Is it legal for me to trap a skunk?

The laws about skunks are different from one state to another. For example in Indiana there is a law that protects skunks, and they can only be trapped based on the seasons. When you see a skunk near your area, it should not be a reason to be alarmed. If the skunk has taken residence in your home, you can try mild harassment so that you can convince them to go to another place.

If you live in Virginia, for example, it is legal to trap a skunk, but you need to get permission to do so in neighboring states. Killing of skunks for game or sport has been banned. If you have an Alexandria property, it is illegal to relocate or release a skunk you have trapped in another area. In other areas, it is a law that a trapped skunk should be released within 10 miles of the place where it was captured.

Skunks are nocturnal animals and they are active starting from early evening until late in the night. During the days, they sleep in their dens. In warm summers, skunks can choose to sleep in vegetation. Dens are built over ground level and sometimes they may be close to river banks, ponds or streams. Skunks also live under lumber piles or porches. They have sharp claws which make it easy to dig for insects since their diet is made up mostly of worms and beetles.

The reason behind the banning of trapping or hunting of skunks in many places is their ability of spreading diseases to animals and humans. When a skunk is provoked, it may release an odor or a discharge. The skunks can release the oily substance to protect themselves, and this liquid can be sprayed over 5 feet away from where they are.

The skunks should be prevented from entering into private property. They can be trapped and taken away, but they should not be released too far from where they were found. It is against the law to release a trapped skunk near another residential place. You should release the skunk within 10 miles away of the residential area where you found it. If you see an injured skunk, you will have to report it to the wildlife and animal conservation agency right away. In many areas, it is not allowed to feed injured skunks because any unsuitable diet can make it worse, so it is good to report the problem to a wildlife treatment center at once.

In Colorado, it is not allowed to keep any skunk regardless if it is domesticated or wild. This is because they carry rabies much of the time, and even if they may be vaccinated using dog vaccines, the vaccination has not been proven to work for skunks. Skunks may also cause distemper in pets or leptospirosis in people. Every skunk bite has to be reported to the state or county health department.

Read more advice:

  • Skunk Trapping: How To catch a Skunk
  • What equipment is needed to trap a skunk?
  • What is the best bait to trap a skunk?
  • What should I do with a skunk after I catch it?
  • How to use one-way exclusion funnels to remove skunks without trapping them
  • Where should I relocate a trapped skunk?
  • What are some humane ways to kill a skunk in a cage?

  • Go back to the Skunk Removal home page or email us for more info about Is it legal for me to trap a skunk?