Gallery Three

Indiana Trout Stamps

Indiana started issuing trout stamps in 1951 and they have been highly sought by stamp collectors ever since. 1951 through 1966 is considered the classic period for this series. Starting with the 1967 stamp, Indiana started to keep remainders on hand for future collectors. Prior to 1967, many of the stamps are difficult to acquire in unused condition. During the 1957 season, Indiana raised the fee charged for all licenses and stamps. Rather than print new stamps, the existing supply of unused stamps were all overprinted $2.00" with a rubber stamp. This is one of the earliest uses of an overprint in the fish and game field and the stamp is considered very desirable. 

1959-69 Rosebud Stamps

In 1959 the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, located in south central South Dakota, became the first tribal government to issue fish and game stamps. Three different stamps were printed; one for game birds (including waterfowl), big game and fishing. After the initial year, the same stamps were used year after year in the 1960s by filling in a new year date in the place provided. The Rosebud Sioux inspired neighboring South Dakota Sioux tribes from the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Reservations to subsequently issue their own fish and game stamps. The tribal governments in South Dakota continued to issue various stamps until native-white tensions, inflamed by AIM, culminated in the second incident at Wounded Knee in 1973. The bloodshed brought about an end to non-native hunting on the reservations until 1979, when the Rosebud Sioux once again led the way, inviting non-native hunters onto the reservation and resuming the issuance of tribal fish and game stamps.

Virginia Elk Stamps

Although a relatively short-lived series, issued from 1940 through the 1946-47 season, the Virginia Elk stamps have reached legendary status in the fish and game hobby. The stamps featuring an arresting image of a large bull elk that collectors find alluring. For this reason, they are always in high demand and the stamps inspired some of the most spirited bidding in the Vanderford Auctions. Once again, virtually all recorded examples can be traced back to pioneering collectors Morton Dean Joyce and Les Lebo.

Missouri Trout Stamps

Considered to be one of the most beautiful sets of fish and game stamps ever issued, the Missouri trout stamps are true favorites. Stamps were issued starting in 1969 and those through 1982 were all designed by Missouri Department of Conservation staff artist Charles Schwartz. Moreover, the stamps were all designed at the same time and were intended by Schwartz to show the lifecycle of trout and tell the story of trout fishing through his art.

Iowa Non Resident Pheasant Stamps

Iowa required non resident pheasant hunters to purchase special stamps from 1979 through 1984. The first issue depicted the head of a pheasant, while subsequent issues showed the entire bird, similar to the non-resident raccoon stamps of the same time period. The stamps were issued with a number of tags attached and finding them intact can be a challenge. For 1980 there were two printings, with higher numbered stamps being printed in a darker black ink on coated paper. Although not as famous as their raccoon stamp cousins, the pheasant stamps are favored by collectors.

California Resident Hunting Licenses

California began issuing resident hunting licenses in 1907. The first two years were produced in aluminum, with the 1907-08 license resembling a military dog tag. There were two printings of this license. Those with lower numbers have a slightly more rounded shape and the hole is punched in the center of the left side. Those with higher numbers have a more elongated shape and the hole is punched off-center. Starting with the 1909-10 issue, the licenses were printed on paper with beautiful illustrations in chromolithography. California issued pictorial licenses from 1909 through the 1926-7 season and this is considered the classic period for the series. Today, the licenses are widely collected. Fortunately, many were saved and with a few exceptions, there are plenty to go around.

Maryland Public Lands Hunting Stamps

Similar in purpose to the Honey lake and Illinois daily usage stamps, those issued by Maryland for use on public hunting grounds were relatively unknown to collectors and very few unused examples have been recorded. The stamps are rather small and feature an illustration of a hunter holding a rifle in a duck blind. They are one of the few fish and game stamp series that I have repeatedly heard described as "cute". As more and more collectors learn about this set, the demand continues to grow.

Lebo Tennessee Trout Essays and Proofs

Virtually all of the Tennessee trout stamp essays and proofs that have been recorded were originally acquired by pioneer fish and game collector Les Lebo. A native son and avid fly fisherman, the Tennessee trout stamps were his passion. Lebo was one of the first collectors to exhibit fish and game stamps and he worked hard to make his exhibit the best it could be. The wide range of specialized trout material assembled by Lebo is in a word, amazing and was one of the highlights of his fabulous exhibit. This gallery is a tribute to Les, so please enjoy.

Tennessee Shell Tax Stamps

The Tennessee shell tax stamps are not fish and game license stamps per se. However, they were required to be affixed to the ammunition boxes waterfowl hunters purchased and are collected by many waterfowl stamp collectors as collateral. The fact the stamps are gorgeous and feature a scene with a duck hunter and his dog obviously contribute to the attraction. The 1937 stamps were elongated and resemble the Pymatuning stamps in size and shape. For 1938, the stamps were reduced in size and made more square in shape. Additional values were added. The 1938 set features two notable errors that were discovered by pioneer revenue stamp collector Burt Hubbard. The first is a 4 mill stamp in olive green and the second is a vertical pair of the 5 mill stamp that is imperforate between. Subsequent Tennessee ammunition stamps were reduced even further in size, were non-pictorial and printed in decal form.

Joyce Delaware Trout Stamp Blocks

Delaware started requiring fishermen intending to take trout to purchase a special stamp starting in 1956. The same design featuring a leaping trout chasing a fly was used through 1976 and this is considered the classic period for this series. The stamps were printed in a unique format. Large panes were cut into blocks of four with straight edges on all four sides. The blocks were then gummed along the top edge to form a pad. Collecting stamps in blocks of four is a time honored tradition and for this reason, the Delaware sheets are appealing. A number of the stamps in this period are difficult to acquire in unused condition and this includes four of the first five, with 1958 being the exception. As with the Tennessee shell tax stamps, Morton Dean Joyce collected and saved a block of four of the early Delaware stamps for posterity.