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Thread: Can I kill a skunk with a BB gun?

  1. #1
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    Can I kill a skunk with a BB gun?

    We have 2 dogs and a fenced in yard. There is a Skunk that keeps coming by and I'm worried that the dogs will get to close and get sprayed.

    Animal Control said they won't remove it unless it's stuck in the fence.

    I was thinking about picking up a BB gun and or/rifle to shoot and kill it so it'll be gone for good. The old pump action we have it didn't even flinch at.

    For the record the neighbor has little kids and they are also worried about the skunk and being sprayed.

    Again I'm attempting to find a legal solution to the problem. I'm open to ideas.

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    I found a little more info on the CT DEP website. Not sure how it all applies but here are the parts that I feel apply:

    High-Velocity Air Guns - Restricted to those that use a single ball or pellet-like projectile. Additional restrictions on the use of air guns are the same as those for rifles and handguns.

    Rifles and Handguns- Rifles or handguns using ammunition larger than .22 caliber rimfire long rifle cartridges are prohibited on state-owned land. Rifles or handguns of any caliber are prohibited on State-leased and Permit-Required Hunting Areas (see Permit-Required and State-Leased Hunting Area sections for exceptions). The use of rifles or handguns to hunt turkeys, waterfowl, or any other federally regulated migratory game bird (except crows) is prohibited. The use of handguns to hunt deer is prohibited. Hunting on private land with ammunition larger than .22 caliber rimfire long rifle during the private land shotgun/rifle deer season is prohibited unless the user has a valid private land deer season permit and landowner consent form. The use of rifles to hunt deer is subject to additional restrictions (see Private Land Shotgun/Rifle Season). The use of ammunition larger than .22 caliber rimfire long rifle to hunt raccoon or opossum at night is prohibited. A person using a handgun for hunting must possess any required state/town permits to carry. Note that it is legal to use .17 caliber rimfire firearms in all situations where it is legal to use .22 caliber rimfire long rifle firearms.

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    The quotes seem to be about hunting regs not nuisance animals.

    Since I know for a fact that skunks can and do have rabies (make sure you have your pets shots up to date), you might want to contact your county rabies control officer and have them remove it.

    Second option, rent or buy a live trap, wait until the skunk gets trapped and do it in with something larger than a bb to the heart. Then call the rabies contol officer to pick it up. Don't shoot it in the head.

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    Regular Member 1Grizzly1's Avatar
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    If you shoot it and it doesn't instantly die it will spray. The best way to get rid of it is to poison it. Just make sure no other neighborhood animals can get at the poison.

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    Your biggest worry should be your neighbors. I don't think any cop would bother arresting you for killing a nuisance skunk with a pellet gun, assuming it's done safely. Unless a crazy neighbor calls them saying you are "firing a gun" in your back yard. Feel them out first.
    If you are concerned with the pellet not being enough, look in to .22 CBs. They are designed to be exceptionally quiet and will fire out of most anything that is chambered in .22lr. Fired out of a rifle, they are as quiet as a pellet gun.

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    I can relate to your problem, I've gone through this recently. The problem is if you do shoot and kill the skunk it will leave it spray behind when it dies if it doesn't die immediately. Since they are very furry it's difficult to get a solid hit that will kill quickly. Use a havahart cage and bait it with peanut butter. When you discover the trapped skunk in the morning, sneak up on the blind side and cover the cage with an old towel to keep the skunk calm. At this point fill a large tub of water and use a metal rake to lift the cage into the tub. It's as quick and humane as you're going to get considering the circumstances.
    If you have one, you're sure to have another in the vicinity. You can spread flour on the ground to see it's tracks and get an idea of it has made a home under your porch/shed.
    Last edited by midnight61; 07-17-2010 at 10:54 AM.

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    trap it in a have a heart trap, then poison it once its in the trap. Then no risk to kids or pets.

    If you weren't too concerned about being legal (but still safe), I'd suggest picking it off with a .22 from a 2nd floor window in your house. That way if you miss, because of the angle, the bullet will hit the ground within a couple of feet.

    Quick, safe, efficient, but not necessarily legal.

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    The idea of a pellet gun sound like a great option. Quick and painless. If I can find one on the inexpensive side and the sound of a BB gun that would be perfect. I little louder would be acceptable but not a .22 sound.

    I know nothing about Air guns/pellet guns. Anything you guys can tell me could help.

    I've been reading that ".22 Colibri ammo is your friend".

    What's the difference in noise of a .22 CB vs Pellet? Should I get special pellets?

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    22 pellets are for an air rifle, 22 CB is a rimfire shell for a 22 rifle.

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    Should I stick with a .177 instead of .22?

    I've also found there are 4 type of air rifles .. but which is best power and quiet. I'm really looking for the 1 shot and done keeping it humane as possible.

    Springers, CO2 powered, Single and multi-pump pneumatics (Pumpers), and Pre-charged pneumatics (PCP's)

    I really wish I didn't have to travel this road but as I said, animal control won't help.

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    I like the break barrels that got the most power but only one shot. Look for 1000 FPS or faster, and go with the .177 as it goes faster. i would use hollow point pellets. The .22 are ok but to slow to do the deed you have planned. Cabelas and Sports Suthority have plenty of these ranging in prices, an ok one will cost you about 150. Good luck

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    I'd live trap it and take it somewhere and release it.

