Legislation for duck stamps to last entire hunting season introduced
U.S. Congressmen Garret Graves of Louisiana and Mike Thompson of California have teamed up to introduce bipartisan legislation, the Duck Stamp Modernization Act, to make electronic duck stamps valid for the entire hunting season.
“We’re not ducking the question on this one – this common-sense legislation should have been law long ago. We’re making it easier for outdoorsmen and women to hunt and enjoy the Sportsman’s Paradise,” Graves said in a news release.
“As an avid outdoorsman and member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, I know how important it is to ensure that the tradition of hunting is balanced with the preservation of wetlands and waterfowl habitats,” Thompson said. “The Duck Stamp Modernization Act will make the Federal Duck Stamp more accessible and raise revenue used for conservation by authorizing an electronic stamp. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation alongside Congressman Graves to help modernize duck hunting and make waterfowl season more accessible than ever.”
Duck hunters are required to have the federal license, the duck stamp, to hunt and harvest migratory waterfowl. When a hunter purchases their annual stamp online, they have access to an electronic copy for up to 45 days, which is meant to give them temporary cover until their physical stamp arrives in the mail.
It can take weeks or even months for the physical stamp to arrive in the mail. The delayed arrival jeopardizes a hunter’s ability to comply with federal hunting license requirements during the short hunting season.
This legislation will allow duck hunters to access a permanent annual electronic duck stamp which is tied to their smartphone, so they can remain in compliance for the entirety of duck season.
Traditional duck stamps will still be available for purchase from the post office and other authorized retailers. Under the bill, the physical stamp will be mailed to those purchasing the electronic duck stamp after hunting season. Since 1934, when the federal duck stamp was signed into law, the program has generated over $1 billion for wetlands conservation.
Ninety-eight percent of the purchase price for federal duck stamps goes directly back to improving wetland habitats and enhancing access for hunters – making this program one of the best returns on investments for conservation efforts. To date, the federal duck stamp has conserved more than 6 million acres of wetlands within the National Wildlife Refuge System.