Hunt

Photo © Heather Berg

Nest Predator Bounty Program

On March 5, the GFP Commission passed a resolution  to conduct the Nest Predator Bounty Program in 2021 and 2022.

2021 Program Details

The Nest Predator Bounty Program runs from April 1, 2021 until July 1, 2021.

Species Included: Primary nest predators - raccoons, striped skunks, badgers, opossums, and red fox. 

Time Period: To be eligible for the bounty program, the nest predators listed above must be harvested during the program timeframe.  The bounty program runs from April 1 – July 1 or until the $500,000 maximum payout is reached.

2021 Collection Sites and Times

Overview

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is focused on reducing localized populations of nest predators as a way to enhance pheasant and duck nest success, while at the same time increasing participation in trapping from all ages. Trapping is an intention to experience, explore and create lasting memories while making a difference for managing wildlife in South Dakota.

The practice of trapping nest predators during the nesting season has been a management technique used for decades. Trapping is central to wildlife management, conservation and sustaining our state's outdoor traditions for the next generation.

Primary program goals include:

  • Enhance duck and pheasant nest success.
  • Increase trapping participation, awareness and education.
  • Ensure South Dakota’s hunting and trapping heritage remains strong for the next 100 years.
  • Get the next generation involved and interested in outdoor recreation, conservation and wildlife management while increasing support for habitat.

Raccoon, striped skunk, badger, opossum, and red fox are the eligible species for this program. 

Participation is for South Dakota residents. In the last two years of the program, approximately 4,300 program participants removed nearly 81,000 nest predators. 93 percent of the nest predators were from eastern South Dakota (Minnehaha, Yankton, Turner, Beadle, Brookings). In 2020, 16% of participants were 17 years-old and younger.

Participants will receive $10 per tail for the following species outlined above. Participants must submit the tail bone and entire tail of these species to receive payment. Participants can submit up to $590 worth of tails per household.

Participants then receive an email confirmation of the transaction. 

License Requirements:

  • Participants under the age of 16 and landowners harvesting nest predators from their own land are not required to have a license. All other participants are required to have a 2021 hunting, fishing or furbearer license.
  • Participants must comply with South Dakota trapping and hunting rules and regulations, which can be found in the current hunting and trapping handbook or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/pages/regulations/.

Additional information and requirements:

  •  All animals submitted for this program must have been harvested (i.e. trapped or shot) in South Dakota between April 1 and July 1.
  • With the warmer weather, participants are asked to freeze all eligible tails prior to submission or bring them in within three days of being harvested.
    • GFP recommends that participants either bring the tail within the three days of harvest or freeze them until they can be submitted.
  • Road kill animals are not eligible.
  • Payment will not be received upon submission of the tail(s). GFP will process payments and send a check in the mail approximately every 30 days.
  • Animals must be trapped or shot by the program participant within this timeframe: April 1 - July 1.
  • Upon tail submission, participants are required to sign a legal affidavit indicating the tails were obtained during the time period outlined above and that they came from an animal they harvested. Participants under the age of 18 will need their parent/legal guardian to sign a legal affidavit on their behalf.

Nest Predator Bounty Program - Youth Trap Giveaway:

  • Every week during the Nest Predator Bounty Program, GFP is giving away a prize package of 3 live traps, knife and trapping booklet to participating youth under the age of 18.
  • One weekly winner will be drawn from all tails submitted by youth trappers under the age of 18.
  • GFP staff will be contacting winners each week to inform them they have won and arrange a pick up for their live traps.
Week Name Hometown
1 T. Esser Frankfort
2 C. Petersen Rapid City
3 T. Burggraff Mound City

Responsive Management Survey Results

In fall of 2019, Responsive Management completed an independent survey of South Dakota residents and program participants, measuring their opinions on trapping and the Nest Predator Bounty Program. Overall, 83% of South Dakota residents approved of the program.  The complete report can be found here.