How do you let a skunk out of a trap? "Carefully, if not at all" would be my usual answer. But after our neighbor accidentally trapped a skunk, we wanted to help set it free.
Skunk handling was not yet on my résumé, so the first order of business was some basic training. A quick Internet search came up with a great little site on how the pros trap and release their skunks. Since the trapping part was already done for us, we got to studying the release part.
The key piece of information we learned was that "if the skunk can't see, it can't spray." Among New York City skunks that's called "If you see something, spray something." Despite this useful and comforting information, we still carefully studied the three signs that a skunk is going to spray. We wanted to be prepared for all contingencies.
Using our newly acquired book knowledge, we armed the wives with a camera, put on rubber gloves (as if that was going to help) and began approaching the skunk from the blind side of a blue tarp. Sure enough, he didn't see, so he didn't spray. Although after watching the replay, when the tarp came down, the tail went up. He took aim, but thankfully didn't shoot.
Minutes later, we'd moved the trap to an open field and had our good neighbor friend open the door. We wanted him to have the honor. The skunk came out on cue and immediately dug around for a quick bite before he hit the road and disappeared into the woods.
Everyone went home for a good night's rest, smelling their best.