Stillwater News Press

March 3, 2014

The making of a skundillo

By Jon Kocan
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — This one is hard to believe but I saw it with my own eyes. While watching a pair of mallards on the pond behind my home, I spotted a skunk running across the top of the damn; tail in the air and hurried with a flat gate. I thought, “It’s breeding season for the skunks and something interesting is about to happen.”

I pulled down the binoculars and saw something following the skunk. A grey loping blob was bouncing along on the skunks trail.

Keep in mind this is happening from over 100 yards away. At first glance, I thought it was my cat. Then I thought about what my cat would be like covered in skunk spray. My dog has been sprayed at point blank range and it is not a fun experience.

It turns out an armadillo was after this skunk. For 30 yards the armadillo tracked and chased the skunk down the pond dam. The pond is low right now and the skunk decided to head downhill and back-track along the edge of the water to get away.

The armadillo actually tracked the skunk through the brush, and then down the muddy bank of the pond. I have hunted alongside some very good dogs that did not track as well as this armadillo. The skunk ran much faster than the armadillo, escaping into the woods and leaving the armadillo confused.

This incident brings many questions to hand. If it is skunk breeding season, what got into the armadillo? I couldn’t see any chance of successful interbreeding. Would you get a skarmadillo or an armadillunk?

At any rate, it was interesting to see an animal interaction that rarely happens.


Fishing season right around the corner

I will definitely be covering fishing but it is hard to get motivated without any sign that water temperatures will start to climb. By the time these words go to print, another arctic blast will be bearing down on our state. But soon enough it will be gone and metabolisms will begin to speed up. Within a few weeks, bass will begin to move into shallow water and spawning migrations will begin.

From bluegill in the pond to chasing sand bass as they migrate up river, a season worth of fishing lies ahead. The annual transition from the woods to the water is only a cold front away.  

Until then, we have a weekend to catch up. I have a few shotguns that need to be cleaned and truck still full of hunting clothes and gear to put away. It is best to take care of those chores before a whole new season begins.

Jon Kocan is an outdoor columnist for the Stillwater News Press. Kocan is a long-time local hunter.