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Waterfowl hunters reminded to register in the HIP

SALT LAKE CITY Utah's waterfowl hunters are reminded that they must register in the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) before hunting this year. Utah hunters can register on the Internet or by calling 1-877-UTAH-744 (1-877-8824-744).

Utah's 20032004 waterfowl season begins Oct. 4 and hunters are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Hunters who don't register risk a fine of up to $299.

"In recent years, most hunters were issued warnings if they failed to register, but this year tickets will be issued," says Tom Aldrich, waterfowl coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Aldrich says registration in the program is easy and takes about five minutes to complete.

Hunters need their 2003 small game or combination license to register. When registering, you'll be asked to provide your 2003 hunting license number and license type, name, address, date of birth and the approximate number of doves, ducks and geese you harvested in 2002. You'll then be given a HIP registration number that you must write in the space provided on your 2003 license.

Lifetime license holders are provided a sticker to attach to the back of their license card for entry of the current season's HIP number.

All duck, goose, swan, coot, snipe, dove, band-tailed pigeon and sandhill crane hunters, throughout the United States, are required to register in the HIP each year. Hunters who registered during the 2002- 2003 hunting season are reminded that they must register again if they want to hunt migratory game birds this year.

If contacted by a wildlife law enforcement officer in the field, migratory game bird hunters must prove that they've registered in the HIP by presenting their hunting license with their HIP number written on it.

The purpose of the HIP is to improve management of the nation's migratory game bird populations by collecting better information on hunter participation and harvest. The Division of Wildlife Resources is cooperating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in administering the program in Utah. Utah became involved in the HIP in 1998.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.




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