COLUMN: Battling a smelly problem

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I live in the country so skunks aren’t a big problem for me. I see them as roadkill or sometimes catch their unmistakable odor on my hill in New Boston or on the farm.

Several Tell City residents, however, have had real problems with skunks recently, part of an apparent population boom in the mammals.

A co-worker here at The News has battled with skunks setting up house – under hers. Even well-behaving skunks leave a tell-tale odor and my co-worker has tried to keep the animals from entering her home’s crawlspace. She baited a live trap and caught two of the creatures. She chased a third away.

She may have been surprised at the success since she wasn’t sure what to do with them. A Crawford County man came and took them away, for a modest fee, and avoided being sprayed by dropping a blanket or tarp over the trap before he carted the skunk off.

Skunks supposedly won’t release their potent musky spray if they can’t see their intended victim. I’m not sure if that’s truth or urban legend – or maybe rural legend.

Another friend endured an even nastier attack. Her dog found and attacked a skunk by her house. The dog carried the dying and odor-emitting animal along the length of the home. As bad fortune would have it, the day happened to be extra nice and her stormdoor and windows were open, allowing fresh skunk odor inside.

She paid to have the house deodorized, a process usually used when someone dies at home and isn’t found for a time.

That’s how bad the smell is and how lasting it can be.

The smell even found its way into her new refrigerator.

I had a close call with a skunk at home a couple of years ago. A large specimen was prowling around the house and showed little interest in leaving when I stuck my head outside and offered a “Shoo, shoo, shoo.”

Skunks don’t intimidate easily.

Local police officers notice skunks, possums, raccoons and even deer throughout the city. They confirm there is an abundance of skunks. Conservation officers can offer advice on how to deal with skunks but I’m not sure what they can personally do. Anyone wanting to talk with a conservation officer can leave a message for them by calling 547-7068.

Post Office Furnishings Sought

Pat Koch from Santa Claus recently moved an 1856 building that once served as the Santa Claus Post Office from its spot in Holiday World to a new and growing Santa Claus Park that includes a refurbished 1930s Santa Claus statue and a church that was moved a short distance along Indiana 245.

Pat hopes to recreate the look of an old post office in the building, which had been a dollhouse at Holiday World and is looking for any furnishings from old post offices. If anyone knows of any information about such items they might be willing to donate or sell, contact me at 547-3424 or editor@perry countynews.com. I’ll pass the information to Pat.

Remembering Bill Mulzer

The New Boston community lost a good friend and neighbor last week.

William “Bill” Mulzer was a lifelong farmer who was devoted to his family, community and his many friends.

My brothers and I worked for him during summers, mainly picking up hay. His German accent was easy to understand though he pronounced some “V” sounds with “W” sounds. Thus he called me “Wince.”

Bill had the ability to work long and hard well into senior years and I admired his ability to take a power nap under a shade tree or wagon.
After an hour or so he was good for another 8 to 10 hours of hard work.

He’ll be missed but will long be remembered. An obituary appears in this edition.