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.
Hunters age 16 and older must also purchase a federal duck stamp.
How to Register for HIP
All migratory game bird hunters must register annually for HIP through DECALS, DEC's licensing system. Information from this survey helps the USFWS and State wildlife agencies monitor the harvest of migratory game birds and is needed to establish hunting regulations. HIP registration is valid from August 1 - July 30 annually. There are two options for registering:
Option 1 - Online HIP Registration
- Go to the DEC Hunting License website.
- Click on the header at the top of the main page that says "REGISTER FOR HIP."
- A DECALS login is NOT required, but you will be prompted to provide your DEC ID and date of birth.
- Click "Search."
- The system will then list all previous HIP registrations you have associated with your DEC ID indicating whether they have been submitted or are still pending.
If no results return after pressing the "Search" button, it means you currently do not have a current/valid hunting license and are ineligible for HIP registration.
- Once you find the current HIP year registration survey, you will select the dropdown arrow on the right-hand side, and select "Register for HIP."
You will be prompted to answer a series of questions pertaining to your hunting activities last year.
- After answering all required questions, press "Submit." The system will then save your data and provide your HIP number. This number completes the registration process and proves your participation in HIP. You are required to carry this number with you in some form while migratory bird hunting.
Option 2 - HIP Registration via the automated phone system
- Call 1-866-933-2257.
- Select the option for "HIP registration."
- Follow automated instructions.
- At the end of the call, you will be given your HIP registration number. Migratory game bird hunters are required to carry this number in some form while hunting.
HIP registrations are state specific. Non-residents must register to hunt in New York even if registered in another state.
If you are unable to register for HIP or encounter problems, please contact the DECALS licensing hotline (1-866-933-2257) and talk to a representative who can assist you in the registration process.
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!