Michigan Cisco Netting Stamps
These stamps were issued by the State of Michigan for recreational use along the shore of Lake Superior. Cisco is a delicate white fish, at one time known as lake herring and the primary prey of lake trout. The stamps were discontinued after 1968 as the species was exploited by commercial fisheries and by the end of the 1960s their populations had reached a critical low point. These stamps have always been in high demand by collectors.
Virginia Big Game Stamps
Virginia Big Game is one of the oldest series of fish and game stamps issued in the U.S., starting in 1938 and continuing through the 1957-58 season. I believe that all regularly issued stamps from 1938 were numbered. Principally featuring a scene of a large buck jumping over a log, the stamps were very popular with pioneer collectors and remain popular today. Unused examples from the 1940s are scarce and especially sought after.
Rudy RW1-12 Small Die Proofs
Small die proofs of the early federal waterfowl stamps are exquisitely engraved works of art known for their intense colors. They are actually preferred over their large die counterparts by many collectors as they are free of punch marks. The RW1-12 proofs represent the complete set of federal stamps prior to reverse inscriptions and this is considered the classic period for the series. Each is one of only two or three examples in collectors hands and the set shown here was originally assembled by Jeanette C. Rudy. RW1-4 are affixed to original card backing.
Maryland Trout Stamps
Maryland first required fishermen intending to take trout to purchase a special stamp in 1963. Initially, very few collectors knew about the stamps. Therefore unused examples from 1963 are difficult to acquire. Maryland started issuing a separate stamp for seniors at a reduced fee in 1972. Once again, relatively few collectors knew to purchase this stamp. The same design was used through 1975 and this is considered the classic period for Maryland trout stamps. Starting in 1977, the stamps featured multicolor artwork by famous wildlife artists.
Wyoming Flaming Gorge Fishing Stamps
Starting in 1964, Wyoming required Utah fishermen fishing on the Wyoming side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir to purchase and affix a special stamp to their license. Utah reciprocally required Wyoming fishermen on the Utah side to purchase and affix a similar stamp. The stamps issued through 1986 feature the seal of the Fish and Game Commission in the center and this is considered the classic period for this set. Starting in 1987, the seal was omitted.
Marion County, Kansas Waterfowl Stamps
In 1941 Marion County became the first local government to issue stamps required to hunt waterfowl. The 1941 stamps are unique in that Water Fowl was type set in two words. In 1943 Marion County issued the first true duck stamp in the world. Over the years several typesetting errors resulted in constant varieties that are highly sought after. The most famous of these occurred in 1969, when stamps from position eight on the ten stamp panes had DUCK misspelled "DUSK". Issued through 1973, the set is the longest continuously issued to hunt waterfowl by any state or local government in the twentieth century and has perennially ranked as an all time favorite among collectors.
Iowa Non Resident Raccoon Stamps
Iowa required non-resident raccoon hunters to purchase a special stamp from 1978 through 1984. The stamps from 1979 to 1984 feature an illustration of a raccoon and have reached iconic status in the fish and game hobby. The face value was an exorbitant $100.00 so very few unused examples have been recorded.
California Alien Fishing Licenses
California began issuing paper fishing licenses in 1914. Those issued through 1926 feature beautiful chromolithography and are highly prized by collectors. Separate licenses were printed and issued to three classifications of fishermen: residents, non-residents and aliens. Relatively few licenses were issued to Aliens (fishermen visiting California from another country).
In 1934, only, a celluloid button was also issued to fishermen and required to be pinned to their out outer garment for quick identification by game wardens.
Maryland Firearms Big Game Stamps
Maryland issued two separate stamps to big game hunters starting in 1960 and continuing through the 1966-67 seasons. The stamps shown here were issued to those intending to hunt with firearms only, as opposed to a bow and arrow. There were two printings the first year, with far fewer stamps sold from the second which was rouletted. The series is highlighted by one of the most famous errors in the hobby. In 1961 two sheets (20 stamps) were discovered with the center deer inverted. This is the only bi-colored invert among all fish and game stamps and is five times rarer than the famous inverted Jenny airmail stamp.
Michigan Trout Proofs
Michigan began issuing trout stamps in 1948. From 1948 through 1963, the stamps were engraved on metal plates by craftsmen at the American, Columbian, Security and Security-Columbian Bank Note companies. The production process involved "proofing" each step along the way for art directors and conservation staff approval. Over the years, there have been auctions of archival material from the various bank note companies and different types of Michigan trout proofs have entered the collector market.