FAQ's Regarding HIP and Crane Permits in Oklahoma

 

ANSWERS TO COMMONLY ASKED QUESTION REGARDING HARVEST INFORMATION PROGRAM (HIP) AND SANDHILL CRANE PERMITS (SHC)

Q - Who needs a HIP permit?

A - All migratory game bird hunters, including lifetime license holders who hunt migratory birds, must obtain, complete and carry a HIP permit while hunting migratory birds. Hunters under 16 years of age, senior citizens (age 64 or older or those who turn 64 during the calendar year in which they intend to hunt migratory birds) and landowners hunting only on their own property are exempt from the HIP permit requirements.

Q - Who needs a Sandhill Crane Permit?

A - Anyone hunting sandhill cranes is required to obtain a Sandhill Crane Permit. No exemptions.

Q - Why do I need to have a HIP and/or SHC permit?

A - HIP and SHC permits are federally required permits. These permits provide a method by which the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) obtain the names and addresses of all migratory game bird hunters required to obtain the permits. From these lists, a sample of Oklahoma hunters are sent a federal harvest survey questionnaire so that reliable estimates of the number of all migratory birds harvested in the state and throughout the country are possible. These estimates give biologists the information they need to make sound decisions concerning hunting seasons, bag limits, and population management. Bottom Line: Without good estimates of the harvest of migratory game birds, continuation of hunting seasons on these species is jeopardized. Scientifically sound and defensible estimates of harvest are essential to maintain harvest opportunity for the future.

Q - Why do I need to have both a HIP and a SHC permit to hunt sandhill cranes?

A - The SHC permit is a longstanding federal permit required since sandhill crane seasons were initiated in the 1960's. It is considered one of the best harvest surveys in the world, and sandhill cranes are a species which is especially sensitive to harvest pressure, and which are carefully monitored due to their relatively small overall population size. The SHC permit will continue in addition to the HIP permit until the best way is determined to incorporate sandhill cranes into the HIP survey and still maintain the reliability of harvest survey estimates that are currently available from the existing SHC permit and survey.

Bottom Line: We expect that the SHC permit will eventually be combined with the HIP permit but for the near future they remain as separate permits and harvest surveys.

Q - Why do I have to pay for HIP and SHC permits when in the past they have been free?

A - Both HIP and SHC permits are required by the Service. In order to continue to be able to offer hunting opportunity on these species, states must require all migratory game bird hunters (unless exempt) to obtain a HIP permit and everyone that hunts sandhill cranes to obtain a SHC permit. They must have these permits in their possession while hunting. The ODWC is then required to provide the Service a list of the names and addresses of everyone obtaining a permit. In order to defray the administrative cost of the ODWC issuing the permits and then providing a complete list of all federally permitted migratory game bird hunters in Oklahoma and to compensate license vendors for issuing the permits, it was decided a fee was necessary. However, beginning July 1, 2004, HIP permits can be obtained free of charge online at www.wildlifedepartment.com. HIP permits obtained from any ODWC license vendor will continue to cost $3 with $1 of the fee going to the license vendor. Bottom Line: Instead of general ODWC revenue covering the administrative costs of the permits, a user based (migratory game bird hunters) fee was initiated to provide for the collection of this important information and insure the continued proper management and maximization of hunting opportunity for migratory game birds.

Q - For what period of time are HIP and SHC permits valid?

A -Both permits are valid from July 1 through the following June 30. Similar to a federal or state duck stamp, HIP and SHC permits are good for the whole migratory bird season. All licensed migratory game bird hunters and all sandhill crane hunters must annually obtain the necessary permits. HIP and SHC permits valid for the next year's seasons are available beginning July 1 each year.

Q - Where do I get HIP and SHC permits?

A - Both HIP and SHC permits can be obtained from any license vendor as part of the Universal License form. Also, both permits are available online at the ODWC website at www.wildlifedepartment.com.