Traditional duck stamp goes digital

Duck Stamp Modernization Act moves to Biden’s desk for final approval

Kristen A. Schmitt

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Duck Stamp Modernization Act, which will allow hunters to carry a digital copy of the required $25 duck stamp going forward. Prior to passage, waterfowl hunters had to keep a physical copy of the stamp with them while hunting. The bill moves to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

“This is commonsense legislation that will make buying a duck stamp much easier and help make duck hunting more accessible to all waterfowlers,” said Adam Putnam, CEO of Ducks Unlimited. “More than 8 million acres of wetland habitat has been conserved through the Federal Duck Stamp program. Now that the stamp is fully electronic, we hope that more birders, anglers and conservationists will join us to increase the number of stamps purchased each year so that more wildlife habitat can be protected.”

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and Representative Garret Graves (R-LA) were both early champions of the legislation, which had broad bipartisan support with passage in the Senate in July and a vote of 403-20 in the House on Dec. 12, 2023. The Act builds upon a successful 28-state pilot program, which validated e-stamps for 45 days before needing a physical stamp to legally hunt, according to a news release.

“Sen. Boozman and Rep. Graves did an incredible amount of work behind the scenes to get the Duck Stamp Modernization Act passed, and we thank them for their efforts,” said Putnam. “The great thing about this bipartisan bill is it keeps the duck stamp tradition alive while making it easier for sportsmen and women to get outdoors.”

Those who still want to purchase the physical stamp will still be able to do so at post offices and other qualified retailers.

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