Monday, October 24, 2011

Is electronic federal duck stamp in waterfowlers' future?

With almost every state having accepted electronic license, permit and stamp sales the federal government still has its feet firmly planted in the last century.

Now Ducks Unlimited is backing a proposal to allow for the elctronic sale of the required $15 federal waterfowl hunting stamp.

And a representative of the organization will testify on Tuesday about H.R. 3117, the Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2011.

This proposal will grant the U.S. Secretary of the Interior permanent authority to authorize states to issue electronic duck stamps.

Buying a federal duck stamp is mandatory for waterfowl hunting.

However, in the past, waterfowl hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts could only buy their duck stamp at a physical location, such as a post office. But these stamps are not available at all postal locations, sometimes making it difficult for hunters and others to purchase the stamps.

In order to expand access to the public, legislation was passed to create a pilot program that allows the public to purchase federal duck stamps online. Upon purchase, the customer was given a special receipt to use while hunting until the stamp is delivered by mail.

The pilot program has successfully made it easier for the general public to buy federal duck stamps while simultaneously preserving the integrity of the traditional duck stamp.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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