Waterfowl Hunting in Alaska
License and Duck Stamp Requirements
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 907-465-2376.
Minima Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii minima
The 2022 Alaska state duck stamp features a photograph by Tasha DiMarzio of a family of Minima Cackling Geese (Branta hutchinsii minima). Tasha is an Alaska-based nature and bird enthusiast. She is also a waterfowl biologist that is happiest when she's in her waders on the artic tundra studying geese. Tasha watched this pair of Cackling Geese rear their brood on the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge while working for the Alaska SeaLife Center. The family group would often rest near her tent in field camp for "safety" from predators. Named for their high-pitched cackling call; Cackling Geese have a complex taxonomy including four subspecies: Richardson's, Taverner's, Minima, and Aleutian. Minima Cackling Geese are the smallest and darkest; often looking like they have a purple hue to their chest plumage, usually with no white neck-ring. Overall size and shape are the best species identification clues; they have a more rounded head than the other subspecies with a short-neck and stubby-bill. Minima are only slightly larger than a Mallard and ¼ of the size of the Giant Canada Goose sub-species. They often form mixed flocks with other species of geese, grazing in fields or gathering in wetlands. They breed throughout coastal areas of Alaska with the majority nesting on the Yukon Delta National Wildlife refuge. They often congregate into large flocks during fall migration, wintering in Washington, Oregon, and California. Both sexes of Minima look similar with males being slightly larger.
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.
2022-2023 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring a pair of Redheads by James Hautman. In 1990, at age 25, James Hautman became the youngest ever to win the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp Contest. The 2022-2023 Federal Duck Stamp Contest marks his sixth win. This stamp expires on June 30th, 2023 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
By purchasing a Duck Stamp, you will be showing your support of bird conservation in our National Wildlife Refuge System, 98 cents of every duck stamp dollar goes directly into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to purchasing of vital bird habitat benefitting ducks, geese, and other migratory birds.
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.
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: