Vernon Hills may be bringing back skunk removal program

VERNON HILLS, Ill. – Some residents in the northern suburbs said they’re being overrun by skunks.

Mild winters, plenty of green space and a smorgasbord of food from a variety of sources has led to a population explosion of skunks.

Last fall Vernon Hills began a program where home owners were reimbursed $75 per skunk with the caveat that the trapping had to be caught by a certified professional and then euthanized per state law.

Vernon Hills pulled the plug on the program but residents said the skunks are back and they want the program back, too.

Skunks start breeding in February and March and can have two litters of up to four to eight offspring.

At the urging of homeowners who find the skunks to be a smelly nuisance to them and their pets who nest under porches, decks and any hideaway they find suitable.

At the board meeting Tuesday night, the measure passed unanimously.

“Bottom line here is they don't have a natural predator. There's nothing that comes and culls the herd so to speak and they just proliferate,” John Kalmar, village manager, said.

Licensed trappers caught 71 skunks last fall. So far, the program has not run into any opposition either from the public or animal rights advocates.