The Migratory Bird Hunting license (or HIP permit) requires all hunters pursuing doves, ducks, geese, rails and other migratory bird species to complete an annual harvest survey. The free license is available online, by phone or at retail license agents across the state, and requires hunters to report harvest rates.
Fifteen years and running, the HIP program details both the number of migratory game bird hunters and their harvests. This information helps wildlife managers monitor migratory bird populations, set hunting seasons and bag limits and ensure healthy, sustainable populations.
“Determining accurate harvest levels for game species, such as doves, is critical to the scientific management of game populations,” says Don McGowan, a Wildlife Resources Division Game Management biologist. “The HIP program gives biologists the information they need to ensure conservation of migratory bird populations while providing quality hunting opportunities.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies collaborated to conduct harvest surveys for decades, but the methods used varied from state to state, making it difficult to compare results.
HIP provides a consistent method to gather and compare information from all states, and multi-state information is critical for managing migratory populations.
To receive a HIP permit, Georgia hunters must answer a short survey when they purchase their hunting license. This survey provides hunter harvest information from the previous year’s hunting season. Once complete, the HIP participation permit is listed on a hunter’s license. Some HIP participants will be asked to complete a more detailed national harvest information survey about the species they hunted.
Hunting licenses and the HIP permit are available from more than 600 license agents, online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com or by phone at 1-800-366-2661. For more information on the HIP permit or the federal program, contact a Wildlife Resources Division Game Management office or call (770) 918-6416.