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HIP Frequently Asked Questions
HIP Frequently Asked Questions
Sharp-tailed Grouse

What is HIP?

HIP is the joint state and federal Harvest Information Program designed to improve harvest estimates for migratory bird species and, in Colorado, resident small game species.

Why do we need HIP? Small game surveys are already conducted.

We need HIP to improve our harvest estimates. Traditional small game surveys don't provide adequate information on lesser hunted small game species (sage grouse, mountain sharp-tailed grouse, ptarmigan, etc.). HIP allows Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to instantly and randomly select a harvest sample of hunters, the vast majority of which have given us a clue as to their likelihood to hunt sage grouse, for example. Selecting a sample in this manner is much more efficient than randomly sampling all small game license buyers, and in the end, exposes less hunters to survey calls or emails.

Will I be able to get my HIP registration when I buy a license via the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Licensing System?

YES! HIP is now included in the licensing system. HIP will be located under the small game license tab when you prepare to purchase your license. Simply add HIP to your cart and you will be able to complete your HIP immediately. Best of all, your HIP validation will print on your license when you complete your small game purchase. 

Is the automated operator phone service open 24 hours per day during the HIP season?

Yes. As of March 22 2024, the automated phone system is now available 24/7. Call 1-855-521-3050 to register for HIP. Note, this is an automated phone system, and not the live operator system we have used in past years. We recommend having your license in front of you when you call as it will ask for your CID #.

Can I sign up with Colorado's HIP on the Internet?

Yes. Go to and login to your account. If you have not purchased your relevant license (small game, combo, etc.) yet, you will have the option to complete your HIP registration during your transaction. If you already have the relevant license on your account, you can add HIP to your cart from the “Buy Small Game & Combo Licenses” section.

I just bought my 2024 small game license. When do I need to register for HIP?

You can register for the 2024-2025 HIP beginning on March 1, but legally, you can get HIP anytime after March 1, yet before you hunt small game, migratory birds, or coyotes in Colorado during the 2024-2025 season. Peak months for signing up with HIP are traditionally August, September, October and November. 

I lost my small game license and tried to sign up again for HIP; they told me I was already in the system. What do I do?

Because HIP is now a product in the CPW license shop, when you complete your HIP survey, the HIP registration will post to your account. When you have a new license printed, your HIP registration will print on the license.

Do I have to sign up for HIP every time I go small game hunting in Colorado during the 2024-2025 season?

No. Once you've signed up for the current season, you're set for the entire season.

Do I have to sign up for HIP if I purchase a license and do not hunt?

No. If you purchase a small game license or combination license and do not hunt small game, migratory birds, or coyotes, you should NOT register for HIP.

I purchased a small game license as a qualifying license for the big game application period this past spring. Do I need to register with HIP?  

Only if you plan to hunt small game, migratory birds, or coyotes in Colorado with that small game license. If you will not hunt these species, do NOT register with HIP.

I'm hunting with a youth small game license. Do I need to register with HIP?

Yes. All small game hunters, regardless of age or type of small game license, must register for HIP. Because HIP’s purpose is to obtain more precise harvest estimates, all segments of the hunting population must be surveyed, including youth hunters.

What happens if I don't participate in the program?

In the past, reminders were given out to hunters who were checked in the field and did not have a HIP#. If you are checked in the field and do not have a HIP registration (HIP license product) on file, you may be issued a warning and if you are checked a second time and still have not obtained a HIP registration, you can be ticketed for non-compliance with the program, fined, and assessed 5 points against your licensing privileges. You will not be able to hunt until you obtain your HIP registration.

Will I have to sign up with HIP in other states?

Yes. All states, except Hawaii, are participating in HIP. You will need to sign up for the Harvest Information Program in all states in which you hunt migratory birds. In some states, resident small game species are also included in HIP. Check with each state prior to hunting there. 

Are all the state programs the same?

No. Although similar personal and migratory bird information is collected, collection methods differ. Some states will have a written permit (charged for or free) and others will have a stamp, a toll-free phone number, or Internet option(s).

What happens to the information?

Hunter information is transferred electronically in an encrypted form to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  (USFWS) Migratory Bird Management Office as well as to CPW. The USFWS will destroy the files as soon as their current year's surveys are completed. CPW will retain the files to update CORIS (our internal hunter records) and to conduct long-term hunter preference surveys. In addition, small game harvest surveys are conducted based on the HIP database for a given season.

Why can't I register immediately for my 2024-2025 HIP number when I purchase my 2024 license in March?

You can! You will be prompted to complete your HIP registration when you purchase your new license.

I hunt with a lifetime license, a disability license, a one-day license or a falconry permit; do I need to sign up with HIP?

YES. Special license/permit holders are able to sign up in Colorado’s HIP using their license or permit numbers. They just need to press the appropriate key or click on the appropriate web choice when asked by the system how they would like to sign up. Hunters who apply for a Disability License will be informed that they should sign up for HIP annually at the time they receive their license.

I signed up with Colorado's HIP and didn't obtain a sandhill crane (SHC) permit number. I'd like one now. What do I need to do?

Go to or visit a CPW office or license vendor to obtain your sandhill crane permit. CPW has replaced the sandhill crane HIP registration number with a sandhill crane permit in CPW’s license system.  

How do I sign up for HIP if I am hearing impaired?

Simply log in to your account at, add HIP to your cart and complete the HIP questionnaire to register. 

What does HIP do for me as a hunter? Why should I bother to participate?

HIP provides both your state and federal wildlife agencies with information necessary to justify and maintain the hunting seasons you now enjoy. Without accurate harvest information, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain seasons for those small game species which have proven to be very difficult to estimate annual harvest.

HIP registration is free in Colorado (not so in other states), and CPW tries to make it easy and convenient. You can complete a survey online at, 7 days a week, once registrations are available on March 1. You may also register for HIP 24/7 via the automated phone service by calling 1-855-521-3050. 

HIP will provide you with the opportunity to obtain your sandhill crane permit online or over the phone, negating the need for you to come into the office and obtain a permit(s).

HIP gives you, the hunter, a great opportunity to provide information necessary to manage your wildlife and to conserve the resource for future hunters. By participating in HIP you provide your state and federal agencies with the avenue to collect good harvest information in a cost effective manner.

Planning to use your small game license in 2024-2025?

Hunters who are purchasing a small game license as a qualifying license for the big game applications and won’t hunt small game in 2024 should NOT register for HIP.