The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks commission is advancing a proposal to shorten check times for trappers.
Supporters of the changes say current trap check times are excessive.
Now, trappers have more than three full calendar days west river and two full calendar days east river to check and traps and snares.
The Game, Fish and Parks commission is moving forward a proposal that reduces the trap check time to 24 hours.
Nancy Hilding is with the Prairie Hills Audubon Society of Western South Dakota. She presented several proposed changes to the state’s trapping rules, all of which failed except for the check time.
“Animals—including those in a live trap—can die of exposure, thirst, starvation,” Hilding says. “An animal in a live trap, in the heat of the summer, can die in half a day. They can eat their feet off trying to get out of it. They can break their teeth. It’s cruelty.”
A 24 hour check time would put South Dakota in line with much of the rest of the country, according to the group Born Free USA. That group gives South Dakota an F grade on it’s trapping report card.
Game Fish and Parks commissioner Scott Phillips says he’s wondered why east river and west river have different trap check times.
“The 24 hour period—hours bothers me a little,” Phillips says. “You set it at 8 o’clock in the morning. If you say you check it every day say you check it at 5 o’clock the next day, you’ve gone over the 24 hour period. I think that’s too long, 36 or something like that. One and a partial days. But, I think this needs to be discussed here and looked at.”
The next step for the proposed changes to trapping check times is placement for public comment.