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Let's Talk About Polecats

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by Clovis Point, Mar 23, 2022.

  1. Clovis Point

    Clovis Point Active Member

    Hit a skunk going down the road yesterday. The end was swift and I was close to the house, I triple bagged him and got him in the freezer within 10 min.... I plan on skinning him out way out in the middle of a hayfield on a windy day with throw away clothing...

    I plan on DPing, what should I wash the hide in (plan on having some buckets with me out in the hayfield).... What other skunk information should I be aware of?
    vic h likes this.
  2. vic h

    vic h Active Member

    If I were you I'd put it back on the road where you hit it and go fish'n instead!:)
    msestak, Rausch and Museum Man like this.

  3. m

    m Member

    had some success with scent killer spray used for deer hunting
  4. Clovis Point

    Clovis Point Active Member

    I'm a sucker for punishment and I hate fishing
  5. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    I had a skunk that I didn’t think had sprayed, that didn’t smell too bad, wrapped really well and frozen in my freezer waiting for the time I would mount it. The longer it was in the freezer the worse it began to smell - not so much the animal itself but the freezer. I thawed it, washed it really with dawn dishwater soap and another odor eliminator product made for skunk odor. Worked great on the hide! I mounted it and had no problem with odor. My freezer, on the other hand, and everything else in the freezer, has a hint of that odor in it - that was three years ago!!! Be prepared to wash everything else in your freezer and your freezer to get rid of the smell.
    John C, drob, Clovis Point and 2 others like this.
  6. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    i was told if you shoot a skunk in the head they wont spray. NOT TRUE :)
  7. Rausch

    Rausch Well-Known Member

    Once upon a time I had a serious skunk problem. Caught the first one in a live trap and shot it in the head. No spray. Thought it was gonna be great. Was 0 for 31 on the rest. Not so great
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2022
    msestak likes this.
  8. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    A frozen dead one was brought to me that didn’t spray. Partially thawed it to skin. Well some of its wonder juice started to leak out. Wrapped that thing up and back in the freezer. It’s been over a year since I threw that thing away. Defrosted it and got all the water out. It still stinks.
    I ordered two spotted skunk skins that “did not smell”. When I got 5’ from the mailbox I could smell them. The lesson from that was never trust a skunk trappers sense of smell.
    drob, msestak and Rausch like this.
  9. Crittrstuffr

    Crittrstuffr Well-Known Member

    I heard Dawn and Peroxide will help with the odor
    msestak likes this.
  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    The first thing you should wash it in is a QUALITY degreaser using double the suggested amount. Second wash should include a cup of downy clothes softener. Towel and dry with sho air. Tumble the hide in your bird tumbler. Lay out an spray a heavy coat of Stop Rot on the flesh and a mist coat on the hair. Wrap in a towel overnight in the fridge. DP and mount. Groom hair, pose, and don't touch the mount for a week.
    msestak likes this.
  11. Clovis Point

    Clovis Point Active Member

    Thanks for the advice George. What do you define as quality degreaser? I have Kemal 4 and James Cape shampoo and dawn/tide etc on hand
    msestak likes this.
  12. QBD

    QBD Active Member

    Fellas, I trap skunks, sometimes in sets made for other critters and sometimes on purpose. Skunks smell like money. The most valuable part of them is the smell and I harvest that too. But that does not mean that I enjoy the smell but I do know that I am not as sensitive to it as folks who are never around skunks.

    And I have been there, done that with contaminating a freezer so I try my best to handle skunks when they are fresh.

    Shooting them in the head is near a 100% guarantee of the yellow juice flying. In the lungs/heart gives much better odds.

    I always have a good supply of the following in my truck when I have traps set on land in case I have to deal with a skunk.

    Hydrogen Peroxide (brown bottle from drug store)
    Baking soda
    Dawn dishwash liquid
    2 1/2 to 3 1/2 gallon bucket
    nitrile gloves

    If the skunk sprays or just stinks, mix a qt. of peroxide, 1/4 cup or thereabouts of baking soda and a squirt of dawn in the bucket and give the skunk a bath. If it is bad, a couple of mixes might be necessary but that formula is pretty effective at cutting the stink which is a strong acid.

