Nest Predator Bounty Program comes to a close

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A South Dakota wildlife program to enhance pheasant nest success exceeded expectations across the state.

The results are beyond what anyone was expecting with a 50,000 tail goal by 3 p.m. Monday. South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks' Nest Predator Bounty Program received an additional 3,000 by the deadline.

"Predominately, East River is where the majority of the tails are checked in and its predominately raccoons," said Regional Terrestrial Resources Supervisor Trenton Haffley. "But we have seen a representation of all five species."

Those species include raccoons, opossums, red foxes, striped skunks, and badgers.

And raccoons were the most popular animal trapped in the state, including in Rapid City.

"By and large, in Rapid City, we haven't been busy during the course of this program. But I understand in other offices in Sioux Falls have been extremely busy," said Haffley. "Today however because we put the press release out that this is closing. I think everyone is showing up today to get turned in before it closes, so we've been pretty busy today."

Overall, the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks is setting records with this program.

Submissions skyrocketed on Monday, making it the most turn-ins with more than 4,000 tails.

"The effects of this program on the pheasant population are going to be difficult to determine," said Haffley. "It was one of the primary reasons this program was initiated was to increase pheasant nest success, but also trying to recruit the next generation of trappers."

Right now, the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks is taking a step back to examine all the data they got to see whether the program was successful or not.