Department of Environmental Conservation

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Harvest Information Program

If you plan to hunt woodcock, ducks, geese, brant, rails, snipe, coots, gallinules, or sea ducks you must register with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program - HIP

How to Register for HIP

You must either call the toll free number, 1-888-427-5447, or register for HIP on-line (link leaves DEC website). You will be asked for your name, address, date of birth, and a brief summary of last year's hunting activity. This includes the approximate number of each of the following birds you harvested last season: woodcock, ducks, geese, brant, rails, snipe, coots, gallinule, and sea ducks (scoters, eiders, and long-tailed ducks). The call only takes about 5 minutes.

At the end of the call you will be given a confirmation number that you must record and carry with you whenever you are hunting any migratory game birds. This number proves your participation in HIP. You do not need to write the number on the back of your hunting license.

Hunters must re-register annually to participate in current hunting seasons. HIP registration is valid from July 1 - June 30 annually.

Non-residents must register to hunt in New York even if registered in another state.

Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older must also purchase a federal duck stamp (see off-site link in right-hand column).

Collecting Data

HIP is a federal legal requirement. Any person who hunts migratory game birds (this includes woodcock) must have proof of participation whenever he or she goes afield. Failure to carry proof is a violation equal to hunting without a license.

HIP provides the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) with a national registry of migratory bird hunters from which they can select participants for harvest surveys.

Only a small percentage of HIP participants will be selected for harvest surveys, which will be mailed to them by the USFWS. Completion of the survey is voluntary.

HIP started in a few states in 1991. All states had to participate beginning in 1998. In New York State, the requirement took effect on September 1, 1998.

Importance of HIP

Information from this survey will help the USFWS monitor the harvest of migratory game birds, and is needed to establish annual hunting regulations.

Note: Periodically, DEC or its designated agent(s) may use contact information from license-holders to conduct surveys and research involving New York State fish and wildlife. The information obtained will provide public input on fish and wildlife management actions and human interactions with New York's fish and wildlife resources.

Thank you for your cooperation!