March 16, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-ME), John Boozman (R-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, have introduced the Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023 to make the Federal Duck Stamp – required for duck hunting – available electronically. Providing access to the stamp on smartphones would help more people enjoy waterfowl hunting, remove barriers to getting outdoors, and increase revenue for conservation programs funded by stamp sales.
“From Bean Boots to Old Town Canoes, generations of Maine people have pioneered innovations to make getting outdoors easier. Decades later, this same commitment still drives sportsmen and women across our state and is the guiding principle of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus,” said Senator Angus King. “The Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023 would embrace 21st century technology to put required duck hunting stamps just a phone tap away – making the great outdoors more accessible than ever. I’m proud to join my fellow Sportsmen Caucus members on this bill and hope we can continue making recreational activities a simple pursuit for all.”
All waterfowl hunters at or over the age of 16 must possess a current signed Federal Duck Stamp, along with state licenses and permits, to hunt legally. The Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023 builds off a successful pilot program in 28 states that offer E-Stamps for 45 days of hunting. Along with the digital access, physical Duck Stamps would still be available for purchase from the post office and other authorized retailers.
“There are few better ways to spend a day than duck hunting in the Maine outdoors. The Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023 is a smart way to reduce unnecessary barriers for Maine’s law-abiding sportsmen and women, encourage more people to try hunting, and expand funding for conservation programs,” said David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Executive Director. “This bill aligns well with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine longstanding mission to enhance and preserve Maine’s outdoor heritage. We’re excited to see Senator King’s leadership on the issue and hope it can receive broad, bipartisan support."
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and Ducks Unlimited are also supporters of the legislation.
“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) thanks Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Boozman for introducing the Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023. By modernizing the electronic Federal Duck Stamp, this legislation safeguards the time-honored, artistic importance of the actual stamp, while also streamlining the licensing process for waterfowl hunters,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. “As a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, Sen. Boozman knows and appreciates the value of the Federal Duck Stamp, but also seeks to bring the licensing requirement into line with the electronic era of issuing hunting licenses.”
“The Duck Stamp is one of the best returns on investment in conservation,” said Nick Wiley, Ducks Unlimited Chief Operating Officer. “The contributions from hunters have an outsized impact on the stamp’s total investment, and this legislation will ensure waterfowlers can fully utilize their electronic stamp to get the most out of their season. We appreciate Sen. Boozman for introducing this bill, and DU fully supports it.”
As Chairman of the Senate National Parks Subcommittee and Vice-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Senator King is among the Senate’s loudest voices encouraging outdoor recreation. Last year, he pressed the Biden administration on two of his top priorities for the National Park Service (NPS): securing enough funding for necessary park maintenance and ensuring sufficient staffing of America’s greatest treasures. Senator King also helped lead the passage the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) into law; the legislation includes the Restore Our Parks Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act. The historic legislative package continues Senator King’s career-long focus on conservation efforts, dating back to his work prior to running for elected office through his years as Governor and his service in the Senate. Over the course of his time in the Blaine House, Governor King was responsible for conserving more land across Maine than all Governors before him combined.