Posts Tagged ‘Federal Duck Stamp’
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
Scot Storm’s “Before the Storm” has been selected as Pheasants Forever’s 2013-2014 Print of the Year.
The Minnesota-based Storm has earned numerous awards and recognition for his wildlife art, including the 2004 Federal Duck Stamp. Storm’s “Rooster Ridge” was Pheasants Forever’s 2009-2010 Print of the Year, and his “Legacy” series helped raise thousands of dollars for Pheasants Forever’s Build a Wildlife Area program.
Since 1984 (two years after Pheasants Forever’s formation), Pheasants Forever has selected an annual Print of the Year – limited-edition prints that local Pheasants Forever chapters have used to raise funds for their area conservation efforts. Artists including Jim Hautman, Robert Hautman, the late James Meger (a record six Pheasants Forever Print of the Year selections), Rosemary Millette and more have contributed to Pheasants Forever’s wildlife habitat mission as Print of the Year artists.
Before the Storm” is signed and numbered in a limited-edition of 1,000 prints, and will be available at Pheasants Forever chapter banquets throughout the next year. It is also available through Pheasants Forever’s MarketPlace framed or unframed.
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
The 2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamp is on sale now. Officially known as the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, “Duck Stamps” (as they are most commonly called) are a vital tool for wetland and upland conservation.
Originally created in 1934, Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sales of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. More than $671 million has been raised for habitat conservation by the nationwide sales of Federal Duck Stamps.
In additional to large National Wildlife Refuges, Duck Stamps are the primary funding source for the purchase of smaller natural wetlands and uplands, known as Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). There are over 26,000 WPAs in the U.S. located mostly in the Prairie Pothole Regions – also known as “Pheasant Country” – of the Dakotas, Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin. North Dakota alone accounts for 39 percent of WPAs in the U.S. Wetlands on these WPAs, particularly the cattails that encircle them, provide excellent winter cover for pheasants, and the grassland habitat that surrounds WPA wetlands can provide nesting and brood cover for ringnecks. That pheasant production can mean excellent pheasant hunting opportunities, as WPAs are open to public hunting.
While ducks migrate and pheasants do not, the two fowl have related habitat needs that are simultaneously addressed with Duck Stamp habitat protection. Like pheasants, a duck’s life journey begins in a grassland. “Duck Stamp dollars spent in the Prairie Pothole Region address the most critical time for both ducks and pheasants, the nesting season. And good nesting cover for ducks is good nesting cover for pheasants,” says Matt Morlock, a Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist in eastern South Dakota.
Pheasants Forever also supported the recent expansion of hunting opportunities on 10 National Wildlife Refuges last year, a list which included five refuges funded in part by Federal Duck Stamps. “There’s no question we’ve seen a decline in hunting numbers,” said Dave Nomsen, Vice President of Government Affairs for Pheasants Forever. “And we need to get kids outdoors and connected with nature. Hunting can play a role in that effort and it should. The refuge system is a great opportunity.”
Federal Duck Stamps can be purchased at U.S. Postal Service locations nationwide (as well as through the Postal Service’s online catalogue), sporting goods stores and online at online at www.duckstamp.com.
This year’s Federal Duck Stamp image, of a single wood duck, is by Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota. Hunters over the age of 16 must purchase one if they want to hunt migratory waterfowl (which nearly half of Pheasants Forever members already do), but even if you don’t hunt ducks or geese, consider purchasing a stamp (or two – you can purchase as many as you like). Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best conservation investments you can make.
Monday, July 18th, 2011
If you are – as I am – a waterfowler as well as a quail hunter, you know how important the federal duck stamp program has been to waterfowl production and habitat conservation since its inception in 1934. Our system of national wildlife refuges funded by our duck stamp purchases is unique in the world as a shining example of theNorth American Model of Wildlife Conservation and is something we as hunters should justifiably be proud of.
But here’s a question I’ve been kicking around in my head for a while now: would it be possible to emulate the structure and the success of the duck stamp program, but with upland gamebirds as the target species? And if it were possible, would now be the time to do it?
I think the parallels between the basic problems facing ducks at the turn of the century and upland birds now are obvious: precipitous declines in populations brought on by a steep and ever-accelerating loss of habitat.
