Predator control board to meet in Belle Fourche |

Predator control board to meet in Belle Fourche

The Multi-County Predator Control District was established Aug. 9, 1974. It covers Harding, Butte, Meade and Lawrence Counties. The seven member Board of Directors is made up of two Directors from Harding, Meade and Butte Counties and one Director from Lawrence County. The Predator District is run under the laws of Chapter 40-37 Predator Control Districts of the South Dakota Codified Laws. The annual meeting of the Multi-County Predator Control District is usually held the third Saturday of June (June 15, 2013) at the First Interstate Bank in Belle Fourche, SD, at 8 p.m.

The District was established to allow producers to assess themselves to help pay for predator control. The money is used mainly for aerial hunting of coyotes and fox. The District works closely with the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. The Federal Airborne Hunting law strictly states that no aerial hunting will be done for sport and mandates that the states shall conduct an aerial hunting program.

Due to the fact that the Multi-County Predator Control District has a special aerial permit with the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks a producer who is experiencing a loss may call a Multi-County Predator Control pilot directly or the trapper. The trapper has the ability to call the federal pilot to handle the complaint with the trapper doing the work on the ground. If the producer chooses to call the Multi-County Predator Control pilot the pilot can coordinate with the trapper.

Since there has been a limited amount of maintenance work done the coyote numbers have grown considerably in the last several years and there has been more depredation on cattle as well as sheep. At the present time only sheep are assessed a tax for predator control. This can be expanded to include cattle and that may have to be considered in the future.

The predator control district concept was initiated on the idea of neighbor helping neighbor and has worked quite well over the years and hopefully it can continue to work as it was first initiated.

–Multi-County Predator Control District