Duck Stamp modernization bill signed into law

Published 8:35 am Thursday, December 28, 2023

JACKSON — Duck hunters will not need a physical federal duck stamp for the 2024 Waterfowl season. Electronic duck stamps are now permitted due to a newly signed bill.

President Joe Biden signed into law the Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023 on December 19. This Act modifies provisions regarding the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly referred to as the Duck Stamp, now allowing an individual to carry an electronic stamp for the entire waterfowl hunting season. 

This law will not affect the current 2023-2024 hunting season according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. 

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“We are currently working to determine how this will impact our current E-Stamp partnerships and develop an implementation plan and schedule,” USFWS stated in a press release. 

Migratory bird hunters who are 16 or older must possess a current signed Federal Duck Stamp, along with state licenses and permits, to hunt legally. Currently, an E-stamp allows someone to purchase a stamp online and immediately use the certification to legally hunt for 45-days while the physical stamp is mailed to them.

MDWFP Waterfowl Program Coordinator Houston Havens said the change could help law enforcement. 

“For officers in the field there could be a lot of issues that come up with not having the physical stamp. It will make it easier where you are required to have this one after March 10th,” Havens said. “People can still get a physical one as a collection but there won’t be any more confusion.” 

The purchase of Duck Stamps by waterfowl hunters and others have supported the conservation of more than 6 million acres of wetland habitat. People will still be able to purchase physical duck stamps as a collectible. 

USFWS states it will work to adapt rules and regulations with the law in the future. Mississippi currently has a state electronic stamp and gives the option of physical state duck stamps.