The 2021 duck hunting season took one big step closer to kicking off last Friday.
This year’s new Federal Duck Stamps are officially on sale both online and at a post office near you.
Purchasing a Duck Stamp is a longstanding and well-respected tradition within the waterfowl hunting world. It’s also legally required if you want to hunt ducks or geese.
The purchase of hunting licenses and tags helps supports wildlife conservation efforts within the borders of the state the license is purchased in. Most species of waterfowl are not confined to state or geographical borders though, as they migrate great distances, north to south, across the North American continent.
Because of their tendencies to take interstate, and international flights, waterfowl hunting and conservation is managed in large part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service who administers the Federal Duck Stamp program.
The Duck Stamp is one of the most successful wildlife conservation funding mechanism in history.
The stamp program was established in 1934 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act. In the midst of agricultural fallout from the dust bowl, Congress took firm action to stop the destruction of wetlands vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. Under the act, all waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and over must annually buy and carry a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp – better known today as a Federal Duck Stamp.
The price of the Duck Stamp has increased since it was first introduced, and today it costs $25.
98 cents of every dollar generated through Duck Stamp sales goes directly into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which can only be used purchase or lease wetlands and wildlife habitat for inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Since 1934, some $800 million dollars has gone into that fund to protect more than 5.7 million acres of habitat. Each year, these stamps generate roughly $40 million in critical funding for waterfowl conservation efforts across the nation.
One of the reasons for the Duck Stamp’s success is that while you are required to buy the stamp if you are a waterfowl hunter, non-hunters can also purchase the stamp in support of one the worlds foremost wildlife conservation programs. The pass also can be used as an entrance pass to any National Wildlife Refuges that require entrance fees.
Historically, the stamp was only available through federal post offices, but more recently the stamps became accessible online.
The artwork on the stamp itself changes each year and the stamp typically features a different species of waterfowl each year. This year’s stamp was painted by Richard Clifton and features a lesser scaup, more commonly known as a blue bill.
The stamps themselves are considered collectors items, and the competition around Duck Stamp related art work as evolved into a world of its own outside of the traditional waterfowl hunting base.
The artistic world of the Duck Stamp was detailed in the 2016 documentary “The Million Dollar Duck.”
You shouldn’t need any help getting hyped for duck season, but if you do then Riley Green, Tyler Jordan, and the boys at Halo Waterfowl and Realtree got you covered…