Ahh, less than a month until springtime in the Hudson Valley - birds chirping, more sunlight, and the strong scent of skunks in the air...wait, what?

Skunk breeding season officially begins this month (February) and continues through March, and they'll be letting their fellow skunks know that they're ready for love in a stinky way.


If you've noticed more skunk presence around the area than usual, this is the reason why.

Skunk Mating Season in the Hudson Valley

With skunks having poor eyesight, they rely on their sense of smell to communicate.  During breeding season, skunks let out little 'poofs' of odor that can apparently travel up to 1.5 miles away, letting other skunks know they're out and about.

The New York State DEC reminds residents that male skunks are especially active during this time of year, you won't find them hibernating in dens, but instead, they'll be out and about aboveground, even during the cold weather.

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The DEC shares the same reminder right around this time every year, that mating season is here, and some things you should be aware of.

Sciencing.org even shares that during the month of February, males will begin looking for females, traveling up to five miles to mate.  Females who are not interested in mating will spray the male to let him know she's not into it.

READ MORE: What Hudson Valley Animals Are Trekking Through Your Yard?

Things To Keep In Mind During Skunk Mating Season

  • Before dawn and after dark are the most common times to see skunks out looking for love.
  • Our little stinky friends don't have the best vision, so you'll see them out on the roads, and they likely will not stop for an approaching car (or your dog).
  • Keep your yard clean of garbage and food sources (secure garbage cans, clean up any bird seed or feeders).
  • Make a little noise when going outside or letting your dog out - it will give skunks some time to move out of your space and avoid a potentially stinky situation for you or your pet.
skunk in nature during fall

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