Photo © Heather Berg

Nest Predator Bounty Program

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.

It is GFP’s desire to continue the program in 2020. This conversation took place at the January GFP Commission meeting along with a presentation about the survey results.

The GFP Commission adopted a resolution that is currently available for a 60-day public comment period. Topics for consideration regarding a 2020 Nest Predator Bounty Program include: time period, price per tail, participant requirements, program cap and other relevant program details. Comments can be submitted using the Public Commission Comments form.

The Commission will take action on March 5 or 6 in Pierre.

Details regarding the 2019 Nest Predator Bounty Program:

The Nest Predator Bounty Program closed on Monday, August 12 at 5 p.m.

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

Time Period: An individual can trap these five species year-round.  The bounty program ran from April 1 – August 12 at 5 p.m.

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 utilized 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. 

Participants received $10 per tail for the following species outlined above. Participants had to submit the tail bone and entire tail of these species to receive payment. During the 2019 season, participants could submit up to $590 worth of tails per household.

Participants then received an email confirmation of the transaction. 

License Requirements:

  • No license was required for residents to participate in the program.
  • Participants must comply with South Dakota trapping and hunting rules and regulations. Rules and regulations 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 trapped 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 by the program participant within this timeframe:
    April 1 - August 12.
  • 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 trapped. Participants under the age of 18 will need their parent/legal guardian to sign a legal affidavit on their behalf.