Collecting Waterfowl Stamps





Fish and game license stamps, as defined here, are those stamps required by federal, state, local or tribal law to be purchased by sportsmen and affixed to a license prior to fishing or hunting for various wildlife in the U.S. In most instances, such stamps convey additional rights that are not granted by a basic fishing or hunting license. A fee is generally paid by the sportsman to acquire these additional rights and the stamp serves as a receipt. For this reason, fish and game license stamps fall under the philatelic classification of revenue stamps. Once the stamps have been affixed to the license (and subsequently signed by the licensee in many cases) the license has been validated for harvesting the particular species involved — within the limitations established by a fish and game code.

Waterfowl stamps are a subcategory of fish and game license stamps that have been especially popular with stamp collectors. Much of this popularity is owing to the rich and colorful history of the federal duck stamp program in the U.S. The term “duck stamp” is not entirely accurate when referring to the federal stamps. In fact, the stamps convey the right to hunt for many different species of waterfowl, including ducks, and are therefore waterfowl stamps. This is to distinguish them from the relatively small number of true duck stamps that have been issued in this county. Among those governments to issue duck stamps are Marion County, Kansas and the States of California and Nevada (see Figure 1).



Figure 1. Marion County, Kansas became the first government in the world to issue a duck stamp in 1943.



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