Why I Buy Two Duck Stamps

“Two duck stamps, please.”

How I look forward to uttering those words every summer. They signal it’s soon time to quit waging war with my lawn and start tossing decoys with my buddies. Soon there will be wood ducks and mallards and geese and … well, you get the picture.

Why two stamps? One is for me, and one is for the ducks. It’s such a simple gesture, plopping down those extra 25 bucks, and yet with the swipe of a credit card I gain the satisfaction of contributing a little extra to waterfowl conservation.

I didn’t invent the concept of buying a second stamp. Plenty of other duck hunters partake, but imagine if even 10 percent of the million-plus waterfowlers in the United States bought two stamps. Given that 98 percent of every dollar spent on duck stamps directly supports habitat (all but 50 cents of each stamp purchased), think of the extra hundreds of thousands of dollars we could add to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. Think of the added buying power this would provide to conserve vital duck habitat through direct purchases, leases and conservation easements (5.37 million wetland and grassland acres have been conserved since 1934).

No, I’ll never frown upon a hunter who buys the one required stamp, which is in itself a fine contribution to the ducks. Money is tight, and hunting expenses aren’t exactly decreasing — I get it. But for about the cost of a box of steel shotshells, an extra stamp is a worthwhile investment in waterfowl.