[Reprinted from original]
South Dakota's Nest Predator Bounty program will mark its fifth year in 2023, which rewards residents for trapping raccoon, striped skunk, badger, red fox and opossum.
South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks pays $10 for each tail harvested (up to $500,000). The Nest Predator Bounty program is part of Gov. Kristi Noem's Second Century Initiative.
The month of March is for youth under 18 only; all South Dakota residents will be eligible April 1.
"Getting the next generation involved in conservation is critical to keeping our South Dakota outdoor heritage strong," said Kevin Robling, GF&P department secretary. "The Nest Predator Bounty Program is an excellent way to get youth and families engaged with the outdoors."
GF&P said trapping nest predators is a management technique that helps enhance nest success for duck and pheasant. The program also works to increase awareness and education around trapping and preserve South Dakota's trapping and hunting heritage.
New this year, all youth participants will receive a free live trap when they submit their first tails.
In 2022, 143 children and teens participated in the youth-only month, collecting 2,100 nest predators during that time. They made up 32% of the total participation in 2022, where a total of 2,367 South Dakotans collected 55,220 nest predators.
Tails can be harvested by hunting or trapping, and participants will need a hunting, furbearer or fishing license to submit their harvests. Landowners harvesting on their own property and youth under 18 do not need a license.
All participating youth will have their name entered to win a dog-proof racoon trap from the Benton Howe Youth Trap Giveaway. One weekly winner will be drawn from all tails submitted by youth trappers under the age of 18.
"We are also very excited to rename the Youth Trap Giveaway in honor of Benton Howe, a young man who had a passion for the outdoors and shared that passion with his family and friends," Robling said. "One participating youth under the age of 18 will be drawn weekly to receive a raccoon trapping starter kit, Trapping Handbook, a knife, and a write-up explaining Benton Howe’s love for the outdoors."
The Nest Predator Bounty program runs through July 1. For more information and additional rules, visit Gfp.sd.gov.