Photo © Heather Berg

Nest Predator Bounty Program

The 2020 Nest Predator Bounty Program ended on July 1, 2020. Tails are no longer being accepted for 2020. 

On March 6, the GFP Commission passed a resolution to conduct the Nest Predator Bounty Program in 2020.

2020 Program Details:

The Nest Predator Bounty Program began on April 1, 2020 and ran until July 1, 2020.

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

Time Period: An individual can harvest these five species year-round, but to be eligible for the bounty program they must be harvested during the program timeframe.  The bounty program ran from April 1 – July 1 or until the $250,000 cap is reached.

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is focused on increasing participation in trapping from all ages while at the same time, reducing localized populations of nest predators as a way to enhance pheasant and duck nest success.

The activity of trapping nest predators during the nesting season has been a management technique 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.

Participants will receive $5 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 $595 worth of tails per household.

Participants then receive an email confirmation of the transaction. 

License Requirements:

  • Participants under the age of 18 and landowners harvesting nest predators from their own land are not required to have a license. All other participants are required to have a 2020 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

Additional information and requirements:

  • All animals submitted for this program must have been harvested (i.e. trapped or shot) in South Dakota.
  • With the warmer weather, participants are asked to freeze all eligible tails prior to submission or bring them in within three days of being caught.
    • GFP recommends that participants either bring the tail in the day 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.

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.