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Waterfowl Hunting in Alaska
License and Duck Stamp Requirements

License Requirements

Resident Hunters

All Alaska residents age 16 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 below $8,200 (before taxes) may buy a low income license.

Nonresident and Alien Hunters

All nonresident hunters, regardless of age, must possess the appropriate nonresident or nonresident alien hunting license. Nonresidents may buy a small game 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(24), may buy a special nonresident military small game license or a non-resident small game license.

Duck Stamps

State Duck Stamp

An Alaska Waterfowl Conservation Stamp is required for all fall hunting and for those that qualify for spring/summer subsistence harvest unless you:

  • are an Alaska resident under the age of 16;
  • are an Alaska resident 60 years old or older;
  • are a disabled veteran eligible for free license; or
  • qualify for a low income license.

State stamps must be signed in ink and must be carried at all times while hunting waterfowl. Stamps do not have to be attached to a hunting license. State stamps are not required if hunting only snipe and cranes.

2016 State Duck Stamp

The 2016 state duck stamp features a photo of a Pacific Brant in flight by photographer Milo Burcham of Cordova, AK. Pacific Brant are small, dark geese with large wings, short necks, and a relatively small head and bill. While mostly black on the head, bill, breast, primaries, tail and legs they are distinguished by unique plumage markings on their neck where a series of white striations form a "necklace." These markings make them easily distinguishable from other species of geese. In Alaska the Pacific Brant is found primarily on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Seward Peninsula and North Slope during breeding season. During fall migration the majority of the Pacific Brant population, including birds from Russia and Canada, stage in Izembek Lagoon near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. This major staging area contains the largest eel grass beds in the world, which is the primary food source for brant. In November, Pacific Brant migrate south along the Pacific coast, with most of the population wintering along the Baja Peninsula and west coast of mainland Mexico. Smaller groups of birds can be found along the coast of California, Oregon and Washington. About 30 percent of the population stays at Izembek Lagoon for the winter. Pacific Brant are managed for a population objective of 162,000 birds based on the most current 3-year Midwinter Survey average. The 2013–2015 average is 157,699 birds. This population has seen a slight increase in the past 5 years but overall has been relatively stable.

Federal Duck Stamp

2014 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp

The 2015–2016 federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp depicts a pair of Ruddy ducks. This stamp expires on June 30th, 2016 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.

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 be carried at all times while hunting waterfowl. Stamps do not have to be attached to a hunting license. Federal stamps are not required if hunting only snipe and cranes.

**Federal Duck Stamp Exemption for Subsistence Hunters

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has implemented an interim policy on a law that recently was passed by Congress. This law provides an exemption for Alaska subsistence hunters from the requirement to carry a Federal Duck Stamp while hunting migratory waterfowl in the state of Alaska. To qualify for this exemption, you must be a permanent rural Alaska resident (defined in 50 CFR Parts 92.4 and 100.23) or an eligible person (defined in 92.4) living in an included area (defined in 92.5(a)). Seasons when you may hunt without a Federal Duck Stamp vary depending on how you qualify for this exemption. 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.

2015 Alaska Best of Show – Icey Lyman, Crooked Creek

The Junior Duck Stamp Program has many benefits:

  • It introduces school age children to an important and fragile part of the natural world.
  • It instills a sense of individual responsibility toward the environment.
  • It 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: