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Federal Duck Stamps
Why should I buy duck stamps?
There are many reasons to buy Duck Stamps. Hunters over the age of 16 must purchase a Federal Duck Stamp each year if they want to hunt migratory waterfowl. Birders and other frequenters of National Wildlife Refuges purchase a $15 Federal Duck Stamp each year in order to gain free admission to refuges. Conservationists buy Federal Duck Stamps because they know that the stamps are, dollar for dollar, one of the best investments one can make in the future of America's wetlands. Collectors buy both the Federal and Junior Duck Stamps because the beautiful stamps can gain value over the years and are an important part of America's outdoor culture. Finally, educators, conservationists, hunters, parents, and students alike buy $5 Junior Duck Stamps in order to support conservation education programs in the U.S.
Where can I buy Duck Stamps and Duck Stamp products?
Both Federal Duck Stamps ($15) and Junior Duck Stamps ($5) are sold in many post offices across the country. You can also buy both stamps on the internet, and many sporting goods and outdoor stores sell the Federal Duck Stamps. Visit our "Stamps" page to learn where you can purchase both Federal and Junior Duck Stamps.
The U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service Federal Duck Stamp Office does not sell duck stamp products, but it does allow licensed vendors to produce and sell products bearing the images of both Federal and Junior Duck Stamps. Please see our "Products" page for a current list of vendors.
How are Duck Stamps made?
Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsors a stamp-design contest (usually held in the fall), with wildlife artists from across the Nation submitting their work for judging by a panel of artists and wildlife experts. The winning art is used on the following year's stamp. Wildlife artists consider it a great honor to be selected as the winner of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.
After the winning design has been selected, the artwork is submitted to the U.S. Postal Service for production of the stamp. The U.S. Postal Service works with the staff of the Federal Duck Stamp Office and other members of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to design and produce a stamp that meets the needs and expectations of the public.
A security document designer at the Postal Service prepares a model, combining the artwork, title, and denomination. Postal service experts determine what areas of the stamp will be reproduced by the intaglio process ( a type of engraving), how the colors of the remainder of the image will be separated, and what printing methods and equipment will yield the best reproduction of the artwork. Before printing, the Postal Service submits a stamp model to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for approval.
A similar process is used for Junior Duck Stamps. Annually, thousands of students across the country enter artwork in their stateâ€™s round of the Junior Duck Stamp contest. Students from kindergarten to high school compete in one of four age brackets (K-3rd, 4th-6th, 7th-9th, and 10th-12th) for a chance to win various prizes. From the first place winners in each age bracket, state-round judges select a Best of Show piece to represent theirt state in the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Each April, judges for the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest select a winner from the 53 Best of Show entries (one from each state, the District of Columbia, and participating territories [American Samoa and the Virgin Islands]) to become the following year's Junior Duck Stamp.
Every year on July 1st, a new Federal Duck Stamp and a new Junior Duck Stamp are released for sale to the public at a First Day of Sale Ceremony held at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. After the First Day of Sale, the stamps can be purchased at all national duck stamp retailers.
How can I participate in the Duck Stamp Contest?
Whether you are an artist or an interested citizen, you can participate in the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. Anyone over the age of 18 can enter the contest for a chance to see one's winning artwork on a Federal Duck Stamp. Even if you are not an artist, you can still participate by attending the contest and viewing the judging. The Federal Duck Stamp Contest is usually held in early October or November at the Department of the Interior in Washington D.C. Call the Federal Duck Stamp Office at 703-358-2000 for current contest information.
Duck Stamp Collection
- 2010-2019 duck stamps
- 2000-2009 duck stamps
- 1990-1999 duck stamps
- 1980-1989 duck stamps
- 1970-1979 duck stamps
- 1960-1969 duck stamps
- 1950-1959 duck stamps
- 1940-1949 duck stamps
- 1934-1939 duck stamps