'm standing in line at the grocery store with my arms full of tomato products...the line shortened quickly.

This made my day after finding out someone tried to steal my boat motor!! (put me in a bad mood all day)

September 28, 2010, 09:22 AM
Yes, but you have to hold it by the barrel and hit it on top of the head in the first swing (pistol whip)….
If they are not bothering you (other than there existence) leave them alone. It is not a good idea to mess with a skunk just because. If the house is not yours and you get the skunk mad enough to spray… I would be more worried about the homeowner at that point.

Here in New York they added air gun to the legal hunting implement list for small game this year, but it must “propel a single projectile that is .17 caliber or larger and produces a muzzle velocity of at least 600 feet per second.”

September 28, 2010, 09:48 AM

From: http://www.pleasebekind.com/skunk.html

Skunk Facts

There are four different kinds of skunks found in the United States. The spotted and striped skunks are the most widely distributed and therefore more likely to come into contact with people. The hooded and hog-nosed skunks are rarer and found mostly in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The spotted skunk prefers the country and spends most of its life near farms. The striped skunk is more adaptable and lives in a variety of habitats.

Skunks are placid, retiring and non-aggressive. They try very hard not to get in harm’s way. They have a home range of a few hundred acres at most. They are primarily nocturnal and usually solitary – except when mothers are raising their babies. They are active throughout the year, but in northern areas, they spend the coldest parts of the winter in their dens.

Skunks eat mostly insects, many of which are pests to humans. They are therefore very beneficial to have around. They also eat some plant material, including wild fruits, apples and corn. In winter and spring they may eat mice and the eggs of ground-nesting birds.

The skunk’s main defense is a complex chemical substance that includes sulfuric acid that can be fired from either one of two independently targetable anal glands. Because of this ability, skunks will stand and face a threat rather than run away. This works well with people and animals but is useless against cars. As a result, many skunks die on roadways -- to the point of being wiped out entirely from areas with a lot of traffic.

Skunks can carry rabies, but it is important to remember that not every skunk is rabid. Only if an adult skunk seen in the daytime is showing abnormal behaviors such as paralysis, unprovoked aggression, moving in circles, self-mutilation should you call your local animal control officer or police department.

Problems and Solutions

Occasional skunk sightings in a neighborhood doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. Measures can be taken to discourage skunks from sticking around. These include removing garbage and pet food left out at night and eliminating convenient denning sites such as wood and rock piles, elevated sheds, openings under concrete slabs and porches and access to crawl spaces under houses.

September 28, 2010, 10:03 AM
A GAMO air rifle will kill them, it's 1200fps.

September 28, 2010, 11:19 AM
"Look daddy, baby cats, can we keep them?"


Art Eatman
September 28, 2010, 11:46 AM
Since this thread isn't really going anywhere, I'll tell a skunk story.

Hondo Crouch was a story teller as well as a goat rancher, up near Fredericksburg, Texas. The Smithsonian heard of him and flew him to D.C. to record some of his efforts. I met Hondo at a folk music club in Austin, and took to hanging out at the little ghost village he bought, Luckenbach. Yeah, same as the Willie/Waylon song.

Hondo was driving through Fredericksburg one day and saw a baby skunk in the middle of the main street. He carefully picked it up and took it home to raise as a pet.

So the wife and I are up at Luckenbach for a few beers and lots of BSing with folks, and here comes Hondo and Friend. The wife is a total animal freak, and animals love her. Even vicious dogs roll over for her to scratch their tummies. Evil horse won't bite or buck. So, naturally, she wants to play with the skunk. Little Friend promptly buries his head into the shadow of her elbow and ribs, since skunks don't really like daylight. This leaves the heavy artillery pointed toward any and all hostile Indians which might approach.

So various guys spot a good-looking gal and figure to check her out and maybe hit on her. The response from her was along the lines of, "Hi! Isn't this a neat pet?"

Ever watch an NFL defensive back run backwards as a play develops? Those guys aren't even in the game compared to those dudes at Luckenbach that day. I've sorta been appreciative of skunks, ever since.

September 28, 2010, 01:20 PM
Art you have just moved up a notch in my book. I have been told Hondo stories since I can remember.

September 28, 2010, 02:56 PM
Great story Art!

Art Eatman
September 28, 2010, 04:38 PM
Back when Jake Pickle was the US Rep from Austin, Braniff laid on a flight from Austin to New York via D.C. Leave Austin a little after 7AM, and come back from D.C. about 6PM. The flight was referred to as the "Pickle Special".

So the Pickle Special is some 30,000 feet above Arkansas and the stewardess sees a little guy in old Levis, worn-out cowboy boots, an old Levis jacket and a battered Stetson crawling along the aisle with a grocery sack in hand.

"Sir, what are you doing?"

"I'm looking for Homer."

"And just what is a Homer?"

"Aw, he's my pet rattlesnake."

Picture a planeload of feet, snug against the overhead bins.

Yup. Hondo.

Then there was the UT reunion. Hondo, John Connally and also my father were there. Big John was SecTreas under Nixon at that time. Hondo and John encountered one another; Hondo dressed as mentioned above, but full-formal with a black string tie.

Big John: "Welll, Hondo Crouch! What in the world are you doing, these days?"

Hondo: "Aw, John, I went and bought me a little old town. You, what are you doing with yourself, these days?"

Hearsay has it that Big John sorta spluttered...

September 28, 2010, 05:22 PM
http://www.orchardphoto.com/h29zo35.jpgThere was a groundhog I was trying to trap and eliminate and I caught this. It didn't seem at all upset but I kept my distance and tried to figure out how to get it out of the trap without being sprayed.

After a time, the skunk went to sleep with its tail over its head. I got a bungee cord, very gently attached one end to the far end of the trap and the other to the door, released the door and ran. The skunk didn't move. In fact, it stayed in the trap with its wide open door for 1 or 2 hours before discovering it was free and leaving.

I have set no more live traps since that catch.

September 29, 2010, 10:04 AM
You can approach a skunk without getting sprayed. They won't spray unless they feel threatened. I crawled into hole around an underground basement window to get a skunk that fell down in and actually picked it up with my hands, lifted it up and set it on the ground without getting sprayed.

I don't think I would try that with one in a trap though. I think he's going to feel threatened by default.

October 1, 2010, 02:24 AM
Our neighbor is borrowing the Havahart (that's the kind of trap that is, they're great) and trapping a fair amount of "game" so I just have to run around at night chasing down funny noises to find the critters myself. We've trapped a lot of possums, the occasional coon, no skunks recently that I know of.

Shooting possums, well, they can take a LOT of pellets without dying (right away at least), as I verified again tonight with two possums in a tree. Dispatching them in the trap, so the shots are point-blank, I can tell you, pellets have almost no effect. CB Longs/Shorts, being solid round-nose bullets, seem to have little effect also. Remington Subsonics, which are not like Colibris, by Subsonic they mean standard velocity, 800-900 fps or so, hollow-point, do the job. But I'm extremely leery of shooting something like that up into a tree. I need to get off my dead butt and work out a way to put a hollow point into a CB Short/Long bullet, because then it will expand and may be a lot more effective. The Remington Subsonics make a little noise, the CB's are very quiet, out of a rifle barrel.

For the OP's situation, I recommend getting a Havahart trap and trapping the critters, then disposing of them. Since they're skunks, I don't know what to suggest for dealing with the stink.

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