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GF&P Cuts Cruella Noem’s Nest Predator Bounties in Half

Jo Johnson, Cruella Kristi trapping cartoon, 2020.03.13.
Jo Johnson, cartoon, 2020.03.13.

The Game Fish and Parks Commission ignored most of the public comment it received and approved another season of state-subsidized killing of critters accused of eating pheasant eggs. The 2020 Nest Predator Bounty Program cuts bounties in half, from $10 to $5, and it allows the bloodthirstier among us to trap or shoot raccoon, striped skunk, opossum, red fox, or badger and submit their tails for cash from April 1 to July 1.

Game Fish and Parks Commission member Travis Bies admitted there’s no science saying the program actually enhances pheasant populations, and admitted he don’t need no stinking science to justify his policy actions:

Commissioner Travis Bies of Fairburn said the program upholds the outdoors heritage.

“There may not be any science, but it’s eroding our rights,” the rancher said about what the program protects against. “If we don’t do this, it erodes that away” [Bob Mercer, “Slimmer Version of Nest-Predator Bounty Program Approved for South Dakota,” KELO-TV, 2020.03.06].

Who knows what the antecedent to Commissioner Bies’s “it” is: raccoon and opossum doing what comes naturally? the free market’s failure to offer a high enough price to motivate trapping? state investment of tax dollars in lasting recreational infrastructure like trails and playgrounds that everyone can use instead of one-time bounties for critters that will reproduce faster than we can shoot?

But I’m not going to over-exert myself trying to figure out the thinking of another South Dakota official who rejects science as a basis for policy-making. I’m just going to wait for whoever made Senator Troy Heinert’s coyote coat to stitch together some badger, skunk, and red fox pelts into a lovely coat for Governor Kristi de Vil.


  1. mike from iowa 2020-03-13 14:17

    Kill all the predators and soon mice and other rodents from hell will reap the whirlwind of wingnut tomfoolery.

    What is that deadly rodent borne illness called?

  2. Debbo 2020-03-13 18:20

    Bies says kill little predators or lose rights?

    Ohferpetessake. 😲🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄 Somebody needs to slap* that boy upside the head, knock a little sense into him.

    Another great cartoon, Ms. Johnson!

    *not riot boosting, a colloquialism.

  3. marvin kammerer 2020-03-14 10:56

    the governor’s preditors program needs to be put to sleep & the game,fish and parks bunch needs to get some guts & common good sense.the govenor and others should stop acting like trump supporters listen to people with science backgrounds.

  4. Catherine 2020-03-14 18:37

    Yes, hordes of mice, voles, rabbits. Hantavirus and who knows what other deadly viruses.

  5. McCloud 2020-03-15 10:20

    Can we get off this kick of identifying “taxpayers” money funding this travesty? Yes, hunters, fishermen and trappers are taxpayers but their hunting, fishing and trapping license dollars are what pays for this bounty nonsense; not the state general fund. Hunting, Fishing and Trapping license sales don’t fund lasting recreational infrastructure like trails and playgrounds either. Hunting, Fishing and Trapping license sales are earmarked funds, that are programmatically matched with Pittman Robertson, Dingell Johnson, and even Sikes Act funds for the expressed purpose of wildlife conservation, management and research. Recreational infrastructure and Parks Division budget come from entrance fees and the general fund. GFP manages both separately. You might actually dig deeply into the GFP budget over the past 3 years to see what money is spent where and just what the financial status is of each division. I’m told that this Governor has managed to deplete the Wildlife Division’s reserve funds far below what has been customary over the history of the agency. Any bets this Gov has used it as discretionary money?

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