I spend a lot of time trapping and relocating nuisance animals such as raccoons, opossum, skunks, mice, squirrels, porcupines and coyotes from properties in the Grand Traverse and Leelanau county areas. It never fails to amaze me how people will react to an animal encounter.

Occasionally I run into a situation that amuses me to no end, especially when alcohol is involved — even though I don’t drink alcohol.

One such encounter began on a beautiful summer day. I had just finished checking my traps for the day when I received a call from a frantic woman who was hosting a party at her home. She told me she was having a party for about 40 guests and she had a problem that needed to be addressed “ASAP.”

Apparently the neighborhood skunk decided to join the festivities. This caused the other guests to be a little upset at the smelly party crasher. I told her to leave it alone and it might leave on its own. She did not want to wait and insisted I come right then and remove the pest. We agreed on a price and off I went to save another human from wildlife.

When I arrived, there was a crowd of people at one end of the front lawn waiting for me to save them, and the lone skunk facing them on the other end of the lawn. The scene was quite comical, to say the least. When the skunk took a step forward, the mass of humans stepped back in unison. This was repeated until the skunk had them pinned against a fence.

Being the consummate professional that I am, I did not laugh or make fun of them, though inside I was chuckling. I calmly got out of my truck, wrapped a live trap with a tarp and used a bungee cord to hold the trap door open. Next, I put on my gloves and prepared to catch this mean varmint. The skunk never noticed me walking up from behind; it was too fixated on the petrified party guests.

When I got close enough, I reached down and grabbed the skunk by the nape of its neck with one hand and, with the other, held the tail down around its rump. With one quick swoop, I had the animal up and into the live trap. Before the skunk knew what hit him, the trap door was shut and the cage was in the back of my truck.

As for the party guests, several of the men passed out cold when they saw what I did, either out of sheer disbelief or too many “ginger ales.” As for the women, I received lots of praise and proposals, such as, “Now there’s a real man,” “Can I buy you a drink?” and, the best one, a very nice marriage proposal from a very drunk woman.

My only response to all the catcalls was, “That’s nice ladies; now who is paying for this show?”

Ron Baker is a professional trapper and owner of Trapper Ron’s Humane Animal Removal & Relocation Services, which humanely traps nuisance animals and relocates all but rodents, coyotes and sick animals. Reach him at 248-939-0314 or on Facebook @TrapperRon.

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