Migratory Game Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP)
You have to be HIP!
"Certification" Required to hunt migratory game birds in Texas
Do you hunt doves, ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, woodcock, rails, snipe, coots or gallinules in Texas? If so, you must be HIP certified before go hunting. When you buy a hunting license you will be asked if you intend to hunt any migratory game birds during the upcoming hunting seasons. When you answer yes, your license will indicate that you are "HIP Certified." You will then be asked a few simple questions about your hunting success last year. That's it! There is no cost to you.
Why collect harvest information?
HIP stands for Harvest Information Program, and certification in this program means that better information will be available to wildlife professionals so they can better manage your wildlife resources. Inadequate information about the impacts of hunting on species populations has been used as a reason to challenge hunting regulations in some states. Thus your cooperation is extremely important.
For a number of years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) surveyed a small number of federal duck stamp buyers about their hunting, but the precision of the estimates of waterfowl harvests needed to be improved. Also this survey did not include millions of hunters who hunt doves, woodcock and other migratory game birds. And differing methods and timings of state surveys make it impossible for them to add up to a valid estimate of the migratory game bird harvest at regional and national levels.
How does HIP work?
Most importantly HIP is not the migratory bird harvest survey. It is simply a way of gathering the names and addresses of migratory bird hunters and information about their previous years hunting activity. Of the total group of HIP certified migratory game bird hunters, the FWS will select small samples to participate in the actual harvest surveys. These selected hunters will receive hunter record cards prior to the migratory bird hunting season or soon thereafter, and will be asked to record their daily harvests of various migratory game birds, and to return the completed record card at the end of the hunting season. An even smaller portion of these hunters will be asked to send in wings and tail feathers from the birds that they harvest throughout the year, so that biologist can determine the species, sex, and age composition of the migratory birds harvest in the US. These surveys will provide much more accurate harvest information than previous ones, and will make it possible for the FWS and Texas to more accurately determine the status and needs of our migratory game bird resources. Will you hunt doves, ducks, geese or other migratory game birds during the coming hunting season's (ducks, geese, doves, sandhill cranes, coots, gallinules, woodcock, rails or snipe)?
Did you harvest more than 10 ducks or geese, and more than 30 doves? Which of these types of migratory birds did you harvest last year? coots/snipe, rails/gallinules, woodcock?Thanks!