SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks is attempting to increase participation in trapping through an incentive-based bounty program.
The Nest Predator Bounty Program was created to help bolster duck and pheasant populations in South Dakota by targeting five predators.
“It’s really disheartening when you see the number of nests that are destroyed by ground nest predators like raccoons and opossums, badgers, red fox and striped skunks,” South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Southeast Regional Supervisor Emmett Keyser said.
Doug Magee is the chief of police in Springfield, and traps with his 8- and 11-year-old daughters. He traps raccoons and says pheasant numbers have soared since the start of the bounty program in 2019.
“When we go out in Game, Fish & Parks areas we’ve seen more rooster pheasants than we ever have usually during the spring season,” Magee said.
The program is open to South Dakota residents from April 1 through July, or until a maximum payout of $500,000 is reached. You can submit up to $590 worth of tails per household.
“Last year’s program was $5 a tail and this year it’s gone back up to ten, so we’re hoping that does create an additional incentive,” Keyser said.
You must submit the tail bone and entire tail of the species to one of 13 collection sites across the state.
In 2020, 16% of participants in the bounty program were 17-years old or younger.
“I think it gets all our kids active in outdoor sports, especially trapping, which with the fur harvest now with the prices being so low it gets trappers our there, gets their kids interested and gets the next generation interested in trapping,” Magee said.
“Great opportunity for grandfathers and uncles and dads and moms and others that know about trapping to get their kids out and into nature and experience the opportunity to trap and provides a little incentive and reward for them as well,” Keyser said.
Click HERE for collection sites, dates, and times.