Skunks are pretty common in most of the country and especially where a good many of us hunt. If you have never experienced the smell after a skunk encounter, consider yourself lucky.
At some point, your dog is going to run across one of them. I find that my bird dogs like to point them but you can tell that something is off. They have a look in their eye that warns you that it isn’t a covey of quail that’s about to explode up from the grass.
If you can get your dog out of the way before the skunk sprays that’s great. If you don’t, there are things you can do to get the smell off him.
My Skunk Kit
I carry a skunk kit with me in the truck. It’s especially handy to have with you if your dog rides in your SUV or car. You don’t want to make the drive to town with him inside your vehicle if you can help it.
The combination that I use is 1 quart Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of a grease cutting liquid soap.
I carry a jug that I use to mix up the solution when I need it. You can not mix it up early or store it. The effects will wear off quickly so just bring the 3 parts and mix it up when needed.
A good pair of rubber gloves is also recommended.
How to DeSkunk Your Equipment & Dog
Scrub the solution into the dog and cover him in it. Be sure to keep it out of his nose and eyes. Let it sit on him for five minutes and then rinse with tap water. I recommend repeating these steps a second time just to be sure.
To give you a feel for how fast it works, I have had dogs get sprayed and after washing them and giving them time to dry, they have slept in the house, on my bed that night.
While cleaning the dog is easy, getting the smell out of your remote training collars and your tracking collars can be a bit trickier.
You can try these techniques with the collar straps attached but I remove and throw away the nylon collar straps. You are unlikely to pull the smell out of them and replacement collars are inexpensive.
First wash with the same mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap. The grease cutter in it will help remove the smell. A good scrubbing is required and get in all the nooks and crannies. Wash off with water and let it dry. Repeat if needed.
If that doesn’t remove the smell, then move to a 24 hour soak in isopropyl alcohol – the regular rubbing alcohol that you get at the pharmacy.
Get a bowl with a lid that is large enough to completely cover the electronics. Submerge the collar in the alcohol and let it soak 24 hours.
Remove it and wash it clean with water.
I’ve had to do this a couple of times myself and have cleared the process with engineering at Garmin and SportDog.
I have since learned of another technique that I will test the next time we get sprayed. I can’t guarantee it since I have not tried it but it sounds like it should work. Take your electronics and put them in a ziplock style plastic bag. Fill the bag full of unused coffee grounds. Let it sit for a week.
If you can avoid the experience you should but a run in with a skunk should not ruin your hunt. Having the right products to clean it up will help make your day much more pleasant.