New wildlife damage specialist for Perkins Co. | TSLN.com

New wildlife damage specialist for Perkins Co.

Photo by Tim Senechal

When faced with predator control or wildlife damage issues, livestock producers and landowners in Perkins County can contact Dustin Drews, the new Wildlife Damage Specialist for S.D. Game, Fish & Parks.

Focused on protecting private landowner's assets from predators, Drews is a skilled trapper who has been trapping since he was 12. Drews will also be addressing damage caused to private property by other wildlife.

"Our selection process is extensive. We were impressed by Dustin's background and trapping skills. He grew up trapping and is eager to put these skills to use protecting livestock from predators," says Mike Kintigh, Regional Supervisor for S.D. GF&P.

A Nebraska native, Drews began trapping when as an eighth grader, a neighbor offered to pay him to trap beaver. With some help from the local game warden who loaned him traps and a trapping guide, he taught himself the art. Drews took a break from trapping when he joined the Marine Corps, but returned to it soon after he came home. Today he traps with his dogs by his side.

"I love what I do. Trapping is a very rewarding occupation because the harder I work, the more predators I'm able to catch to help livestock and landowners out," said Drews, who spent the last five years working as an independent trapper, primarily trapping coyotes, before joining S.D. GF&P.

New to the area, Drews will spend time between calls for his service getting to know landowners and understanding the predator issues that impact the area he serves. He is replacing Wildlife Damage Specialist, Roger Schofield.

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"Dustin is equipped and ready to begin assisting producers and landowners with predator control issues and game animal damage," says John Kanta, Regional Wildlife Manager for S.D. GF&P.

Drews joins a team of 24 S. D. GF&P Wildlife Damage Specialists who work in counties across South Dakota. In 2013 they responded to more than 1,900 requests and worked with more than 1,200 livestock producers to stop predators. This year, the joint efforts of S. D. GF&P, Predator Control Districts and USDA Wildlife Services resulted in the removal of 8,058 coyotes, statewide.

Kanta encourages all Perkins County livestock producers and landowners to contact Drews with all their predator control and wildlife damage issues. Drews can be contacted by calling 402-521-0286.

–S.D. Game Fish and Parks