On August 12, the Nest Predator Bounty Program will close after receiving 50,000 nest predator tails from nearly 3,000 participants.
With Governor Noem being committed to continuing South Dakota’s outdoor heritage, she created the Second Century Initiative early in 2019. The Nest Predator Bounty Program launched on April 1, 2019, as part of this initiative to help pheasants and ducks increase nesting success. Since then, the program has focused on introducing people to trapping as well as reducing localized populations of nest predators.
“I want to sincerely thank Governor Noem for taking the initiative to develop a program that encouraged individuals and families to get outside while allowing the department to implement it,” said Game, Fish and Parks’ Secretary, Kelly Hepler. “The success of this program is directly tied to the stories we have received from the families who were inspired to start trapping for the first time. One Huron dad told us that this was one of the first times he and his son were able to connect through an activity other than video games. And a grandma told us that this is a way she can spend time outside with her grandkids.”
The bulk of submissions came from raccoon tails at 37,720 followed by the submission of 5,529 skunk tails. The top counties that participated in the program have included: Minnehaha, Beadle, Yankton, Grant, Brookings, Turner, Kingsbury, Clark, Roberts and Lake counties.
“I greatly appreciate the enthusiasm that has come with the program to sustain our state’s outdoor trapping heritage,” said Hepler. “Participants have not only been successful at removing large numbers of nest predators which will help nesting birds in their local areas, but more importantly, they have had fun and experienced our outdoor resources in a way