News Columns & Blogs

A smelly decision.

Thursday evening I could have faced a decision unlike any other – having to decide between a deer and a skunk.

Here’s the deal -

Carolyn Schwab and I were deer hunting when a big ol’ skunk started foraging about 10 yards to our north. It was twilight and I expected deer to appear on a trail to the north at any second.

To take a shot Carolyn would  have fired a round right over the skunk, which happened to be directly upwind from where we waited. No doubt the shot from the ported .30-06 would have startled the skunk and if – or when – it sprayed the breeze would have brought  the putrid yellow cloud right to where we sat confined in a ground blind.

No deer showed. But had the tiniest doe trotted into sight I’d have begged Carolyn to pull the trigger.

It’s been that kind of hunt.

I’ve previously blogged about what’s evolved into my most frustrating deer hunting adventure in many, many years.

Thursday was our eighth time afield trying to get Carolyn her first deer. We’ve come close a few times but so far she hasn’t even flicked the gun’s safety, let alone taken a shot.

I don’t understand it. This fall and winter 10 people have either hunted with me or used my stands. Nine have had easy shots and eight killed deer. I’ve invested more time into Carolyn’s hunts than most of the others.

Between hunting and scouting we’ve invested a combined 70-plus hours. By hand-pulled cart I took in a pop-up blind complete with a shooting bench to help with the shot that’s never come.

I’ve learned the true meaning of “bone-chilling cold”  after some of our long sits.

So after all of that an extended bath in the below concoction and chucking a few clothes in the trash would have seemed easy.

Hopefully we’ll make it to the blind a final time this weekend. Skunk or no skunk, if a deer offers a good shot I’m going to be begging Carolyn to fire!


Forget the tomato juice, use the following to remove the smell of skunk spray.

1 qt. hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup baking soda

1 tsp. liquid dish soap

Dampen the smelly creature with water and work the potion in thoroughly and rinse. Repeat several times.

The recipe can be doubled or tripled and must be used immediately after it’s mixed. Avoid getting it in contact with eyes.