Gallery Five

Georgia Trout Stamps

Georgia started issuing trout stamps in 1971. The first year there were two different stamps, for resident and non-resident fishermen. The stamps were relatively small and featured the Georgia state seal in the center. Starting in 1972, a third stamp was added for non-residents intending to fish for five days or less. At this time the stamps were elongated and the state seal was moved to the right side. A jumping trout was placed at the left side. Similar stamps were printed and issued through 1977, when they were replaced by smaller non-pictorial die cut self-adhesives. The stamps issued from 1971 through 1977 represent the classic period for this series. Unused stamps from this time period can be difficult to acquire.

Tennessee Archery Stamps

Tennessee issued archery big game stamps for only five years, from 1967-68 through 1971-72. Very few collectors knew to buy the stamps and all unused examples can be traced back to Les Lebo. The stamps are very much in demand and on everyone's want list. If there were more stamps around, it would be one of the most popular sets in the hobby.

Virginia State Forest Stamps

The Virginia State Forest stamps is comprised of a long running series of stamps with a similar design. The series started in 1959 and continued through 2006-07. Those issued through 1970-71 had a list of counties where the stamps were valid printed across the face and this is considered the classic period for this series. From 1971-72 through 1999-00, the stamps lacked the list of counties but were very similar. Starting in 2000-01, the stamps were enlarged and the border was deleted to accommodate a signature line. Unused stamps from the classic period are very popular with collectors.

Delaware Trout Stamps

Delaware first printed stamps for fishermen intending to take trout in 1956. Two stamps were printed, one for residents and one for non-residents. Very few resident stamps were sold and only three non-resident stamps were sold. One of the non-resident stamps was sold to legendary pioneer collector Joseph Janousek, who reported it in his column in the American Revenuer. The reason only three non-resident stamps were sold is because Delaware decided to cancel the non-resident stamp program and it was not resumed until 1972. Very few collectors knew to buy the non-resident stamp when it was reinstated in 1972. Stamps issued from 1956 through 1976 were all very similar, featuring a trout jumping out of the water for a fly, and this is considered the classic period for this series.

In 1976, very few of the regular resident stamps were sold and only two non-resident stamps were sold. This is because at the last minute, Delaware decided to get patriotic. They pulled the single color stamps from sale and substituted oversized multicolor stamps featuring a trout stream and red, white and blue banners for the Bicentennial. Fortunately, fish and game collector Ken Pruess and dealer David Curtis each purchased one stamp for posterity.

Montana Special Area Deer and Elk Stamps

E.L. Vanderford reported in his Handbook of Fish and Game Stamps that Montana first issued a special area stamp to hunt elk in the 1950s and that "the same stamp was used through 1968". For many years a small number of unused elk stamps floated around the collector market. They did not look like they were used in the 1960s. Then an unused example of a special area permit to hunt deer was discovered and for over two decades it was the only example recorded. Today, there have been a number of used elk stamps and a few used deer stamps recorded. Just recently, Michael Jaffe acquired a special area elk stamp that looks like it was used in the 1960s. The stamp has the lower left corner neatly torn off, but the rest of the stamp is perfect. It almost looks like the corner was torn off as part of its usage. 

1974 - 1986 South Dakota Goose Stamps

South Dakota started awarding Canada Goose hunting stamps on a computerized drawing basis in 1974. A limited number of stamps were issued for goose hunts only in Bennett County through 1978. Starting in 1979, the number of (West River Unit Canada Goose) counties was expanded to include Haakon, Jackson, Pennington and Perkins. Vanderford has stated that stamps were prepared (rubber-stamped) for Perkins in 1979 but that none were issued until 1980. Starting in 1980, the title of the stamps changed to Prairie Canada Geese, but the counties remained the same. Starting in 1983, unit designations replaced the county names and additional counties were added. In 1984 even more counties were added. For 1985 and 1986, the stamp format was changed. The stamps were printed on a cloth-like material that was located at the end of a matching numbered tag. Starting in 1987, goose stamps were issued in combination with a larger tag and occasionally a tooth stamp. These later stamps will be the subject of a future blog article.

Maryland Deer and Turkey Stamps

Deer and Turkey stamps were issued by the State of Maryland starting in 1968. They superseded the previous big game stamps for firearms and bow and arrow. Starting in 1972, an additional stamp was printed and issued to seniors at a much lower fee. From 1978 through 1980 the wording on the stamp was changed to "Big Game", but the usage remained the same. Following the 1980 seasons, the series was discontinued and sperseded by a new series of deer stamps without the turkey component.

1966 South Dakota Special Area Hunt Stamps

For 1966 only, South Dakota issued a series of stamps that were awarded on a drawing basis for deer hunts in special areas of the state. This series of stamps is unusual in that they are very similar to other South Dakota big game stamps – except that they have a tab attached to the right side of the stamp. On the tab is printed specific information regarding the exact location of the hunt and the bag limit. I have not seen very many of these over the years. They are different and very interesting.

Illinois Salmon Stamps

Illinois started issuing salmon fishing stamps in 1976 and continued through 1993. The series was discontinued in 1994 and superseded by Lake Michigan salmon stamps. The original salmon series is very attractive and popular with collectors.

1899 - 1919 Washington Hunting & Fishing Licenses

State records indicate that Washington first issued hunting licenses in 1901. It is not known when the first fishing licenses were issued. As with Oregon, the individual counties were responsible for licensing hunters. Unlike Oregon, the State did not take over early on, so the possibilities are multitudinous.