Commonly known as 'Duck Stamps', Federal Bird Hunting and Concervation Stamps are pictorial stamps produced by the U.S. Service for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They are not valid for postage. Originally created in 1934 as the federal licences required for hunting migratory waterfowl, Federal Duck Stamps are now also used for the collection of funds for the conservation of wetlands and their waterfowl. These stamps have become very popular with collectors.
In 1989 the first 'Junior Duck Stamps' were produced. They are now the cornerstone of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Junior Duck Stamp environmental education program teaching students across the nation "conservation through the arts".
Now all the U.S. States produce their own Duck Stamps, some of which are for hunting purposes but mostly they are for the purpose of wetlands conservation and for collectors.
For more detailed information I would recommend a visit to the website of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which contains a lot of useful and interesting information.
Many other countries around the world have followed the U.S. and produce a veriety of their own Duck Stamps.
Duck Stamps are collected in a variety of conditions:-
- Mint with or without their Original Gum (OG), either Hinged or Never Hinged (NH)
- Mint as above but signed by the Artist.
- Mint as above but signed by the State Govenor as a special 'one off'': Only in some states and not every year.
- Used fom a Hunting Licence and signed by the Hunter. Not Junior Duck Stamps, which do not have a hunting roll.
When collecting used, Hunter signed stamps you need to be mindful of certain defects that may have been caused by having been kept in the Hunter's pocket, wallet or hunting bag for perhaps several months in an outdoor environment. This may include fold or crease marks and or gum disturbance on stamps that have never been stuck to a licence. Watch out for sweat stains and ink runs from the hunter's signature. It is needles to say that damage to used stamps is very common, with many missing corners and having creases or tears.Often you will see these stamps in eBay listings efectionately referd to as "Wounded Ducks"
Duck Stamps in whatever condition are a delight and a worthwhile subject for both collecting and study.
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