SOCIAL CIRCLE—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,” said 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.
Hunter education courses in Georgia are offered three ways: by classroom, CD-Rom or online.
Completion of a hunter education course is required for those born on or after Jan. 1, 1961, who purchase a hunting license. The only exception is for those who purchase an Apprentice License, which offers novice hunters (16 years of age and older) an opportunity to hunt for three days without completing a hunter education course.
“The online hunter education course continues to grow in popularity with Georgia hunters-and is now offered by three different companies,” said Walter Lane, Wildlife Resources Division’s Hunter Development Program Manager. “It is a convenient way to fulfill hunter safety requirements without having to attend the traditional classroom course.”
The online course satisfies eight of the 10 hours required for the course. Hunters still must attend a two-hour review course and take a written exam. Students who pass the exam will receive hunter education certificates.
Completion of a hunter education course is required for any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1961, who:
• purchases a season hunting license in Georgia.
• is at least 12 years old and hunts without adult supervision.
• hunts big game (deer, turkey, bear) on a wildlife management area.
The only exceptions include any person who:
• purchases a short-term hunting license, such as the new Apprentice License or the 3-day Hunting and Fishing Combo License (as opposed to a season license).
• is hunting on his or her own land, or that of his or her parents or legal guardians.
The hunter education course also is available by CD-Rom or in a traditional classroom setting. For more information, go to www.gohuntgeorgia.com or call (770) 761-3010.