Nest Predator Bounty Program Sets Record for Youth Participation

July 10, 2023

Pierre, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) today announced the final tail collection total for the fifth year of the Nest Predator Bounty Program as part of Gov. Noem’s Second Century Initiative. For 2023, 50,552 total tails were submitted by 2,481 participants.

The 2023 program saw the highest level of youth participation since inception, with youth under the age of 18 composing 46% of total participants. Last year's participation was 32%.

“It is very exciting to see the next generation out trapping and getting involved in wildlife management,” said Kevin Robling, GFP Department Secretary. “Youth participation continues to increase each year of the program, and we are so proud to see more youth and families getting outdoors.”

New for 2023, every participating youth received one free live trap when submitting their tails for the first time. In total, 1,014 live traps were distributed to youth across South Dakota.

“In an effort to get more youth involved in trapping, we offered a free live trap for every youth participant,” continued Robling. “We also renamed our Youth Trap Giveaway in honor of Benton Howe. Each week one participating youth under the age of 18 was drawn to receive a raccoon trapping starter kit, trapping handbook, a knife, and a write-up remembering Benton Howe’s love for the outdoors.”

The 2023 program opened for South Dakota youth under the age of 18 on March 1. The program then opened to all South Dakota residents on April 1. The cap of 50,000 tails was reached on June 29.

Overall, participation was up for the program, with 5% more participants than in 2022.
“The primary nesting season is complete, conditions across most of the state looked excellent for pheasant production, and we’re looking forward to seeing this excitement transition to the fields this fall,” concluded Robling.


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