Waterfowl Hunting in Alaska
License and Duck Stamp Requirements

License Requirements

Resident Hunters

All Alaska residents age 18 or older must possess a hunting license to hunt in Alaska and must carry it while hunting. Resident hunters 60 years old or older may obtain a free, permanent identification card issued by the Department. This card replaces the sport fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses. Disabled veterans qualified under AS 16.05.341 may receive a free hunting license. Residents with an annual family income equal to or less than the most recent poverty guidelines for the state may buy a $5.00 low-income license.

Nonresident and Alien Hunters

All nonresident or alien hunters, regardless of age, must possess the appropriate hunting license to hunt waterfowl.

Nonresident Military Personnel

Members of the military service on active duty who are permanently stationed in the state, and their dependents who are living in the state, and are not yet Alaska residents under AS 16.05.940(28), may buy a special nonresident military license or a non-resident small game license.

Duck Stamps

State Duck Stamp

Waterfowl hunters must purchase a current year's Alaska State Duck Stamp for all fall hunting and for those that qualify for the spring/summer subsistence hunt unless you:

  • are an Alaska resident under the age of 18;
  • are an Alaska resident 60 years of age or older;
  • are a disabled veteran eligible for a free license;
  • qualify for a low-income license; or
  • are hunting only cranes and snipe.

You can purchase a state waterfowl stamp from the ADF&G online store or from a local vendor. If you have any questions about obtaining a state waterfowl stamp, please contact ADF&G Licensing at adfg.license@alaska.gov or call 907-465-2376.

2016 State Duck Stamp

Emperor Goose Anser canagicus

The 2019 Alaska state duck stamp features a photo of a lone Emperor Goose in flight by Ryan Askren. Ryan was a research technician for USGS-Alaska Science Center working out of a field camp on the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge when he captured this image. Emperor Geese live in the arctic and subarctic climates; inhabiting rocky coastlines, lagoons, and tidal flats. Characteristics include a striking white head, black throat, and petite pink bill. Blue-gray body with intricate black-and white bars, a white tail, and bright orange legs. Some adults have stained rusty orange-brown head and necks during the breeding season from feeding in tidal pools rich with iron oxide. Juveniles have a gray head, but still show a white tail. During the summer, most Emperor Geese breed on the marshy tundra of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, but a small number also breed on the Seward Peninsula and in eastern Russia. They build nests with down and lay 4–6 white eggs within 10 miles of the coastline.

Emperor geese winter in ice free coastal areas of the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak and the Aleutian Islands; they are also called "Beach Geese" because of the habitats they most commonly occupy in the winter. These birds are rarely seen outside Alaska and Siberia.

The emperor goose population declined by about 50% in the 1980s and was closed to hunting to allow recovery. Since then, thanks to the conservation efforts of many different groups the population has increased slowly to a level that allowed hunting seasons to reopen in 2017 after over 30 years of closure. However, the population is still considered vulnerable and is carefully managed.

The oldest recorded Emperor Goose was a female that was banded as an adult in 1994, making the bird at least 20 years, 3 months old when she was found in Alaska in 2013.

The State Duck Stamp is valid from February 1 to January 31 the following year to encompass both the spring/summer subsistence and fall hunting seasons.

2019 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp

2019–2020 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring wood duck and decoy.This stamp expires on June 30th, 2020 and can be purchased from the United States Postal Service and most major sporting goods stores and large chain stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses.

Federal Duck Stamp

All waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older must have a current federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp. Federal stamps must be signed in ink and must always be carried while hunting migratory birds. Stamps do not have to be attached to a hunting license. Please follow this link for more information about the federal duck stamp program and where to purchase the stamp:

Federal Duck Stamp Exemption for Subsistence Hunters

A Federal Duck Stamp is not required if you are a qualified permanent rural Alaska resident or an eligible person living in an included area. Seasons when you may hunt without a federal duck stamp vary depending on how you qualify for this exemption. However, you must purchase a hunting license and state duck stamp unless you qualify for license and duck stamp exemptions listed above. For questions or clarifications, please contact the USFWS Office of Law Enforcement at (907) 786-3311.

Junior Duck Stamp

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is an integrated art and science curriculum developed to teach environmental science and habitat conservation. The program combines art, science, and cultural curricula to teach a greater awareness of our nation's natural and cultural resources. Participants select a species of North American waterfowl, do research on this species and its habitat, and then depict the waterfowl in an artistic medium. Students learn about conserving habitats while they explore the aesthetic qualities of wildlife and nature.

2019 Junior Duck Stamp
Junior Duck Stamp, by Juneau artist Alain Soltys-Gray

The Junior Duck Stamp Program has many benefits:

  • Introduces school age children to an important and fragile part of the natural world.
  • Instills a sense of individual responsibility toward the environment.
  • Benefits waterfowl and their habitats as well as all migratory birds and hundreds of plants and animals that share wetland habitats.

The Junior Duck Stamp is not required to hunt waterfowl. Proceeds from the sale of the $5 stamp are re-invested into the Junior Duck Stamp Program to support conservation education and provide recognition for contest participants and winners. The Program continues to educate youth about land stewardship and the importance of connecting to their natural worlds.

For more information or to learn about and participate in this program: