Nest Predator Bounty Program
The 2024 Nest Predator Bounty Program will begin March 1, 2024 for all South Dakota youth under 18 and April 1 for all South Dakota residents.
On January 12, 2023, the GFP Commission passed a resolution to conduct the Nest Predator Bounty Program through 2026.
The Nest Predator Bounty Program begins on March 1 for youth under the age of 18. The program is then open to all South Dakota residents from April 1 until July 1, or until the maximum payout of $500,000 is reached.
Species Included: The following 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 and by respective age groups. The bounty program is open from March 1-July 1 for resident youth under 18 and April 1 – July 1 for all South Dakota residents.
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.
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 awareness of the importance of good habitat for nesting pheasants and waterfowl.
Raccoon, striped skunk, badger, opossum, and red fox are the eligible species for this program.
Participation is for South Dakota residents.
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 may receive an email confirmation of the transaction if they so choose.
- 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 valid 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.
Additional information and requirements:
- All animals submitted for this program must have been harvested (i.e. trapped or shot) in South Dakota between March 1-July 1 for youth under 18 and April 1-July 1 for all South Dakota residents.
- During warmer weather, participants are asked to freeze all eligible tails prior to submission or bring them in within three days of being harvested.
- 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.
- 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.
Benton Howe Youth Trap Giveaway:
- During the Nest Predator Bounty Program, GFP is giving away a dog-proof raccoon trapping kit to a 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 of the trapping package.
- Youth may only win once.
- Youth names are only entered once into the drawing regardless of how many tails they submit. Unless drawn, their name will remain in the drawing for a chance to win until the end of the program.
Benton Howe Youth Trap Giveaway Winners:
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.