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The Maryland Big Game Stamps – Part Four

Today we will look at the Maryland Big Game Stamps that were issued in the series’ third season, 1962-63. We will see that the printing format underwent a subtle change – from sheets of ten to booklet panes of ten. Take a break and enjoy these images from the last season to feature the classic leaping buck design.


The 1962-63 Big Game Stamps

Apparently, Frank Applegate was unable to obtain any of the 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamps. Therefore, no descriptive information was provided in Applegate’s Catalog of State and Territorial Game and Fishing License Stamps, published in 1963. there was a blank space following the year “1962-63” and his descriptions continued with the 1963-64 issues (see Part One).

In Fact, a description of the 1962-63 stamps was not made available until E.L. Vanderford’s Maryland listings were published in the January, 1969 issue of the State Revenue Newsletter. Vanderford reported the firearms stamps were printed in black and red on white and the archers stamps in black and green on white. He noted one other difference; they were perforated 11.75 (instead of 12.5), “Otherwise same as 1960-61 [sic]”. As it turns out, this was not completely accurate (as noted in the forward) and we will come back to this discrepancy shortly.

The 1962 Maryland Hunters Guide provided much the same deer hunting information as in 1961. Page 6 laid out the various seasons: the time and duration of the special early bow and arrow season varied depending on the county, with the earliest date being October 15 and the latest November 14; the special antlerless deer season took place over three non-consecutive days, November 10, 12 and 13 in St. Mary’s, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester Counties and the regular deer season took place from December 1-8, except Sunday (see Figures 1 and 2).



Figure 1. 1962 Maryland game laws for deer hunting – antlerless deer hunting by special permit.


Figure 2. 1962. Maryland game laws for deer hunting – seasons defined.



Stamps for Firearms Only

Applegate was not the only collector who had difficulty finding a county clerk to sell them stamps in 1962-63. For this reason, I have relatively few pieces to share with you during this post. To start with, I have two unused singles, one from the upper right corner of the pane (see Figures 3 and 4). Note the blank margin or “selvage” above the stamp in Figure 2 is shorter than in the previous two years and shows evidence of having been gummed.



Figure 3. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Firearms.



Figure 4. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Firearms, top corner (UR) single. Note the gum remnants along the top edge.



Starting with the 1962-63 seasons, Maryland changed from a sheet format to a booklet pane format. The change is subtle and cannot be detected in the absence of the top selvage. However, we can corroborate this fact by looking at a couple of the trout stamp pieces from the Boward Family Find.

Maryland first issued trout stamps in 1963 and prior to the Boward find no multiples had been recorded from the 1960s. In 1963, Eugene Boward, an avid fisherman and casual stamp collector, purchased a block of six of the trout stamps from the upper part of the pane and stored it, along with many subsequent Maryland fish and game stamps, first in a document protector and then inside a suitcase. The suitcase remained in his closet until he passed in 2002 and they were discovered by his son, Gary. It is a great story and, if you have time, please check it out.

Fortunately for us, a portion of the upper selvage remained intact through the years (see Figure 5). As we can see, the upper selvage is clearly gummed, indicating that more than one pane was originally attached together.



Figure 5. 1963 Maryland Trout stamp, unused block of six. Note the gummed edge along the upper right stamp.



Eugene would provide us with an additional insight the following year, when he purchased a complete pane of the 1964 trout stamps. It provides evidence that, starting in 1962-63, Maryland stamp panes were gummed along the top edge and placed between covers to form a booklet. The back cover is still attached to the pane along the top gummed edge (see Figure 6).



Figure 6. 1964 Maryland Trout stamp, complete pane of ten with back cover



Next we have two singles that were signed by hunters. From the rubber-stamped date, we can see the first stamp was sold on October 30 (see Figure 7). The second stamp has full original gum and almost certainly purchased by a man who was both a hunter and a stamp collector.



Figure 7. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Firearms, used.



On November 14, Herbert D, Howard Jr. purchased a Maryland Resident State-Wide Hunting License and matching back tag from a private vendor, Strand Surplus and Salvage. Howard also purchased a lower left corner single of the firearms stamp and very carefully signed it along the bottom, just above the selvage.

Without affixing the stamp to his license or tag (as required by state law), he then carried the three pieces with him while hunting – and was not stopped by a game warden. If a warden had checked, he might have escaped a fine but would have been forced to affix the stamp (see Figures 8-10).



Figure 8. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Firearms, bottom corner (LL) single carefully signed by Herbert D. Howard. Note this stamp has full original gum.


Figure 9. Howard’s Resident State-Wide Hunting License, number 42036.


Figure 10. Matching number back tag.



Next we have four usages: The first is used on the back of a Resident State-Wide Hunting License issued on September 1. The stamp was sold on “12/1/62” so we know the hunter, Jessie S. Fifer, only participated in the regular deer season (December 1-8). The second is used on the back of a Carroll County Resident Hunting License issued On September 8, however, the stamp was issued on “Nov 30, 1962” so, once again, only the regular deer season. The third is used on the front of a Resident State-Wide back tag and the fourth is used on the back of another (see Figures 11-13).



Figure 11. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Firearms, used on a state-wide license.



Figure 12. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Firearms, used on a county license.



Figure 13. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Firearms, used on a back tag.



Figure 14. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Firearms, used on the reverse of another back tag.



Stamps for Archers Only

For the 1962-63 archers stamps, I have three pieces to share: first we have two unused singles –  one from the collection of Ken Pruess and one, with selvage along the right side, from the collection of E.L. Vanderford. (see Figures 15 and 16). Note the stamps have consecutive serial numbers.



Figure 15. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Archers. Ex Pruess.



Figure 16. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Archers. Ex Vanderford.



The third is a used single, from the collection of fish and game dealer David Curtis (see Figure 17).



Figure 17. 1962-63 Maryland Big Game Stamp for Archers, used. Ex Curtis.



This would be the last time the classic leaping deer design would be used. In the next post we will see the new artwork and I will reveal the name of the artist who designed all of the early Maryland big game and trout stamps.




Continued to Part Five


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