The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds all Louisiana migratory bird hunters, including waterfowl hunters, that they must complete the Harvest Information Program certification process either online or in person at Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters in Baton Rouge.

Program certification along with an appropriate hunting license is required to hunt waterfowl, doves, woodcock and other migratory birds in Louisiana. There are no exceptions to this federal requirement. The  certification online application process is free.

Retail license vendors are no longer able to provide the HIP certification service, necessitating the change. Hunters that purchase licenses from retail license vendors should be reminded to go online to complete HIP certification for hunting migratory birds. Hunters who purchase Wildlife and Fisheries licenses online will see no change.

The change is to make sure that the most complete information is available to state and federal biologists as they manage the migratory bird resource.

“The primary intent of HIP is to provide the names, addresses, species hunted and past harvest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service so they can randomly select migratory bird hunters to receive annual harvest surveys," said Larry Reynolds, Wildlife and Fisheries' waterfowl program manager. “In this way, more complete information can be obtained from all migratory bird hunters so that harvest estimates will be based on representative sampling and thus be more accurate than in the past."

For information on HIP certification, visit wlf.louisiana.gov/page/mandatory-harvest-information-program or contact Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov. To purchase a hunting or fishing license, visit la-web.s3licensing.com.