2023 Nest Predator Bounty Program Begins for Youth

February 28, 2023

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) kicks off the fifth year of the Nest Predator Bounty Program as part of Gov. Noem’s Second Century Initiative. The 2023 program opens for South Dakota youth under the age of 18 on March 1. The program will open to all South Dakota residents April 1. Tails from raccoon, striped skunk, badger, red fox, and opossum will be eligible for $10 per-tail payments with a maximum total payout of $500,000.

"Getting the next generation involved in conservation is critical to keeping our South Dakota outdoor heritage strong,” said Kevin Robling, GFP Department Secretary. "The Nest Predator Bounty Program is an excellent way to get youth and families engaged with the outdoors."

In 2022, 143 youth participated in the youth-only month of March and submitted 2,100 nest predators during this time. Overall, 2,367 individuals participated in the 2022 program removing 55,220 nest predators. Youth made up 32% of total participants, which was higher than in 2021 at 29%.

New for 2023, every participating youth will receive one free live trap. When youth submit their tails for the first time, they will receive their live trap to use throughout the program.

Tails eligible for submission can be harvested via trapping or hunting. Participants need a hunting, furbearer, or fishing license to be eligible to participate in the bounty program. Landowners harvesting nest predators for the program on their own land and youth under 18 are exempt from this license requirement.

Complete program details as well as dates, times, and locations for tail submissions can be found on the GFP website. For bounty submissions outside of the listed office locations and times, please contact your local wildlife conservation officer or wildlife damage specialist.

“We are also very excited to rename the Youth Trap Giveaway in honor of Benton Howe, a young man who had a passion for the outdoors and shared that passion with his family and friends,” concluded Robling. "One participating youth under the age of 18 will be drawn weekly to receive a raccoon trapping starter kit, Trapping Handbook, a knife, and a write-up explaining Benton Howe’s love for the outdoors.” 


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