Thanks to everyone who manned up and stood for hunting. These four comments stood out a little >
In my opinion, hunters are more observant of waterfowl habits/movements/plumage,etc than bird watchers because you need to know what you are shooting at before you pull the trigger or you will be breaking the law. Duck hunters spend a great deal more time observing waterfowl than shooting because many times light conditions, range, etc are not conducive to identifying which species is before you. You need to know the flight patterns of the waterfowl you are targeting because on dark days, the plumage does not show permitting correct identification of the flights before you and/or the range to the birds is so distant, you can't identify what they might be or where they are moving to. Some of my most memorable hours hunting waterfowl have been watching the various migrating flocks of targeted species of birds and watching how they congregate on the water and intermingle. I think it is very important to have judges with waterfowl hunting experience on the judging panels because they have experienced these things and can comment intelligently on them, i.e. the mating patterns, flock movements, breeding plumage, etc. of the various species of waterfowl.
I urge this rule change to be put in effect. I think it's very important to keep and remind people just how much the hunting population has contributed to wildlife and habitat creation/restoration and maintenance. Keeping a hunting theme on a stamp that is required to hunt waterfowl after all just makes sense to me. The argument that fewer stamps will be sold to non-hunters does not ring true with me. I attended the Duck stamp judging when it was held in Stevens Point and many of the entries included some form of hunting. Retrievers, decoys, calls, blinds etc. The artistry was phenomenal with or without the hunting theme. I can not imagine a non hunting person refusing to buy the stamp for collecting purposes just because it had a secondary hunting theme incorporated. IF that happened I would feel sorry for that person who refuses to acknowledge the contribution that hunters have made in the area of habitat and wildlife going back to the Pittman-Robertson act and other programs.
I am 100% support of the suggested changes and making celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage permanent. Waterfowl hunting and hunters have been the pioneers of conservation and their corresponding resources have made a meaningful impact on the landscape and the wildlife that depend upon those habitats which continues today. Additionally, the ancillary benefits are almost immeasurable. Celebrating those pioneers is not only positive but long overdue. If people are turned off by the inclusion of what is suggested and choose to not purchase a stamp depicting those items or activities then so be it. This great country of ours allows people choices. Choosing to not purchase a stamp because of certain items being depicted is quite short-sighted especially if they portray themselves as conservationists. Waterfowling heritage and traditions, and the associated activities, are nothing to hide and I applaud the USFWS celebrating those activities. It is a welcome initiative given some of the other directions the Service has taken regarding waterfowl management.
Keep the waterfowl hunting heritage alive on the migratory stamp! Maybe those whom appose the change can come up with there own bird watchers stamp.
1798 - An Act of the General Assembly "suppressing immorality" makes it unlawful to shoot, hunt or gun, or to take fish, on Sunday.
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