A stinky situation

Published: Oct. 16, 2019 at 5:16 PM CDT
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​North Dakota is known for its wildlife and the great outdoors. But when there's a nuisance animal, you might want to call someone who knows what they're doing to help you deal with it.

When there's an unwanted animal on your property, many people's reaction is to call animal control. But critters like bats, skunks, and rodents aren't the city's responsibility.

Skunks, squirrels, and bats, oh my.

Mark Runyan is the one you call when you need to get rid of an animal nuisance in your yard.

"I go over and do an inspection in the area, and just by looking at the area and seeing which place is the best place to set the trap and tell the client to keep an eye on it, and if the door's down, call me we got something," said Runyan.

It's not covered by the city, it falls into Runyan's territory.

"You set up the trap, that's one fee, that's actually rental on the trap. And once you got the critter, he's got to be removed and taken out of town," he said.

Just this year, he's captured 48 skunks in Burleigh County in traps he's made himself. Compared to the 22 skunks he captured last year, it's an unusually high number. Runyan's goal is to capture in a humane way and bring them 5-10 miles away from people's homes.

"I don't see any use in killing something for nothing," said Runyan.

He attracts them using jelly, that way cats and dogs are less likely to go near it. He says he'll capture pretty much any critter, 24/7 and loves what he does.

Despite all of Runyan's captures, he says he's only been sprayed by two skunks.

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