What Should I Do With A Skunk After I Catch It?

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The majority of people will be familiar with the approach of trapping a skunk or any other pest animal as a way of trying to stop them from being a nuisance, but this is only a part of the process, and it is important to be aware of what you do next once you've caught the animal. There are a couple of different options that you can consider, and some of these will depend on what your local laws regarding pest animals allow. Many states allow the relocation of animals, which is generally the most humane option, but in other jurisdictions you may find laws insisting that the animal is put down humanely, or must be released within a certain radius of the capture location.

Covering The Trap

The first step after you find that your cage trap has been successful in catching the animal is to cover the trap, either with a thick blanket or a plastic covering that will help to calm the animal and to prevent the animal from seeing you, and to prevent it from spraying, scratching or biting you. This cover makes it much easier for the animal to be transported if that is an available option, while in some states they will have a specialist that you can take the skunk to so that it can be humanely destroyed.

Can You Relocate The Skunk?

Check with your local animal services about the regulations with regards to skunk relocation, and whether or not there are particular areas that are prohibited, or whether some places require additional documentation. Some states have a regulation that you must have the written consent of the landowner before releasing the animal, while others may only allow the release a certain distance away from other domestic properties.

Where To Relocate The Animal

When choosing an ideal location to release the skunk, look for a rural area that is over ten miles away from your property, and that is not within close proximity to other domestic homes, otherwise you are just passing on the problem to someone else.


There are several methods that can be used to kill the skunk, with shooting being popular in rural areas, but largely prohibited in urban areas. Asphyxiation is an option for euthanasia at home, using a plastic cover over the cage attached to a vehicle's exhaust. Lethal injection is effective, but you will usually need a specialist to administer the shot.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does skunk removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of skunks - my main skunk removal info guide.

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