2008 Duck Stamp Debuts

The first 75th Anniversary Federal Duck Stamp was sold to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall during a special ceremony hosted June 27 by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, near Baltimore, Maryland. Minnesota artist Joseph Hautman's depiction of a pair of Northern pintails was selected to grace the stamp.

In 1934, Postmaster William Mooney sold the very first Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, popularly known as the Federal Duck Stamp, to J. N. "Ding" Darling. Darling was the first Federal Duck Stamp artist and also served as Director of the U.S. Biological Survey, the forerunner of the Service. Every year since, the first Duck Stamp sale has been made to the Director of the Service in an event that has become an eagerly anticipated annual tradition. Bass Pro Shops sponsored similar First Day of Sale events at many of its other forty-four retail stores located throughout the country.

All waterfowl hunters age 16 years and older are required to purchase and carry in the field the current Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp, but conservationists, stamp collectors and others also purchase the stamp and support habitat conservation. Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from the $15 Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports the acquisition of wetland and associated upland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. To date, Duck Stamp funds have been used to purchase habitat at hundreds of refuges located in nearly every state in the nation. These refuges offer unparalleled recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.

Winning artist Joe Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota previously won the Federal Duck Stamp contest in 1992 and 2002, and has won multiple state Duck Stamp contests as well. His brothers, Bob and Jim, are also multiple Federal Duck Stamp Contest winners. Hautman's winning art depicts two pintails -- a male and female -- nestled in the very type of wetland habitat his art will help protect.

The 2008-2009 Federal Junior Duck Stamp also went on sale at the event. Eighteen-year-old Seokkyun Hong of Dallas, Texas, was the winning artist, and his depiction of a pair of Nene (Hawaiian goose) is featured on the stamp. The design for the new stamp was chosen by a panel of judges at the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, held at the San Diego Zoo last spring. Proceeds from Junior Duck Stamp sales are used to support environmental education efforts and awards for contest winners.

Duck Stamps can be purchased at hundreds of post offices across the country, as well as major sporting goods stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses. For information on other Federal Duck Stamp products and buying options, please visit the FWS Web site.