    This will allow me to take it home where I can rinse and dry it and it it is cool weather, I will wait until the next day to remove the scent pods and skin the skunk. I am not going to be mounting them but I do send my skunks to a commercial tannery to be garment tanned and then sell the pelts.

    The mixture can not be mixed ahead of time and stored. Mix it, use it and discard it.
    George, drob and msestak like this.
  13. Clovis Point

    Clovis Point Active Member

    I noticed it starting to smell in the freezer so I vacuum sealed it, this seems to have helped. That said, I am still going to make getting it skinned and cleaned a priority. (before full on hot as balls summer)

    currently googling removal of scent pods
    msestak likes this.
  14. Clovis Point

    Clovis Point Active Member

    found this... only a few minutes in and I really like this girl .... ive seen alot of the taxidermy how tos on youtube but never seen her before. much respect to her for mounting out of a chicago apartment
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    The young lady has it down and speaks especially well so you can avoid mistakes. ONE POINT, HOWEVER. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS put a couple drops of superglue on the anal vent. It prevents any oozing from unintended pressure while skinning. The analysis structure is easily rebuilt with Apoxie.
    I was actually disqualified at a state show. The judge DQed me because the skunks penis and testicles were removed. I can understand and agree with that, except that the skunk was a female and a brass tag on the diorama had "Rosebud" in bold black letters.
    Clovis Point and msestak like this.
  16. QBD

    QBD Active Member

    Those were baby skunks. I would not try her method of scent gland removal on an adult skunk.

    This is a better video IMO and gives you a better view of the glands in an adult skunk.

    There is normally a lot of fat around the glands but I do not think I would try to just pull them out like the young lady did on the immature skunk. Just do not cut the muscular gland and do not squeeze the gland and you should not have any odor problem.
    Clovis Point likes this.
  17. QBD

    QBD Active Member

    And where he uses his fingers to pull as he cuts, I use a hemostat to keep some pressure as I cut. And once I get enough skin loose, I will use a larger hemostat perpendicular to the anus to clamp it shut and use that for leverage.
    Clovis Point likes this.
  18. I pickup a couple roadkill skunks every year during the skunk rutt in Feb. I skin on the tail gate of the truck with a breeze blowing from behind. Leg to leg between the anal opening and the tail. Just dont put pressure on the glands.

    You will have to skin the tail and not pull it. The fats in the tail contain musk.

    I have found McKenzie degreaser works well. YOu will need to flesh the hide, the wash it. Just go a head and mix a batch of pickle to a pH of 2. Add some McKinzie degreaser to the pickle. Next day use the wheel and final flesh and mix a new batch of pickle..

    The peroxide, dawn and baking soda does not work, been there done that.

    Its a bit hard to tell when the fat ends and the skin begins on the body, but the tail you will see the muscles.
    msestak likes this.
  19. Clovis Point

    Clovis Point Active Member

    So, in that sense, fleshing/skinning one is somewhat like a beaver? I had that issue skinning out the only beaver I have ever done, all that fattyness made it hard to find that good discernable skinning line...
    msestak likes this.
  20. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    QBD beat me to it. That peroxide/baking soda/dish soap concoction was put together by a chemist. His original page on it, with the proper ingredients and measurements are still available and I have the whole thing copied to a file in case it vanishes off the internet. He could have made a bundle if he patented it and set it up for sale as a product but, instead, he let everyone have the information for free. It was originally intended for skunked dogs but it works on other skunked things too.

    If you read other similar concoctions or someone tells you about one, if it isn't that recipe, it isn't right. I have seen a ton of bastardized forms of this that include vinegar and all other manner of nonsense. 3 things .. in the proper quantity, and that is all you need.
    msestak and 3bears like this.