U.S. Hunting Permit Stamps

Hunting Permit stamps are an interesting variety of Revenue stamp valued by many collectors throughout the U.S. Unlike postage stamps, Hunting Permit stamps are not intended for mailing letters or packages — rather, they are a collectible stamp sold to raise money to protect American wetlands.

Since 1934, U.S. Hunting Permit stamps have been issued to duck hunting enthusiasts, with up to 98% of profits funding programs by the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. Older stamps in particular have become highly collectible, with prices for mint condition examples fetching into the thousands of dollars.

The First Duck Hunting Stamps

In 1929, Congress passed the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, a law designed to authorize and enable the conservation of wetlands around the country. Five years later, the first U.S. Hunting Permit stamps were released, in part to fund this ambitious program. With the purchase of a $1 stamp, hunters gained the right to enter National Wildlife Refuges during duck season free of charge. In addition to the federal stamps, many states issue their own Hunting Permit stamps, which are also required in order to hunt in certain protected areas.

The Duck Stamp program has proven wildly successful with both hunters and stamp enthusiasts, who appreciate the consistently intricate, attractive designs the permits feature. As such, there has been growing interest in collecting Hunting Permit stamps as an offshoot of traditional philately. While older stamps command the highest prices, the wealth of available examples of all ages makes collecting accessible to nearly anyone.

Collecting Hunting Permit Stamps

collectors duck stamps

To this day, the Duck Stamp program continues to raise awareness and money for protected wetlands. An annual design contest attracts some of the country’s finest wildlife artists, for whom their design’s inclusion on a stamp is one of the highest honors possible.Duck Stamps were initially produced for hunters, rather than collectors. As such, many of the earliest examples have been signed by the owner, which was required for validation purposes. A mint condition, unsigned early U.S. Hunting Permit stamp is a rare find, though serious collectors with the right patience and budget are likely to be rewarded. Apfelbaum, Inc. regularly has U.S. Hunting Permit stamps for sale through our Public Auctions, Buy It Now Sales & our Stamp Store.  Please contact our office today for information about upcoming lots.