April 11, 2013

Skunks provide opportunity for Council education

Skunks provide opportunity for Council education

By ALLAN TINKER

The McClusky City Council meeting on Monday, April 8, evolved into a mini-session on skunks. Present for information sharing was Brenda Potts, instructor at the McClusky High School, a person with much experience in trapping this striped wildlife species.
With several dead skunks observed close to the Polar Ware building driveway by several members and guests, the questions included the gravest ones, “Just how many are in McClusky and how do we get rid of them?”
How many was not easily answered without being able to tag and watch the night-active creatures. But, with this many lying dead, it is a guess there are quite a few more since the smells continue.
Dorothy Estrada, east McClus-ky council member, stated “The smell is strong, like they are really close.”
Others have smelled skunk but less intense; others agreed with Estrada. The traps, two, maybe three, have been less than successful and it was here that Potts was able to shed some light. The tube traps, though quick and efficient, are prone to wind gusts closing the trap door prematurely. The rectangular “Havahart” type live traps are more wind resistant, she advised.
A rectangular trap was thought to be among the city’s skunk defense equipment and Tom Giese will look to see if he can locate that one, also. The two tube traps are at hand for immediate use.
The skunks have been making their presence known, using the several old buildings, friendly habitat, supplies of garbage and pet food, and other life sustaining help to make them “at home” in the city.
Potts stated the one that was taken from the window well of the Klemisch residence was “obese.” This indicates there is a ready supply of food for the unwanted guests of the city.
A motion to purchase two more traps was approved.
Sheriff Trent Naser appeared with the yearly incident summary, along with more information on skunks. 
His summary gave the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 stats in graph form. The total citations given and civil processes served both increased: total for 2012 was 681 citations, 238   civil processes. Of the citations, municipal totaled 114 and district 567.
Naser reported that there were 35 accident investigations in 2012; 149 crime investigations, including juveniles; 70 arrests; and revenues collected, $6,225.04.
Calls for service: McClusky, 160; Goodrich, 30; Martin, 10; rural area, 325, assist other agencies (state, other counties, and federal) 6.
No dog or cat licenses are included in the totals.
Naser also stated that the prisoner budget item is already in the red with the farther drive to housing. Rugby is 90 miles and a trip to the women’s prison is close to 200 miles. The Washburn jail has filled with prisoners from the State Prison in Bismarck overflow due to the remodeling going on in that location, resulting in no room for Sheridan County offenders.
 


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