Taking Tradition Into the Future: Implementing the Duck Stamp Modernization Act

Since 1934, more than $1.2 billion dollars in Duck Stamp sales have conserved more than 6 million acres of wetlands across the nation. These wetlands provide habitat for animals and plants, help mitigate the effects of flooding and drought, recharge our aquifers and filter water, and provide recreational opportunities for millions of Americans to enjoy.   

The Duck Stamp program, administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the only art competition of its kind regulated by the U.S. Government, and is considered to be one of the most successful conservation programs ever. Migratory bird hunters supported the creation of the Federal Duck Stamp to ensure a funding source to conserve habitat for waterfowl. Ninety years later, sales of Duck Stamps bring together hunters, bird watchers, outdoor enthusiasts, stamp collectors, and many others with an annual call to conserve wetland habitats across the country. 

Waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older, are required to purchase an annual Federal Duck Stamp, along with state licenses and permits, to legally hunt. Since 2008, people have been able to purchase an electronic Federal Duck Stamp (E-stamp) online, which allowed the holder to hunt immediately. Customers who purchased an E-stamp would then receive their physical stamp within 45 days, at which point they would sign and use their physical stamp when hunting. In 2023- 2024, nearly 1.1 million E-stamps were purchased representing over 70% of annual sales.

On December 19, 2023, President Biden signed into law the Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023. This act modifies provisions regarding the Duck Stamp, now allowing an individual to carry their E-stamp certification for the entire waterfowl hunting season rather than for just 45 days post-purchase.


Assistant Director for Migratory Birds Jerome Ford (left) and Director Martha Williams (right) hold a Federal Duck Stamp. 

“Thanks to an accelerated schedule and quick work by our staff, I am happy to announce that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin implementation of the Modernization Act more than a year ahead of schedule and will be operational for the 2024-2025 migratory bird hunting season.” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams. “We know how special these stamps are and understand that stamp collectors, conservationists, hunters, and others may still prefer to have an actual physical paper stamp.” 

 “We have worked hard to ensure everyone will have the option to purchase their stamp through their method of choice – from a consignee, our primary distributor Amplex, the online U.S. Postal Store, as well as through the national wildlife refuges and U.S. Post Offices that carry the stamps,” she continued.



When people purchase their 2024-2025 E-Stamp starting July 1, 2024, the E-stamp certification will be valid from the date of purchase through June 30, 2025. Additionally, those who purchase an E-stamp will be mailed their physical stamp after March 10 of the purchase year. For example, when people purchase their 2024-2025 stamp after it is issued on July 1, 2024, E-Stamp purchasers will see their actual stamps arriving after March 11, 2025.  

By providing the actual stamp to every customer, the Service will continue to celebrate our wildlife, wildlife art, and the talented artists participating in the Federal Duck Stamp contest

Everyone will have 24/7 access to purchase a stamp for their immediate needs and will receive a physical stamp after the end of the hunting season. The E-stamp proof of purchase certification can be carried in the field either on an electronic device or as a printed hard copy depending on the individual regulations of the state they are hunting in.

The cost of an E-stamp will be $29.00 ($25 for the stamp, $4 for the federal processing/convenience fee). Individual states selling E-stamps may also charge additional state fees and handling charges to any sales of federal E-stamps. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not responsible for fees charged by states. 

The 2024-2025 Duck Stamp will go on sale on June 28, 2024.  It will portray an image of a northern pintail, the winning design, chosen in last year’s contest.  

We encourage everyone to “Put Their Stamp on Conservation!” and purchase a Duck Stamp!

Story Tags

Game birds
Habitat conservation
Migratory birds