    You could probably just ignore it and not have any problems, but it is possible for your dogs to frighten it into spraying.

    Folks have become entirely too wary of skunks spraying. They only do so as a last resort or when suddenly frightened. Often they will spray dogs when dogs harrass them, but this is usually when the dogs are actively trying to kill the skunk, or the skunk has little experience with dogs. Since you have said you often see the skunk, it is probably familiar with people and dogs and would only spray if attacked.

    The whole "throw a towel over the trap and use a rake" is entirely too skunk paranoid, but I won't say anything bacause there's nothing wrong with taking precautions. Skunks rarely spray from within live traps, but they will if you kick it hard enough (or shoot them).

    You can easily trap the skunk, and approach the trap slowly and in a non-threatening manner. Watch the front feet. Unless frightened (or shot) they will stomp their front feet in warning when they are about to spray which, contrary to popular belief, is fairly rare. If you see them do a little dance, walk away. I'd simply pick the trap up, and take it somewhere else and let it go. This way, you won't have a smelly skunk corpse to dispose of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MHemmann View Post
    I like the break barrels that got the most power but only one shot. Look for 1000 FPS or faster, and go with the .177 as it goes faster. i would use hollow point pellets. The .22 are ok but to slow to do the deed you have planned. Cabelas and Sports Suthority have plenty of these ranging in prices, an ok one will cost you about 150. Good luck
    I dissagree. A 22 goes slower but hits MUCH harder. I'v dispatched alot of critters thru the years and long ago decided a 22 pellet gun is a better tool for the job.
    That said I'd trap it & move it probably.

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    Kinetic energy goes with the square of the velocity but only by the first power of mass, KE=(m v^2)/2

    Momentum is the product of mass and velocity, both to the first power.

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    The old farmers around where I live say put some anti-freeze in a bowl of milk and leave it out for the skunk. Of course if you have neighbors with cats this is not a good idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Grizzly1 View Post
    The old farmers around where I live say put some anti-freeze in a bowl of milk and leave it out for the skunk. Of course if you have neighbors with cats this is not a good idea.
    Says who? Sounds like a good idea to me. Unfortunately, this may kill the skunk.

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    Umm guys .. I have dogs so leaving poison out is NOT an option ..

    Looks like a .22 or trap is the way to go ..

    Thanks for the options and ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlite27 View Post
    I'd live trap it and take it somewhere and release it.

    You could probably just ignore it and not have any problems, but it is possible for your dogs to frighten it into spraying.

    Folks have become entirely too wary of skunks spraying. They only do so as a last resort or when suddenly frightened. Often they will spray dogs when dogs harrass them, but this is usually when the dogs are actively trying to kill the skunk, or the skunk has little experience with dogs. Since you have said you often see the skunk, it is probably familiar with people and dogs and would only spray if attacked.

    The whole "throw a towel over the trap and use a rake" is entirely too skunk paranoid, but I won't say anything bacause there's nothing wrong with taking precautions. Skunks rarely spray from within live traps, but they will if you kick it hard enough (or shoot them).

    You can easily trap the skunk, and approach the trap slowly and in a non-threatening manner. Watch the front feet. Unless frightened (or shot) they will stomp their front feet in warning when they are about to spray which, contrary to popular belief, is fairly rare. If you see them do a little dance, walk away. I'd simply pick the trap up, and take it somewhere else and let it go. This way, you won't have a smelly skunk corpse to dispose of.
    Paranoid? Hmmmmm, maybe. Cautious, extremely. I treat a skunk like I would a firearm...

    ALL SKUNKS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

    I do have a few neighbor's cats and my own dog to consider so I have to rule out poisoning in my yard. I tried the .22 solution last year but I live in a prominently "tree-hugging" neighborhood and I've run out of firecrackers to blame.
    All I can do is offer advice from personal experience, and as fate would have it, I just had to apply my solution again this morning. I guess it's true, "the 1st one is always the hardest". "Skunk-Hitman" for hire? I really should call a pest control agency just to get a quote on what they would charge. I can see a quick buck to be made in this arena.
    Last edited by midnight61; 07-20-2010 at 05:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by midnight61 View Post
    Paranoid? Hmmmmm, maybe. Cautious, extremely. I treat a skunk like I would a firearm...

    ALL SKUNKS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

    I tried the .22 solution last year but I live in a prominently "tree-hugging" neighborhood and I've run out of firecrackers to blame.
    Trap & turn it loose in a tree huggers yard. LOL.
    Really though, some of the 22 subsonics are very quiet, quieter than an air rifle. I use CCI CB shorts in my Marlin 39M rifle & nobody ever hears them. It makes more noise on impact than fireing.

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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by Leverdude View Post
    Trap & turn it loose in a tree huggers yard. LOL.
    Really though, some of the 22 subsonics are very quiet, quieter than an air rifle. I use CCI CB shorts in my Marlin 39M rifle & nobody ever hears them. It makes more noise on impact than fireing.

    I still think the neighbors are trying to figure out who put the NRA sticker next to the Obama sticker on their car...freakin neighborhood is going to hell
    Last edited by midnight61; 07-20-2010 at 06:32 PM.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by midnight61 View Post
    ALL SKUNKS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
    No kidding. I learned that the hard way, but a lesson learned with only one time to get it in my thick skull.

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