Diary Surveys

Migratory Bird Hunter Survey (Hunter Survey)

Every year, the Harvest Information Program (HIP) sends the USFWS the name, address, and screening question information from about 3,500,000 migratory bird hunters. Based on answers to the HIP questions, we ask some of them to participate in one of our five Migratory Bird Harvest Surveys. Each of these surveys asks about the harvest of a different migratory game bird species or species group. The five surveys are: 1) doves (mourning and white-winged) and band-tailed pigeons; 2) waterfowl (ducks, sea ducks, geese, and brant); 3) American woodcock; 4) webless species (snipe, coots, rails, and gallinules); and 5) sandhill cranes.

We send selected hunters a survey close to the beginning of the hunting season. Then, they can record their hunting experiences throughout the season. As we receive more HIP registrations, we continue to sample hunters.

We need harvest reports from as many survey participants as possible to estimate harvest. Therefore, after the hunting season is over, we remind sampled hunters who have not responded to complete their surveys. Currently, survey response rates are about 50% for all Migratory Bird Harvest Surveys.

Participation is voluntary and we keep responses confidential.

The USFWS analyzes survey responses to estimate the total migratory bird harvest, number of active hunters, total days spent afield, and average seasonal bag per active hunter. For waterfowl, this survey produces harvest estimates for groups of species: ducks, geese and sea ducks. Then, we combine results from the Parts Collection Survey to calculate species-specific harvest.

If you are a survey participant and you need more space to record all of your hunting trips, you can order more Migratory Bird Harvest Survey forms by going to  HIPWeb.

Last Updated: October 14, 2021