An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Striped Skunk Mating Season

3-14-14 striped skunk 082Striped Skunks are on the prowl, as your nose may have told you recently – males are eagerly seeking out the company of females at this time of year and are often hit by cars traveling at night. The peak of Striped Skunk breeding season is typically the third week in March. Males will mate with several females in succession and then they often protect their harem against other males by hitting them (other males) with their shoulders or biting their legs. Once a female has been successfully bred, she will not allow further mating activity and will viciously fight any male that attempts it.

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10 responses

  1. Every year around this time I think of having bumper stickers made up–in the style of awareness-raising bumper stickers about cyclists–with a picture of a skunk in the background and over it, the words, “Share the Road.”

    March 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

  2. I would love one of those!!!

    March 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    • Could you email me your mailing address (k.f.wolfe@gmail.com)? I finally had them made, and I’ll send you one!

      March 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

  3. Pat S

    If the female won’t let another male mate with her after being bred, why does the male bother to protect her? seems a waste of energy.

    March 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    • Excellent question. I would guess that maybe the protection only lasts until he has successfully bred with a female (?), but it’s not really clear from the information I gathered. Will let you know if I find further information on this!

      March 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

  4. Are skunks in the weasel family? Did you take this photo? This one looks so healthy, probably in the fall all fattened up for winter! I have a love/hate thing going with them. I think they are fine on their own, but getting that smell out of dog (or cat) fur is a nightmare!

    March 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    • Hi Eliza, Skunks used to be considered part of the weasel family, but is now in its own family, Mephitidae. I’ve been told that vets now sell something that’s pretty good at eliminating skunk smell on dogs, but (fortunately) haven’t had the need for any firsthand experience!

      March 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    • A bathing solution of hydrogen peroxide (1 qrt.), baking soda (1/4 C.) and Dawn liquid dish soap (1 tsp. – Dawn is the best but I don’t know why) works wonders. Just do not let get it get in their eyes! Soak dog (or cat) with water, lather in solution, leave on for about 3-5 min., then rinse. I always keep these item handy, just in case!

      March 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm

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