PIERRE — South Dakota’s Nest Predator Bounty program will continue for 2021 and 2022, after additional authorization from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission.

A resolution indicates that the 2021 program will include a payment of $10/predator and a cap of $500,000.

The entire program will be moved up earlier in the year, running from March 15 through July 1.

“The primary goal of the program is to enhance nest success for pheasants and ducks at localized levels by removing primary nest predators, like raccoons, striped skunks, opossums, red fox and badgers from the landscape,” said interim department secretary Kevin Robling in a statement. “Furthermore, this program is designed to increase youth and family participation in understanding and experiencing the tradition of trapping while enhancing our strong outdoor heritage.”

The GF&P said 16 percent of participants were age 17 or younger. To encourage participation in 2021, GF&P will provide a weekly giveaway for all youth (age 17 and younger) that participate in the program. The giveaway will consist of a GF&P-sponsored trapping package that includes three live traps, knife, and the National Trappers Association Trapping Handbook.

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GF&P will also enhance the Ethics SD program to reach new audiences across South Dakota. Ethics SD is a partnership between trapping organizations, GFP and 4H where youth learn trapping skills, fur handling techniques, and elements of wildlife management. The program has doubled in size reaching 110 new students in 11 counties in 2020.

The commission is allowing public comment on the amended program changes for the next 30 days and will vote on it at their March 4-5, 2021 meeting. To hear the discussion on this proposal, audio is available through South Dakota Public Broadcasting and on the GF&P website under the meeting archive. Individuals can comment on this proposal by visiting gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions. Comments can also be mailed to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing (not including the day of the public hearing).

In 2020, the program operated from April 1 to July 1, with a cap of $250,000 paid out to trappers at $5 per tail. In the inaugural year of 2019, the trapping program ran from April 1 to Aug. 12 when it reached its $500,000 fund cap, paying $10 per tail.