Why you should buy a federal duck stamp (even if you don’t hunt)

For those of us who are avid waterfowl hunters, purchasing a federal duck stamp is part of our yearly routine. It’s required by law, after all.

While it’s true that hunters make up the vast majority of those who purchase this stamp, the benefits from the revenue generated reach far beyond the hunting community. That’s why, if you love the outdoors, you should strongly consider purchasing a federal duck stamp, even if you don’t hunt.

The fact is: there is a cost that comes with keeping the wild parts of our country intact. Purchasing a federal migratory bird stamp (or “duck stamp”) is one of the easiest ways to do your part.

Stamps cost $25 and can be purchased online in most states through the Department of Natural Resources or at most local post offices.

Over 98 percent of every dollar spent on a federal duck stamp goes directly to preserving wildlife habitat. This money is allocated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. You would be hard-pressed to find an instance where the dollars of a goodwill investment work harder. In fact, the more than $900 million generated by these stamps has helped protect and restore over 6 million acres across all 50 states that birds, fish, and other wildlife call home. Approximately one-third of animals that utilize these lands are species that are listed as threatened or endangered.

This habitat produces wildlife and clean water that is enjoyed well beyond these properties. It can also help minimize the impacts of flooding and storm surges.

A classic example of duck stamp dollars at work is Wisconsin’s Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. This 33,000-acre property is one of the largest freshwater marshes in the United States and nearly 99 percent of the land was acquired with funds stemming from purchases of federal duck stamps.

If hunting isn’t your thing, buying a duck stamp can still offer some great experiences. For instance, a current federal duck stamp can be used to gain admission into any national wildlife refuge that charges an admission fee.

For those who consider themselves philatelists, these stamps have become collector’s items. Each year dozens of artists submit their work to be considered for the stamp, with only one being featured on the new edition. Year-over-year, no two duck stamps are alike.

If you want to make an investment in the outdoors, a federal duck stamp is a great place to start.

For more information on how you can help support wildlife, check out Episode 10 of The Nathan Woelfel Outdoors Podcast below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

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