The Surgeon and the Skunk

Photo by Steve Sorensen

Contributing Writer
Steve Sorensen

Randy Randolph’s dad raised him up huntin’ and fishin’ and trappin’ and fixin’ cars. Randy told me his dad’s mission in life was to keep his mom grounded in ordinary stuff because she wasn’t a regular person. She was a surgeon so she lived in a world where people don’t do normal things.

Dr. Randolph is probably the smartest woman I ever met. The thing about smart women is they don’t show-off their smartness like a man does. For example, she wasn’t showing off her smartness when she married Mr. Randolph.

When a woman is smart, it’s hard to tell because smart women are humble. So it takes a long time to collect clues. It’s different with a man. When a man thinks he’s smart, he gives plenty of clues. After you weed out the fake clues, it’s obvious the man is stupid.

Anyway, one of the clues the Randolphs were smart folks is that they had a couple of wiener dogs. It’s smart to have wiener dogs because they’re low maintenance. You don’t have to take them for long walks because a short walk is a long walk for them. Plus you can give ’em a bath in the kitchen sink because when they’re 40 inches off the floor they’re afraid not to get a bath. But they’re not afraid of much, and they’ll kill most critters or die trying — cats, groundhogs, ’possums — but don’t let ’em get after skunks.

The Randolphs lived outside of town, in an upscale area where they couldn’t see the nearest neighbor. Some folks there have large lawn ornaments — two or three old cars, maybe four. These people don’t mow their yards because the cars, with cement blocks where the wheels were, are hard to move. You can tell the smart neighbors. They’re the ones with lawn ornaments the same model as the one they drive. That way the parts are interchangeable.

The Randolphs had a nice yard, the kind where skunks like to dig for grubs. I told Mr. Randolph that when a family of skunks digs for grubs in a nice yard, it should be like going to a nice restaurant. Responsible skunk parents should teach manners to their skunk kids, like fillin’ in the holes they make. “Skunk families are like your family,” he said. “There’s one lazy stinker who refuses to learn.” I’m not sure why he pointed at me when he said that last part.

Since the skunks had no manners, Mr. Randolph decided to catch them alive in a wire cage trap and relocate them to a lower class restaurant where manners are no big deal. He asked me for advice on bait. “I’m sure you like peanut butter ’cause every animal likes peanut butter.” I like how he respects me. I nodded, so he baited the trap with peanut butter and told me to stay away from it.

One morning Dr. Randolph had an early surgery and Mr. Randolph had been up way past midnight helping a neighbor with an organ transplant on his car, so he was sleeping in. She let the wiener dogs out at 5:00 AM and right away they ran to the corner of the house and started a commotion. She didn’t know that was where Mr. Randolph put the trap. She also didn’t know a skunk was in it. When she went to fetch the dogs, up went the skunk’s tail and it let loose.

She grabbed the dogs, ran into the house, and yelled to Mr. Randolph. “Give these dogs a bath!” She jumped into the shower. Luckily, only the dogs got sprayed.

An hour later she was at the hospital all scrubbed in for surgery. Just before she opened the door to the Operating Room, she got a text message from Mr. Randolph. “These dogs don’t stink at all! Are you sure they got hit?”

As soon as she entered the Operating Room one of the nurses wrinkled up her nose and the anesthesiologist started gagging. “I smell a skunk!”

Dr. Randolph’s first thought was, “Isn’t that a coincidence?” Then she thought, “Uh-oh.”

She slowly took off her scrub cap and sniffed it. “Um, that would be me.”

When “The Everyday Hunter” isn’t hunting, he’s thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting. If you want to tell Steve exactly where your favorite hunting spot is, contact him through his website, He writes for top outdoor magazines, and won the 2015 and 2018 national “Pinnacle Award” for outdoor writing.

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Steve Sorensen of Russell, PA is an award-winning writer whose column, The Everyday Hunter®, offers hunting tips, strategies, insights and occasional humor. His byline has appeared in the nation's top hunting magazines and he is a field contributor to "Deer and Deer Hunting" magazine. Steve is also in demand as an event speaker, presenting programs on do-it-yourself Alaska moose hunting, whitetail deer, wild turkeys, and eastern coyotes, with new programs coming. E-mail him at to invite him to speak at your next sportsman's dinner (or to tell him where your best hunting spot is).