Waterfowl Stamp Exhibit Earns Appreciation

Panel Five

Panel five is devoted to tribal waterfowl stamps or Indian Reservation stamps as collectors refer to them. Indian Reservation stamps did not exist until the late 1950s. At that time, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota became the first tribal government to require the purchase of stamps before hunting waterfowl on the reservation.

By the early 1980s, only six reservations had issued stamps, and most fish and game collectors were unaware of their existence until the early 1990s.

Two examples of the first Rosebud stamp are included in this exhibit. One is an unused copy of the 1959 issue. These very ornate stamps were actually used for 10 years. Even though the stamps were in use for a long period of time, only three unused examples have been recorded (see Figure 14).



Figure 14. The unused 1959 Rosebud Game Bird stamp.



Once issued, the date was filled in on the stamp. Although intended to be placed on a tribal-hunting license, occasionally hunters affixed the stamps to their state hunting license in error. An example of one of only two known Rosebud stamps issued in 1961 affixed to a state-hunting license is shown (see Figure 15.


Figure 15. This Rosebud Tribal Game Bird stamp was issued in 1961. The hunter should have purchased a separate Tribal hunting license. However, he was got away with affixing the tribal stamp to his South Dakota state hunting license.



The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, also of South Dakota, was the second Indian Reservation to issue stamps. Stamps were issued from 1961-64, and very few examples exist. The only recorded copy of the 1963 small game stamp is on display (see Figure 16).



1962 and 1963 CC SG

Figure 16. In 1963, unused remainders of 1961 Crow Creek small game stamps were issued and their date changed manually with a ball point pen.



In 1989, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribal became the first tribal government to issue pictorial waterfowl stamps. Just 200 stamps were issued in three categories for hunting waterfowl on the Reservation: members of the reservation, residents of South Dakota and non-residents, The resident stamp almost sold out. Only 21 examples have been recorded (some of those have staple holes in them). The exhibit contains a complete pane of five, the only known multiple (see Figure 17).



Figure 17. The only recorded complete pane of the 1989 Crow Creek resident waterfowl stamp.



Major errors (missing colors or perforations) on duck stamps are extremely rare. They are almost non-existent on Indian Reservation stamps. In 1990, a pane of the non-resident waterfowl stamp was found in a book of stamps with the red serial numbers missing. It is quite striking when compared to a normal numbered pane. The pane was acquired by Torre, and this is the first time it has been on public display (see Figure 18).



Figure 18. Top tab single from the error pane (the pane has since been broken).



Many philatelists familiar with the exhibit, including National Postal Museum Director James Bruns, feel that the Crow Creek error pane is the highlight of the entire exhibit.

Another type of major error is a printing error. In 1994 the Crow Creek daily usage waterfowl stamps were distributed was a $25 face value in error. Within a week they were recalled and replaced with the corrected $30 face value stamps. Five error stamps have been reordered. A pair, the only known multiple, is in the exhibit along with a pane of the normal stamp (see Figure 19).



Figure 19. Pair of 1994 Crow Creek waterfowl stamp errors. The largest multiple recorded.



Lower Brule began issuing stamps in 1962. These stamps were used for many years through 1972. The license agent would fill in the year issued and the amount depending on whether the purchaser was a tribal member or non-resident. No stamps used by tribal members have been recorded. Only one stamp used in 1972 has been recorded. It is on a license and in this exhibit (see Figure 20).



Figure 20. The 1972 Lower Brule waterfowl stamp used on license.



The Fort Peck Tribe began issuing stamps in the 1970s. The earliest recorded stamps are from 1975. Stamps were issued annually through 1978 in panes of 10. The exhibited pane from 1977 includes all 10 recorded examples of this great rarity (see Figure 21).



Figure 21. Block of four 1977 Fort Peck bird stamps (the pane has since been broken).




Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Leave a Comment