Did you dog get nailed by a skunk?
By Hookemharry

Posted: April 6, 2006

This is the time of year when hunting dog owners should be starting to invest time into the puppy that they plan to hunt with this fall.

Working with your hunting dog throughout the year is always a good idea. But if you haven’t done that during the cold months, it’s high time to make the most of the beautiful spring weather and begin now.

Of course, being out with your dogs always poses some hazards. Those include the occasional skunk.

With that in mind, the advice in the e-mail I received today from Bob Rogers, of Missoula, seems to be well worth passing along. It has to do with skunk odor and how to eliminate it.

Rogers, who simply calls his recipe Skunk Smell Removal says he has used it several times on himself and his dogs.

The Skunk Smell Removal recipe consists of: one quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, one-quarter cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap.

How did Rogers come up with the ingredients? Skunk essence is made of sulfur molecules, he said. The materials in the recipe, when mixed together, form an alkaline peroxide that chemically changes the skunk essence into sulfuric acid; a completely odorless chemical.

Rogers recommends mixing the solution when you are ready to use it. When you’re done, do not store the remainder.

He goes on to say in his e-mail that his friends to have used this for years on their dogs.

My dogs have been sprayed in the face several times, and the solution does not burn their eyes, even though we try to keep it out of their eyes, adds Rogers. The recommended time for leaving it on is a couple of hours. Then apply Johnson baby shampoo and then simply rinse it off.

Bear season opens this Saturday, April 8th. This is the time of year when bears will start to be more active.

Diane Tipton, from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, says bear biologists and outdoor educators encourage people recreating in Montanas bear country to carry and know how to use pepper spray in emergencies.

In the rare case of a conflict, bear pepper spray, a high-pressure extract of about two percent capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot, and other related capsaicinoids, can get the job done.

In fact, recent incidents show bear pepper spray to be more effective than a bullet in diverting or stopping a charging bear, according to the Center for Wildlife Information in Missoula.

Go to your local sporting god store and check out the different brands that are available. Many manufactures offer helpful product comparisons and detailed user instructions on their Internet web sites.

Make sure the pepper spray you are choosing is registered with the EPA and that they are intended specifically for use on bears. Look for 1.3 to 2.0 percent of active ingredients, six to nine seconds of spray time, a canister that weighs at least 7.9 ounces with a spray range of at least 25 feet in order to give the bear time to experience the effects of the spray.

One of the most common mistakes new users make is to apply the bear pepper spray to their camping gear, tents and backpacks ahead of time to repel bears.

This doesn’t work. In fact, some preliminary research suggests it may actually attract bears.

Keep the bear spray canister handy in a holster on your belt, for example when you are in bear country and know how to use it if the time comes.

It may help protect you and will help keep Montanas bears wild.