Some members of South Dakota’s wildlife community have told Governor Kristi Noem she could spend the money more effectively, but she’s pushing ahead with her new bounty program that began Monday.
It will pay people for trapping predators that raid nests of waterfowl and upland game birds.
To collect $10, a trapper must present the tailbone and entire tail of a raccoon, striped skunk, badger, opossum or red fox at a state Game, Fish and Parks Department regional wildlife office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time.
People also can make individual arrangements for collecting bounties by contacting a GFP wildlife conservation officer or wildlife damage specialist from the list online. Phone numbers are also listed in the current version of the GFP hunting and trapping handbook.
The bounty program is scheduled to run through August 31 unless the $500,000 cap is reached first. Only South Dakota residents are eligible. Road-killed animals aren’t. There’s a household limit of $590.
Licensing requirements and other information including locations of the regional centers can be found online.
There’s also a GFP-hosted series of meetings on getting started in trapping. There were still openings Monday afternoon for sessions later this month in Huron, Hot Springs, Phillip, Chamberlain, Yankton, Brookings, Mobridge, Aberdeen, Faith and Watertown.
The bounty program is one piece of the new governor’s greater emphasis on improving and increasing habitat for pheasants, other upland game birds, ducks and geese.
The Legislature agreed Friday to spend $1 million on her plan for matching private donations and federal program for more habitat throughout South Dakota.