This morning, as my dog Meg and I went out to get the newspaper, she ran towards our pool fence, barking (pretty unusual for a dog that is afraid of chipmunks). I wondered what the issue was until I saw a black and white tail sticking out. The pool has been closed for the season and there was a skunk standing on the cover. The cover’s about 1.5 feet below the deck and the skunk couldn’t get out.

After going over various options, like putting things in for the skunk to climb out on (unsuccessful), getting a live trap (too lazy to go find one), scooping it up with the pool skimmer net (a matter of how badly I’d be sprayed, not whether I’d be sprayed), getting a wildlife removal person in (too cheap to get someone else to do it) or lacing food with a sedative, I came up with the following plan:

  1. Find a large garbage pail with a handle. Tie a long rope to one handle.
  2. Place the garbage pail on its side in the pool, with the handle tied to the rope on top.
  3. Lure the skunk into the pail (e.g. with food) or, as I did, herd it in using a LONG pole.
  4. When the skunk is inside, pull on the rope to tip the garbage pail back up.
  5. Cover the garbage pail. A plastic kiddie pool works well.
  6. Carefully but quickly lift the covered garbage pail out of the pool.
  7. RUN… upwind.

It worked for me… no guarantees however.