The Honey Lake Waterfowl Stamps

Stamps After 1956-57


Effective with the 1957-58 season, the DFG changed the procedure for delivering hunting permits to the state waterfowl management areas. This included seasonal permit stamps printed for the HLWMA. Whereas the 1956-57 stamps were shipped directly from DFG Headquarters in Sacramento to Mac Foster, the 1957-58 stamps were first sent to the DFG Regional Office in Redding. From Redding the stamps were distributed to the HLWMA Manager along with a supply of daily permits. Following the season, all unissued permits were returned to the Redding office, which was accountable to the Central Headquarters License Section (DFG IntraOffice Correspondence dated December 26, 1956).

It is believed that the Redding office annually forwarded the remainders to Sacramento for a final accounting and subsequent destruction (Vanderford, 1993; Wertz, 1993). This procedure was used through the beginning of the 1961-62 season. In November of 1961, the Redding office advised HLWMA Manager Robert Weld, “Please submit license report forms…to [the] Sacramento License Section…The Redding office no longer handles licenses nor do we accept license returns” (DFG IntraOffice correspondence dated November 7, 1961). After this notice it is assumed that all deliveries and returns of the permits were done directly between the DFG License Section in Sacramento and the HLMWA in Wendel.

The 1957-58 stamps were printed in black ink on blue-green paper and measure approximately 49 X 37 mm. The text printed on the stamps is similar to those from the first year, with a few notable exceptions. First, the year date was changed. Second, since there were no Madeline Plains stamps for 1957-58, the “H” was deleted from the end of the serial numbers. Third, starting with the 1957-58 issue and continuing through 1966-67 Type I, the State Printing Office included the number of stamps ordered and printed as part of the imprint in the lower right corner. The imprint on the 1957-58 stamps indicates that a total of 500 stamps were printed (see Figure 18).



Figure 18. Starting with the 1957-58 issue, the number of stamps printed (500 in this case) was included in the information printed in the bottom right corner.



Four examples of the 1957—58 stamp have been recorded. One of the stamps was acquired from a woman in Payette, Idaho, by E. L. Vanderford in the late 1970s. The woman was the mother-in-law of a hunter Vanderford met in a sporting goods store in Susanville. The hunter, whose last name was Vashe, told Vanderford that he had given the woman a friend’s old license bearing the Honey Lake seasonal permit as she was an avid collector of duck stamps. Vanderford was able to obtain the Honey Lake stamp in trade for several federal duck stamps she was missing (Vanderford, 1991).

Vanderford recalls being elated with the acquisition of the 1957-58 stamp, for it was the last one he needed to complete the Honey Lake series. Much to his surprise, Vanderford soon received a second copy of the stamp in the mail from Charles Hermann, a collector friend in Los Angeles (see Figure 18a). It was included in a small lot of fish and game stamps, the rest of which were quite common. Van subsequently sold the second stamp to Sylvia Tompkins (Vanderford, 1994).



Figure 18a. The stamp Van obtained from Charles Hermann and sold to Sylvia Tompkins.



Vanderford acquired one of the four recorded examples of the 1958-59 stamp directly from Vashe (see Figure 19, left). The 1958-59 stamps were apparently miscut by the State Printing Office. I have examined all four stamps, numbers 4, 65, 83 and 115. The stamps are from two separate books, yet they all measure 51 x 48 mm and have staple holes along the left side.

Normally the tabs were stapled together. It seems that the 1958-59 stamps were cut to this larger size, which should have included the tab, in error. In order to staple the oversized panes between the booklet covers, the tabs must have been removed and the stamps inserted sideways. Unused copies exist from 1959-60 with the tab still attached (see Figure 19, right). If one of the 1958-59 stamps is turned sideways, it has approximately the same dimensions as a 1959-60 stamp including the tab.



Figure 19. All of the 1958-59 stamps were miscut by the State Printing Office (left.) The last stamp printed (number 500)  for 1959-60 was sold to Bill Oliver following the season (right).



It is believed that collectors first discovered the Honey Lake stamps following the 1959-60 season. Bill Oliver, a stamp collector who worked in the same building as the DFG Headquarters in Sacramento, had recently become interested in fish and game stamps. The DFG would not officially make remainders of the Honey Lake stamps available to collectors until after the 1974—75 season. Oliver, however, was allowed to purchase about 25 stamps from an unused book which had been returned following the 1959-60 season. Oliver recalls paying face value ($5.00) for each of the stamps (Oliver, 1990 and 1993).

The balance of the book, which contained stamps numbered 451 to 500, was crumpled-up and thrown into a wastebasket by the License Supervisor (Vanderford, 1993). A license clerk by the name of Dean Cook retrieved the discarded stamps from the trash. Cook was also a quasi-collector of fish and game stamps. Cook showed the stamps to E. L. Vanderford who later obtained them in a trade. According to Vanderford, Cook rescued about 15 stamps — the rest were too badly damaged. Therefore, approximately 40 unused examples of the 1959-60 Honey Lake stamp are in collectors hands today. The stamps that were rescued from the trash exhibit varying degrees of creasing.

Oliver traded a few of his stamps but saved the majority for exactly thirty years, finally selling them to me in 1990. Vanderford sold or traded all of his duplicate 1959-60 stamps within a few years. At this time state revenue dealer Frank Applegate somehow obtained stamp number 466 (Hubbard, 1991). Applegate subsequently listed the Honey Lake seasonal permit stamps in his Catalogue of State and Territorial Game and Fishing License Stamps, which was published in the early 1960s (see Figures 21 and 22). Stamp number 466 was noted and priced at $7.00. It was later acquired by the legendary revenue collector Morton Dean Joyce (Jackson 1991).



Figure 21. Excerpt from Applegate’s catalog, pricing stamp #466 at $7.00.



Figure 22. 1959-60 Honey Lake stamp #466 from the Morton Dean Joyce collection.



Oliver’s fish and game interest soon narrowed to fishing stamps only. He did not attempt to purchase Honey Lake stamps in future years. Vanderford, despite having excellent contacts in the DFG License Section, was not allowed to purchase any Honey Lake stamps until remainders were made available to the general public following the 1974-75 season.

The only other year for which unused Honey Lake stamps are known to exist prior to the remainders being put on sale is 1964-65. Two partial books containing a total of 22 stamps were found by Area Manager Chuck Holmes while cleaning out office desks in 1991 and 1994 (Holmes, 1991 and 1994). The 1964-65 stamps measure 49 x 50 mm including the tab (see Figure 23).



Figure 23. Booklet cover and single stamp pane issued for 1964-65.




Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Comment