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

Gadwall Mareca strepera

The 2020 Alaska state duck stamp features a photo of a lone male Gadwall by Jamin Hunter Taylor of Southcentral Alaska. The only boy in a family of 6 children, he often found himself on his own, either doing something creative indoors or off in the woods near his house letting his imagination run wild. His dad is an avid outdoorsman and, as such, was always out hunting, trapping, or fishing depending on the season. His love of birds and nature is rooted in his childhood. As an adult many days are spent in the woods, hunting critters on his own terms and in his own way. Instead of a gun, he carries a camera. Photography is always in season and there is no bag limit. He chose to go by J. Hunter Photography because it connects him to his roots and with what he loves to do.

The Gadwall was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name. The current population of the Gadwall is estimated to be 4 million and can be found in many countries throughout the world. These gray/brown dabbling ducks are often overlooked or mistaken for Mallards. Upon closer inspection they are quite beautiful. The male has a finely gray barred body with a black rump, white belly and rust colored shoulders. They have a steep forehead, their wings have a large white speculum bordered by black and have legs and feet that are orange. Females are mottled brown with dark-spotted orange bill and white speculum visible when swimming. Gadwall breed and nest in large shallow wetlands surrounded by grass in sub-Arctic deltas and prairie regions. Their diet consists of pondweeds, widgeon grass, algae, seeds and aquatic invertebrates. They forage in deeper water than other dabbling ducks, feeding in groups of up to several hundred while swimming and picking at the water surface. They will often steal food from flocks of diving ducks or coots. Often seen in pairs throughout the winter theses ducks select their mates for the breeding season as early as late fall. Spending their winters in the southern two-thirds of the U.S. with the greatest concentrations in the central and Mississippi Flyways.

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

2020–2021 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring Black-bellied Whistling Ducks by Alabama artist Eddie LeRoy. This stamp expires on June 30th, 2020 and can be purchased from the United States Postal Service, most major sporting goods stores and large chain stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses and online at https://www.duckstamp.com.

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
Madison Grimm, a 13-year-old from South Dakota, took top honors in the Service's National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest with her acrylic rendition of a wood duck.

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: