Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   


 Terrance Emerson | Dreamstime.com


How Many Ducks?

Answer harvest questions while buying your license to help conserve migratory game birds.

Migratory game bird hunters may wonder why they’re being asked a few questions when they buy their hunting licenses every year.

The answers to those questions, collected by the Harvest Information Program, allow biologists to estimate how many migratory game birds — for example, ducks, geese and doves — hunters harvest this year and how many hunters pursue each species.

With a half-million migratory game bird hunters, Texas has more duck and dove hunters than any other state. We play an important role in conservation, so accurate information gathering is crucial.

“Without question, Texas hunters have always answered the call to meet our shared stewardship of our cherished wildlife resources in this state,” says TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith. “Without HIP, we would not be able to protect our migratory game birds, manage their habitats and provide quality hunting opportunities within this state. It is an important and critical part of the license purchasing process for our migratory game bird hunters.”

HIP certification also contains a later, important, second part. A small number of randomly selected hunters are asked to complete an in-depth national harvest survey.

A still smaller subset of hunters will be asked to provide one wing from each bird harvested during the season for the wing survey. Researchers can determine species, sex and age for birds harvested, as well as other limited information. This gives managers important indications of the health of bird populations.

Once HIP certification is complete, hunters must carry proof of that completion in the field on your hunting license and must present it to a game warden, upon request.

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