The Missouri Department of Conservation is reminding outdoor enthusiasts they’ll start seeing more skunks as temperatures warm up.  Spokesperson Jim Low says the animals are becoming more active.

“They’re not true hibernators, they don’t crawl underground and stay there in a dead sleep for months at a time but they do get very inactive.”

Spring is mating season for the animals which means they’ll roam, especially males.

“We want people to be aware of that because skunks are one of two species in Missouri that does carry rabies.”

Not too many of the black and white critters actually have the virus but he says it’s best to stay away especially if one is spotted acting abnormally.  Bats are the second species that can also carry the disease.

MDC has suggestions for anyone who has a bad encounter with on of the smelly creatures.

Missouri Department of Conservation Tips to battle skunk odor and more information on skunk control.