Why Buy a Duck Stamp

“I buy duck stamps for several reasons. The first is I am a birder. There are not many direct ways that birders can contribute to the health and well-being of the critters that provide them with enjoyment. There is no buying of licenses or a surtax on binoculars that goes toward conservation. I feel that it is not only important, but critical to support habitat conservation in order to continue doing what I like to do. I buy duck stamps, in particular, because it helps with wetland conservation. Wetlands are critical to many species of wildlife, including birds, 75% of which use wetland habitats regularly during breeding or migration in New Mexico. And I like the feeling of going into a refuge, being asked to pay a fee and showing them my duck stamp. As a birder, I often get a surprised look from the people manning the checkpoint.” ~Christopher Rustay, PLJV Conservation Delivery Leader

“I’m not a hunter or a birder. In fact, I’d never heard of the duck/migratory bird stamp until several years ago when I began working for PLJV. And even then I didn’t think much about it personally — that’s for hunters, right? But after learning more about the stamp and how the money goes to conserving wetlands and wildlife, I made a point to purchase a stamp. It’s an easy way to put my money behind my beliefs.” ~Miruh Hamend, PLJV Communication Director

“Even though I don’t hunt much anymore, I have continued to buy duck stamps off and on over the last 30 years. Why do I do it? Well, they are always beautiful and even though I don’t stick it on the back of my state license anymore, I like to pin them on my wall so I can enjoy them for a year. Who wouldn’t like a beautiful Wood Duck on their wall? But I’ve also enjoyed the less showy ducks like the Ring-necked Duck and American Wigeon that were featured in the last decade. This year’s Common Goldeneye is a favorite and a bird I used to hunt in Montana and Alaska, and continue to enjoy each winter. As a life-long birder and career conservationist, perhaps the biggest reason I continue to buy the stamp is that virtually all of the revenue from sales of the stamp support acquiring wetland habitat in our National Wildlife Refuges, places I have loved visiting since I was a kid and places that provide critical habitat for a huge number of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and also a whole host of other species. And yes, having a duck stamp means I don’t have to pay each time I visit a Refuge, but the truth is, I never mind paying a refuge entrance fee since the money supports something I love.” ~Bob McCready, PLJV Assistant Coordinator

“I spent time working on a national wildlife refuge in Mississippi during graduate school and at the time had no idea that funding for the purchase of that important piece of habitat came through individuals who purchased duck stamps. I didn’t hunt waterfowl on that refuge, but I did hunt wild turkeys there. The refuge is also a popular spot for deer hunting and for bird watching, and is the first place I saw a live alligator in the wild. I’m not sure that even our most avid waterfowl hunters understand where the proceeds from ducks stamp sales end up, or how they help ensure the future of healthy wildlife populations and access for hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts. Based on what I’ve seen of the national wildlife refuge system, it’s a very worthy investment and a story we need to tell.” ~Brandon Houck, Northwest and Southwest District Conservation Area Manager for National Wild Turkey Federation and PLJV Board Chairman

“You could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned long ago that the migratory bird/duck stamp was available at the post office and not only as part of buying a hunting license. How easy is that?! So, whenever I’m at the post office I buy a duck stamp, sometimes making a pilgrimage out of it by making a special trip. I love the look on the faces of the postal employees when they ask, “Is that all?” and I reply, “Yep, that’s it.” Mine is a utilitarian purchase, as I just don’t know of a more efficient way to contribute to protecting habitat.” ~Mike Carter, PLJV Coordinator

Posted: September 25, 2013