Page of 115Waterfowl Stamp Exhibit Earns Appreciationby Michael JaffeIntroductionOnly two exhibits from throughout the world are selected to be included in the rarity vault of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.. each year, and the current exhibit, State, Local and Tribal Waterfowl Stamps, assembled by David R. Torre, has been extended until the middle of January 1999.Most people are aware of the Federal Duck Stamp program. It was implemented in March 1934 to provide funding for waterfowl conservation through the acquisition of wetland habitat. Federal Duck stamps represent roughly 5% of the total of waterfowl stamps issued. Well over 1,000 state, local and tribal waterfowl stamps have been issued by various government agencies. Most of these stamps are text only, with no illustration.Unlike the federal duck stamps that are issued in quantities of more than 2 million, state, local and tribal stamps are sometimes issued in quantities of 200 or less. Due to this limited quantity, obtaining examples of many of these stamps has become very difﬁcult.Torre’s exhibit consists of 45 extremely rare state, local and tribal waterfowl stamps displayed on six panels plus an introduction panel. The exhibit describes each rarity and gives a brief history of each section. Most of the stamps are either the only known copy, or one of two or three known.Panel OneThe ﬁrst panel features the Pymatuning stamps, the ﬁrst state waterfowl stamps. Pymatuning Lake is the largest man-made body of water east of the Mississippi River, straddling the Ohio-Pennsylvania border in the northern part of each state. Completed in 1934, the lake consists of 17,000 acres of freshwater and more than 70 miles of shoreline.Page of 215The 1938 stamp is unique and most probably the ﬁrst state-issued waterfowl stamp. Eight examples of the Pymatuning waterfowl stamps are shown in this panel, including all known copies on license (see Figures 1, 2 and 3). FIGURE 1. THE UNIQUE 1938 PYMATUNING WATERFOWL STAMP. FIGURE 2. 1941 PYMATUNING WATERFOWL USED WITH 1941-42 FEDERAL WATERFOWL STAMP ON OHIO LICENSE. FIGURE 3. THIS 1944 PYMATUNING WATERFOWL STAMP IS ALSO THE ONLY EXAMPLE RECORDED.Editor’s note: We now know that Ohio ﬁrst issued stamps for Pymatuning Lake in 1937.Page of 315Panel TwoThe second panel is devoted to the stamps of Marion County, Kansas. In the early 1930s local residents became interested in building a recreational park featuring a lake. The board of commissioners selected Jerry E. Mullikin, a former peace ofﬁcer with a lifelong interest in wildlife conservation, as the ﬁrst superintendent.The park opened in 1939. In 1941, Marion County became the ﬁrst local government to issue waterfowl stamps. On display is a 1941 stamp on a license issued to J.E. Mullikin. This is believed to be the ﬁrst stamp sold (see Figure 4).. FIGURE 4. THE 1941 MARION COUNTY WATERFOWL STAMP USED ON THIS LICENSE IS BELIEVED TO BE THE FIRST STAMP SOLD. THE LICENSE WAS ISSUED TO PARK AND LAKE SUPERINTENDENT JERRY MULLIKIN.Page of 415In 1943 marion County issued the world’s ﬁrst duck stamp. It is unique and Torre’s favorite waterfowl stamp (see Figure 5). FIGURE 5. THE WORLD’S FIST DUCK STAMP, ISSUED BY MARION COUNTY IN 1943.What is regarded as the most important license in ﬁsh and game philately is the Waner license: a 1949 Marion County combination hunting/ﬁshing license with four different stamps. In addition to a Federal duck stamp and Kansas quail stamp, it contains the only recorded copy of the 1949 Marion County Duck and 1949 Marion County Fishing stamp (see Figure 6). FIGURE 6. THE WANER LICENSE IS GENERALLY REGARDED AS THE MOST IMPORTANT LICENSE IN THE FISH AND GAME HOBBY. IT BEARS THE THE ONLY KNOWN EXAMPLES OF BOTH MARION COUNTY STAMPS FROM 1949.
