Since the 1952-53 hunting season, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has conducted a
survey of Federal Duck Stamp purchasers to estimate waterfowl hunter activity and harvest in
the United States. That survey was conducted annually through the 2001-02 hunting season,
after which it was replaced by a new migratory game bird harvest survey system. In 1992, the
FWS and State Fish and Wildlife Agencies (States) established the Migratory Bird Harvest
Information Program (HIP), which was fully operational nationwide by 1999 (Elden et al. 2002).
This cooperative State-Federal program requires licensed migratory game bird hunters to register
annually in each state in which they hunt. Each State is responsible for collecting the name,
address, and date of birth from each migratory bird hunter, asking each of them a series of
general screening questions about their his/her hunting success the previous year, and sending all
of this information to the FWS.