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Trappers submit over 16,000 tails as part of Nest Predator Bounty


Trappers have submitted about 16,000 tails as part of the state’s Nest Predator Bounty Program so far this year. 2,000 of those tails have been submitted by youth trappers.

The annual program kicked off in March and runs through the rest of this month. The program pays trappers $10 every time they turn in the tail of a predator. The maximum payout from the program is $500,000.

John Hopple is the president of the South Dakota Trappers Association. He says the association signed up 60 youth trappers at booths this year.

“So I just wanna let you guys know that these programs are making a difference out there.”

The state introduced the program in 2019 to increase the number of pheasants and ducks in the state.

But the program has critics. Pete Bauman is a natural resources and wildlife field specialist with South Dakota State University. He says it’s fine if the state wants to encourage trapping.

“But is it really going to increase ground-nesting bird success – no. And I think that’s been proven time and again.”

South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks reports 94% of this year’s tails come from eastern South Dakota. 68% of the tails are from raccoons, followed by skunks and opossums at about 15% each.

Joshua is the business and economics reporter with SDPB News.