Page of 115There’s More to Ducks Than Pretty PicturesBy Frank CorrelThanks to an inspired collaboration at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, the world is ﬁnding out that there is much more to duck stamp collecting than just the federal stamps. The Feds had their day in the sun at the Postal Museum at the 1998-99 Federal duck stamp ﬁrst day ceremony and the reopening of the Jeanette Rudy Duck Stamp Gallery on July 1. Now, the non-federal aspect of ﬁnancing waterfowl hunting and conservation is the subject of a special exhibit of state, local and Indian reservation duck stamp issues that was inaugural at the Museum on July 4, 1998.The exhibit in the Postal Museum’s Rarity Vault presents a selection of more than forty rare state, local and tribal waterfowl stamps from the prize winning personal collection of David R. Torre of Santa Rosa, California. Comprising pioneer issues and some outstanding rarities of this extensive and complex ﬁeld, it was developed by the Museum’s project manager Jim O’Donnell, working closely with Torre, named as the guest curator.The exhibit was opened at 10 a.m. on independence Day when Museum Director James Bruns and David’s son Eric cut the ribbon (see Figure 1). The group of invited guests made an appreciative tour, after having ﬁrst been treated to a tasty breakfast of fruit, coffee bagels and pastries. FIGURE 1. ERIC TORRE BECOMES THE YOUNGEST PERSON IN HISTORY TO CUT THE RIBBON FOR A SMITHSONIAN EXHIBIT. ERIC IS SIX YEARS OLD.
Page of 215BackgroundAfter the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act providing for Federal Duck stamps was established in 1934, it soon became evident that for effective waterfowl management across America extensive cooperation of state and loyal authorities was required. During the 1930’s there was some qualiﬁed success to stem indiscriminate killing of waterfowl and to obtain funds for conservation as programs were adopted in many jurisdictions requiring hunters to purchase license. After World War II, the problem became more severe with the increased popularity of hunting, especially among many ex-GIs. To satisfy the demand for public hunting grounds and to introduce effective management and conservation programs, natural resource agencies in many states purchased and developed additional areas, for seasonal use during the year for hunting, but serving as refuge and feeding areas at other times.To fund these programs and to provide evidence that hunting license fees have been paid, the use of stamps was introduced. Unlike the Federal stamps, these issues were strictly utilitarian and often consisted of nothing but a few lines of print on a gummed label.In 1937, Ohio became the ﬁrst state to issue waterfowl stamps for hunting in a speciﬁc location, the vicinity of Pymatuning Lake on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border (see Figures 2, 3 and 4). FIGURE 2. UNDATED PYMATUNING HUNTING STAMP THAT WAS USED FOR THE 1937 SEASON. ONE OF THREE EXAMPLES RECORDED.
Page of 315 FIGURE 3. TENNANT PHARMACY, LOCATED ON THE OHIO SIDE OF PYMATUNING LAKE. THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN AFTER IT WAS BOUGHT OUT BY THE REXALL DRUG CHAIN.THE BIGGEST VENDOR FOR PYMATUNING FISHING AND WATERFOWL STAMPS. FIGURE 4. PYMATUNING WATERFOWL STAMP ISSUED BY TENNANT PHARMACY IN 1940. USED WITH A 1940 DUCK STAMP, RW7.
Page of 415In 1941, Marion County, Kansas, became the ﬁrst local government authority to issue waterfowl stamps. Their 1943 issue was the ﬁrst at any level of government to be inscribed “Duck Stamp.” (See Figures 5 through 9.) FIGURE 5. MARION COUNTY, KANSAS, 1940 FISHING SEASON OPENING DAY.
Page of 515 FIGURE 6. THE FIRST COPY SOLD OF THE FIRST MARION COUNTY WATERFOWL STAMP. SOLD TO PARK AND LAKE SUPERINTENDENT JERRY MULLIKEN.
Page of 615 FIGURE 7. THE 1943 MARION COUNTY ISSUE WAS THE FIRST AT ANY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT TO BE INSCRIBED “DUCK STAMP”. FIGURE 8. THE “WANER” LICENSE, GENERALLY REGARDED AS THE MOST IMPORTANT LICENSE IN FISH AND GAME PHILATELY; BEARING THE ONLY EXAMPLES RECORDED OF OF BOTH MARION COUNTY STAMPS FROM 1949; ALSO WITH U.S. 1949 DUCK STAMP, RW16.
Page of 715 FIGURE 9. MARION COUNTY 1969 DUCK STAMP COMPLETE PANE OF TEN CONTAINING ONE “DUSK” ERROR (POSITION EIGHT).
Page of 815The ﬁrst state stamp issued to license hunting on a statewide basis was in South Dakota in 1949. The revenue earned helped keep the state’s duck population steady, both for preservation and hunting purposes. This was in sharp contrast to many parts of the country where waterfowl populations were in serious decline (see Figures 10 and 11). FIGURE 10. THE FIRST STAMP ISSUED TO HUNT ON A STATEWIDE BASIS; SOUTH DAKOTA’S 1949 WATERFOWL STAMP. RARE VARIETY PRINTED ON HORIZONTAL SAFETY PAPER. FIGURE 11. PROOF BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1950 SOUTH DAKOTA WATERFOWL STAMP.
Page of 915California and Illinois picked up on the theme in the 1950s with selective programs ( see Figures 12 and 13). In the late 1950s, the Rosebud Sioux tribe in South Dakota became the ﬁrst Indian reservation authority to require purchase of waterfowl hunting stamps (Figure 14). Eventually, over 1,000 state, local, and tribal waterfowl stamps were issued, usually in very small quantities, to satisfy licensing requirements. FIGURE 12. ILLINOIS STARTED USING DAILY USAGE STAMPS IN THE EARLY 1950S. THE STAMPS WERE EMPLOYED AT AT STATE RUN WILDLIFE AREAS. FIGURE 13. CALIFORNIA ALSO ISSUED STAMPS FOR A STATE OPERATED AREA, HONEY LAKE, STARTING IN 1956. THIS EXAMPLE ON LICENSE IS THE ONLY SOUND COPY.