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Nest Predator Bounty Program sets a record for youth participation

The bounty program applies to nest predators, one of these is the raccoon.
Game Fish and Parks
The bounty program applies to nest predators, raccoons are one of those animals.

This year’s Nest Predator Bounty Program set a record for youth participation, officials said Monday.

The goal of the program is to increase pheasant numbers by targeting animals that prey on nests, such as raccoons and skunks.

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks reported 50,552 total tails were submitted by 2,481 participants.

GFP said this year had the highest level of youth participation since the program was created in 2019, with youth under 18 making up 46% of total participants. Last year's youth participation rate was just 32%.

Every participating youth received one free live trap. For the first time, over a thousand traps were distributed across the state.

Overall participation was up by 5% from last year.

“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,” said Kevin Robling, GFP Department Secretary, in a press release.

Madeline Grabow is a South Dakota Public Broadcasting intern based in Sioux Falls. She is a sophomore at Georgetown University studying international politics.