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  • Writer's pictureJason Stanley

Just in Case Skunk Spray

Updated: May 14

The mission of Connect the Dots is to share proven accuracy and precision guidelines learned in competition in a way hunters can use in the field.  Well...this is not about accuracy or precision, but most definitely is proven and can be used in the field.

I’ve put a lot of hours into night time hunting this year.  The lion’s share of that time is spent calling coyotes.  Using a thermal has opened my eyes to the amount of other nocturnal wildlife in SE Nebraska.  Most know racoon numbers are out of control.  Even if you are not out past bedtime, the aftermath of their nighttime adventures is painfully visible the next day. 

One creature that I am not hearing much about, yet my after dark observations lead me to believe their numbers are close to raccoons, are skunks.  Specifically, the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis).  Their scientific name is Latin for noxious, foul or stench.  When put back to back means double foul odor.

Ol Pepe Le Pew is classified as a carnivore, but skunks are superb scavengers.  In the wild, northern skunks usually live two to four years, yet in areas of limited predators, can live north of ten years.  Mating season for the prairie polecat is mid February through early April.  Roughly three months later, four to six little black tails will enter this world. 

Around the three month mark, Hudsonian skunks will have fully developed their anal glands earning their most common name of smelly bastards.  It is worth mentioning, even though they can spray at an early age, their accuracy is akin to an eight year old shooting his first BB gun.  With age, however, they can be winning state championships.

If you spend enough time outdoors, you will undoubtedly encounter their unpleasant essence.  The bad news is this aroma can stick to you, the family pet, car tires, basically anywhere this oily secretion lands.  The good news is many local stores carry everything you need to neutralize this odor.

This recipe was copied from an article by the NE Game & Parks many years ago.  I’ve kept the recipe, but have no way of giving credit to the author.  In other words; I did not make this up, I just use it. 

Skunk Spray Recipe

For a downloadable version = Skunk Spray Recipe

Spray Bottle

1 quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (the kind you buy at most stores)

¼ cup baking soda

1 teaspoon Dawn dish soap

1 popsicle stick (or similiar)

Keep the ingredients separated until needed.  These chemicals have a decently long shelf life when unopened.  Once opened however, life expectancy decreases rapidly.


Unopened Shelf Life

Opened Shelf Life

Hydrogen Peroxide 

Roughly 3 years

Roughly 6 months

Baking Soda

Roughly 18 months

Roughly 6 months

Dawn Dish Soap

Roughly 18 months

Roughly 18 months


When needed, mix ingredients in the spray bottle. 

Experience Tip: It is very difficult to pour the baking soda into the spray bottle. Instead, use the popsicle stick to slowly scrape the baking soda from the measuring cup into the bottle.

Thoroughly cover the affected area, keeping the spray out of the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.  Let sit for a short period of time.  Rinse off with water.  For direct sprays, it may take a couple cleanings.

Experience Tip: Do not rub the first spraying of mixture into the fur of a dog. You'll actually rub the skunk oil in deeper. Simple spray then rinse the first time. Once the majority of the smell is gone then thoroughly scrub/wash the dog.

This mixture works by chemically turning the skunk spray into odorless sulfonic acid.  Sulfonic acids are an important ingredient in many granular detergents, shampoo, dyes, and cosmetics.  Although Sulfonic acid is relatively harmless, it may cause skin rashes and irritations and should not be left on the skin for extended periods of time.  As with all homemade concoctions, try on a small area first to see if negative side effects occur.  

Over the years, this recipe has taken the skunk smell away from me and my dogs twice.  This recipe has also been shared with several coworkers and friends with excellent results.  This proven recipe will always be found in my truck during hunting season. I hope you never have to use it, but now you have it…just in case.

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