Page of 515Panel ThreeThe third panel contains different types of the 1949 and 1950 South Dakota waterfowl stamps with horizontal and vertical safety paper. The only known full sheet of the 1950 stamp is on display (see Figures 7, 8 and 9). FIGURE 7. 1949 SOUTH DAKOTA WATERFOWL STAMP, TYPE I PRINTED ON VERTICAL SAFETY PAPER. FIGURE 8. TYPE II PRINTED ON HORIZONTAL SAFETY PAPER. FIGURE 9. THIS PROOF BLOCK OF THE 1950 SOUTH DAKOTA WATERFOWL STAMP IS THE LARGEST MULTIPLE RECORDED.Page of 615Panel FourPanel four showcases the Illinois Daily Usage and California Honey Lake Stamps. The daily usage stamps were used at various public hunting grounds throughout the state for ducks, geese and pheasants. The earliest example shown is from 1953 (see Figures 10 and 11). FIGURE 10. THE 1953 ILLINOIS DAILY USAGE STAMP WAS USED ON PUBLIC HUNTING GROUNDS. FIGURE 11. COLLECTORS WERE TOLD THAT NO DAILY USAGE STAMPS WERE PRINTED FOR 1972.Editors note: We now know Illinois Daily Usage Stamps were issued as early as 1951.Page of 715The Honey Lake Wildlife area is in Lassen County of northeastern California. Starting with the 1956-57 waterfowl season, seasonal permits were issued in the form of stamps. Of the three recorded examples of the 1956-57 Honey Lake stamp, only one is recorded on license. This license and the 1957-58 stamp where only four are recorded are two of the seven Honey Lake stamps (see Figures 12 and 13). FIGURE 12. ONLY FOUR EXAMPLES OF THE 1957-58 HONEY LAKE STAMP HAVE BEEN RECORDED. FIGURE 13. RELATIVELY FEW 1981-82 HONEY LAKE STAMPS WERE SOLD TO HUNTERS AND THE EXAMPLE SHOWN HERE IS THE ONLY ONE CURRENTLY KNOWN USED ON LICENSE. ALSO, ALL UNUSED REMAINDERS WERE DESTROYED BY ACCIDENT.
Page of 815Panel 5Panel ﬁve is devoted to tribal waterfowl stamps or Indian Reservation stamps as collectors refer to them. Indian Reservation stamps did not exist until the late 1950s. At that time, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota became the ﬁrst tribal government to require the purchase of stamps before hunting waterfowl on the reservation.By the early 1980s, only six reservations had issued stamps, and most ﬁsh and game collectors were unaware of their existence until the early 1990s.Two examples of the ﬁrst Rosebud stamp are included in this exhibit. One is an unused copy of the 1959 issue. These very ornate stamps were actually used for 10 years. Even though the stamps were in use for a long period of time, only three unused examples have been recorded (see Figure 14). FIGURE 14. THE UNUSED 1959 ROSEBUD GAME BIRD STAMP.Once issued, the date was ﬁlled in on the stamp. Although intended to be placed on a tribal-hunting license, occasionally hunters afﬁxed the stamps to their state hunting license in error. An example of one of only two known Rosebud stamps issued in 1961 afﬁxed to a state-hunting license is shown (see Figure 15.Page of 915 FIGURE 15. THIS ROSEBUD TRIBAL GAME BIRD STAMP WAS ISSUED IN 1961. THE HUNTER SHOULD HAVE PURCHASED A SEPARATE TRIBAL HUNTING LICENSE. HOWEVER, HE WAS GOT AWAY WITH AFFIXING THE TRIBAL STAMP TO HIS SOUTH DAKOTA STATE HUNTING LICENSE.The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, also of South Dakota, was the second Indian Reservation to issue stamps. Stamps were issued from 1961-64, and very few examples exist. The only recorded copy of the 1963 small game stamp is on display (see Figure 16). FIGURE 16. IN 1963, UNUSED REMAINDERS OF 1961 CROW CREEK SMALL GAME STAMPS WERE ISSUED AND THEIR DATE CHANGED MANUALLY WITH A BALL POINT PEN.Next >