“Did you hunt geese, dove, or ducks last year? If yes, how many did you bag?” This is just one of a handful of questions that can provide biologists at the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks with information critical to managing migratory game bird populations.
According to the agency, most game bird hunters in Kansas are familiar with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit, but some may not be aware of the short survey that is associated with its purchase. A HIP permit, available for just $2.50, is required to hunt ducks, coots, geese, brant, swans, doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, sandhill cranes, band-tailed pigeons, and gallinules in Kansas; however, the associated survey is voluntary. Therefore, KDWP biologists are encouraging all HIP permit holders to, “Don’t Skip the HIP” and complete the survey upon purchase.
The survey consists of 10 short questions related to the species each game bird hunter typically pursues. This information is provided to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to ensure that more detailed, nationwide surveys are sent to the appropriate hunters. For example, most surveys about dove harvest are typically sent to hunters who hunt doves, while most waterfowl harvest surveys are sent to hunters who typically pursue ducks and geese. The data collected is then used to make sound decisions concerning hunting seasons and population management of migratory game bird species. So in essence, hunters serve as biologists’ eyes and ears in the field, helping to improve wildlife conservation efforts and protecting the hunting heritage.
The KDWP invites hunter to join in spreading the “Don’t Skip the HIP” message. For more information about the HIP permit, visit ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Hunting-Programs/Harvest-Information-Program-HIP