Prairie Dog Control Programs Available

prairie dog
Prairie Dogs
South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks
South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks

Pierre, S.D.-( Officials of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) are reminding South Dakota ranchers and producers to contact GFP or the SDDA if they have unwanted prairie dogs. The state’s prairie dog control program is cooperatively funded by the GFP and SDDA.

GFP manages issues on private lands which have encroached from adjacent public lands, while the SDDA manages complaints between private landowners.

“GFP will control prairie dogs that have encroached onto private land from adjacent public land,” said GFP Wildlife Damage Program Administrator Keith Fisk. “However, landowners that have encroachment problems on their property from adjacent public land must be within one mile of the public land and have at least 10 acres (of actual prairie dog colonies) to be eligible for assistance.”

Additionally, landowners must contact GFP and request assistance regarding unwanted prairie dogs before Aug. 15, 2016.

“GFP provides assistance to many landowners across western South Dakota,” said Fisk. “The Aug. 15 deadline allows GFP sufficient time to coordinate the logistics of our control program.”

If a landowner has a complaint regarding prairie dogs that are encroaching from public land, contact GFP at 605.773.5913 to request control. Once eligibility has been verified, GFP staff or a department representative will control the invading colony in the fall. All complaints must be received by the Aug. 15, 2016 deadline.

Landowners that are experiencing encroachment from adjoining private land should contact the SDDA.

If the colony is encroaching from private land, a signed, written complaint must be completed. There are two methods to file a complaint. The affected landowner can sign a letter of complaint and mail it to the local County Weed and Pest Board, or they can file a formal complaint. The complaint is sent to the Department of Agriculture and a copy of the complaint must also be sent to the landowner. Forms are available by calling 800.228.5254 or on the SDDA website.

The South Dakota Prairie Dog Management Plan may be seen by visiting or by calling Game, Fish and Parks at 605.773.3387.