Of course, there are also some fundamental differences, too. Ducks and geese are migratory and therefore require a certain level of federal involvement, whereas most upland species are not. For lack of a better term (and for better or worse) upland birds like quail are “states’ rights” birds.
And to what uses or goals would those funds be applied and allocated? National wildlife refuges focused on upland habitat? Research? Education? And more importantly, what species?
Admittedly, there are a host of technical and ecological roadblocks to implementing a federal upland bird recovery program. Daunting, to be sure, but not insurmountable. And with the looming threat of federal involvement in the management of several threatened upland bird species, anyway, perhaps it’s time to look forward by taking a look back into history.
What do you think? Would you be in favor of a federal upland bird stamp structured like the duck stamp program? I’d buy a federal quail stamp, how about you?
Chad Love writes for Quail Forever (Pheasants Forever’s quail conservation division) from Woodward, Oklahoma. He is a lifelong quail hunter and “bird dog guy” who also writes for Field & Stream, including the magazine’s “Man’s Best Friend” gundog blog.
Monday, October 18th, 2010
If you were listening to FAN Outdoors on Saturday morning at 7:45 AM, then you heard “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand share his hot pheasant hunting tip from three weeks of pre-season scouting: “The birds have been in the brush.”
The Captain, his two sons, friend Steve and I departed our trucks a little more than an hour after that statement was made on the radio across a five-state listening area. We were resolved to test the theory.
Within minutes, The Captain’s scouting recon proved valid as he opened the 2010 season with a single blast from his new Beretta over/under as a rooster tried to escape on the backside of a willow thicket. A second rooster was added to The Captain’s game vest a matter of minutes later from another patch of short willows. The Captain’s youngest son, Chad, dropped the group’s third bird over my shorthair’s point beside a small thicket along a cattail slough.
In total, our group of hunters walked three federally owned Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) on Saturday’s Minnesota pheasant opener. With a few misses, a tailgate lunch, and a grassy nap; it took most of the day, but we bagged our 10-bird limit behind some excellent dog power from Steve and Billy’s brace of golden retrievers and my shorthair. Of our ten roosters, seven originated from brush of some form. Cattail edges produced the other three birds in our bag.
Other Observations from the Field
- There were a lot of hunters in west central Minnesota on Saturday morning. The state and federally owned public lands were being put to good use.
- WPAs again proved their value to pheasants. Please support the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s acquisition of these lands through the purchase of the Federal Duck Stamp. Duck Stamp dollars are used to purchase lands that become WPAs, creating nesting habitat for ducks and fantastic habitat for pheasants to boot.
- The juvenile birds we flushed displayed fuller plumage and seemed to be further along than most openers in my recent memory. That may indicate this year’s early spring led to an early hatch. That’s by no means a scientific analysis, just this PR guy’s hunch.
- The beans are all out in west central Minnesota and the corn is coming out quick. If the weather stays dry, next weekend could be a dandy one for a pheasant hunt.
- We only hunted a few hours on Sunday, but again proved the brush theory consistent on a fourth WPA with three roosters in the bag and four others flushed that should have joined them. I also bagged a woodcock from the willows on Sunday morning as well.
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
This Friday is the first day of sales for Federal Duck Stamps. About 1.8 million stamps are sold every year to hunters, collectors and wildlife enthusiasts, including thousands of Pheasants Forever members. Why?
- Nearly half of Pheasants Forever’s members are also waterfowl hunters
- Wetlands provide excellent winter cover for pheasants. Especially in the northern plains, this winter cover is crucial to maintaining the fitness of hen pheasants heading into spring nesting.
- Associated upland habitats that surround many wetlands provide pheasants with additional cover.
- Interspersed among grasslands, wetlands produce and provide pheasant chicks with valuable insects they need in the summer.
- We know a little something about efficiency here at Pheasants Forever, and we really like the fact that 98 cents of every dollar used to purchase Duck Stamps goes directly to buying or leasing wetland habitat for wildlife. That’s a program that works and has worked for a long time: More than 75 years!
Might it be time for a longtail on the duck stamp? And we don’t mean Oldsquaw.