Harvest Information Program

Every year, millions of migratory bird hunters participate in the Harvest Information Program (HIP). HIP responses help wildlife managers set the length of hunting seasons, establish bag limits, and acquire habitat.

If you hunt ducks, coots, geese, brant, swans, doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, sandhill cranes, band-tailed pigeons, or gallinules, you are required to register for HIP.

To register for HIP:

  • Provide your name, address, and date of birth when you purchase your license. You must do this in every state in which you hunt migratory game birds.
  • You will also be asked to voluntarily answer questions about your hunting during last year's season. These questions are not used to make harvest estimates. We ask them to identify what types of birds you usually hunt so that the USFWS can mail its surveys to the appropriate hunters. For example, we need dove harvest surveys to go to hunters who are likely to hunt doves!
  • Some states may charge a fee to cover their administrative costs when you register for HIP, but the USFWS will not make any money from the program. HIP is used to gather information and does not raise money for conservation programs.
  • You must have proof of HIP participation with you whenever you hunt migratory birds. The state wildlife agency will give you a card, stamp, or other proof when you sign up. If you hunt migratory birds in more than one state, make sure that you have proof of HIP for every state that you hunt in.

After collecting HIP results, we use two additional surveys to estimate hunter activity and harvest rates: the Migratory Bird Hunter Survey (Hunter Survey) and the Migratory Bird Parts Collection Survey (Wing Survey).

HIP registration may rely on state hunting license vendors to ask hunters the HIP questions. If you plan to hunt migratory game birds, please make sure that the license vendor doesn’t forget to register you for HIP.

Last Updated: October 14, 2021