Tonight was the first time I’ve had a chance to head out to my sit spot at around dusk since the last skunk encounter. Tonight, when I heard one scuffling around under the old kennel, I started talking softly, just letting it know I was there, so that I wouldn’t have to go through all the stress of the last encounter. I still really don’t want to get sprayed. So the skunk would pop out from other the kennel, about 8 feet away from me, and check me out, and as I kept talking it would duck back under the kennel. It didn’t seem particularly scared, but it also didn’t come up any closer, which was fine with me. It popped out from under the deck a few times to check me out, and then went back under and I could hear it scuffling around down there. After a few minutes, I saw it pop out of the other side of the deck. By then it was dark enough that I couldn’t really make out anything but the stripes. But pretty soon, I could see that the stripes were going in opposite directions! And I realized that I was watching two skunks. While I could see the two of them, I could swear I heard a third one still under the deck, but that could have been an auditory illusion. After a while, I was feeling like I wanted to head back into the house, but there isn’t really a good way to get back to the house other than past the skunks. I didn’t want them to feel trapped, so I started talking as I headed the long way around the yard, so they had plenty of time to duck back under the deck as I went by.
I’m guessing that they must be this year’s babies. The babies are born in May or June, so that would make these just a few months old. Otherwise, I think they’re supposed to be solitary, so I don’t know why else there would be more than one denning up together. I read in a little field guide that they den up and sleep most of the winter, which bummed me out a little bit. i was looking forward to making friends with them throughout the winter.