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Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by CAF, Mar 31, 2021.

  1. KENNEDY63

    KENNEDY63 Elite Refuge Member

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    Recent Duck Stamp Sales: Trends and Observations

    by Alan Wentz

    Most wildlife administrators believe that “when prices for licenses go up, sales go down.” It was an argument made when discussion was underway on increasing the price of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp – the Duck Stamp – over the last few years.

    Well, the records on first-year sales are in, and they don’t show any decrease that can be attributed to the $10 price increase, which raised the cost to $25. In fact, the average number of Duck Stamps sold during the $15-cost years of 1991-2014 was 1,512,841, and for the period of 26 June 2015 (First Day of Sales) thru 31 October 2016 unit sales were over 1,595,500, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Duck Stamp Office.

    Since stamps are on sale for three years from U.S. Post Offices and Amplex Corporation (sales to private vendors), we may see additional sales of this first $25 stamp, but those remaining sales typically are fairly limited.

    Looking at the sales of Duck Stamps historically, there was initially some truth to the idea that increased prices resulted in lower sales. However, more recent patterns indicate the opposite might be true. In 1989, when the price went from $10 to $12.50, and in 1991, when the price increased from $12.50 to $15, the actual sales went up by small percentages.

    Even when administrators expected to see declines in sales from price increases for hunting licenses, most agencies have gone ahead and raised prices (often with legislative approval required) because the increase still would result in an increase in total revenue. In fact, experience in the past showed that sales soon would return to where they had previously been or increase from the former numbers. The trade-off would result in increased funding for vital conservation programs even if the initial sales reflected a decline in the number of participants. (For example, the new $10 price increase should result in an increase of about $16 million for the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund given stable or increased sales.)

    Why would this recent increase in price result in enhanced sales? Since anyone 16 years of age or older is required to have the stamp to hunt waterfowl and a $25 stamp is just a small fraction of the overall cost, most waterfowlers will continue to buy the stamp rather than stop hunting. Recent enhanced marketing of the stamp to refuge visitors, stamp and art collectors, environmental educators, bird watchers, wildlife photographers, and others also should account for at least part of the increased sales. In any case, better marketing to everyone interested in conservation is certainly in order.

    With the indication over the last few increases in price for Duck Stamps that sales can remain stable or even increase, perhaps future increases will mean even more habitat for waterfowl, other birds, and the multitude of species that depend on vital wetland and grassland habitat.

    Alan Wentz served as Chief Conservation Officer of Ducks Unlimited (now retired), is a past president of The Wildlife Society, and was formerly employed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the National Wildlife Federation, and South Dakota State University. He has written extensively on conservation with a special focus on wetlands.
     
  2. KENNEDY63

    KENNEDY63 Elite Refuge Member

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    USFWS Report: U.S. Duck Hunter Numbers, Duck Harvest Decreased in 2019-2020
    [​IMG]

    How many Americans went waterfowling last season, what states shot the most ducks and what species were most frequently harvested? All that and other intriguing statistics are available in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2020 Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest report.

    U.S. Hunter Numbers Decrease
    According to the report, there were 989,500 active waterfowl hunters in the United States last season, down from 1.09 million in 2018-2019. The decline marks the first time since the 2015-2016 season and only the third time in the past 81 years that the number of waterfowl hunters in the United States has dipped below 1 million.

    The number of U.S. waterfowlers has steadily declined since reaching a high of 2.03 million in 1970. Delta Waterfowl remains committed to reversing this trend through its HunteR3 programs, which include First Hunt, Defending the Hunt and the University Hunting Program.

    Fewer Ducks, More Geese Bagged
    Unseasonably mild conditions once again challenged duck hunters across much of the United States last season. The duck harvest of 9.72 million is a decrease from the 10.33 million harvested in 2018-2019.

    However, the goose harvest is up slightly, tallying 2.69 million — including 2.07 million Canada geese — compared to the 2.44 million bagged two seasons ago. The harvests of light geese and specklebellies are also up, while fewer brant were shot than two seasons ago.

    Mallards continue to be the most commonly harvested species, with 2.9 million taken last season. That’s more than double the second-most harvested species, green-winged teal at 1.17 million. Wood ducks typically rank third on the harvest list, but the 946,838 shot last season are surpassed by the gadwall harvest of 1.05 million. The blue-winged/cinnamon teal harvest (the species are impossible to distinguish during wing surveys) of 802,057 rounds out the Top 5.

    The ring-necked duck harvest of 374,088 leads all divers, while the harvests of buffleheads (210,846) and redheads (188,793) rank second and third, respectively.

    https://deltawaterfowl.org/usfws-report-u-s-duck-hunter-numbers-duck-harvest-decreased-in-2019-2020/
     
  3. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    How so? You are paying for improvement to the habitat, not eating ducks. Lots of guys buy extra stamps to help improve the habitat. If lookyloos want to enjoy that habitat, they should pitch in, not ride the coat tails of the waterfowlers who are paying the freight.


    Apples and alligators analogy.

    I had a program where you could pre-pay for your drinks, and as you used them, I would mark them off. You were Guaranteed to get those drinks. Not so in waterfowling.

    So, I buy a stamp, and get, what, 50 tags? 100? Different for different flyways? Same price in each flyway? Can I use the tags in different flyways? What about the guy that just goes on the opener? He 'now' knows that he is being jacked around, because he is paying for 50/100 birds, but he is only able to go on the opener.

    Are we gonna give a rebate if you send the unused tags back in? Why not? I paid for 50 birds, but only got 10. I want my money back for the 40 birds I didn't get.

    It's a big bag of bats. You what to know what is in the bottom of the bag after a day? It's crazy, like this idea.

    And, what do either of those articles have to do with your idea?
     
  4. Holesinthesky

    Holesinthesky Senior Refuge Member

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    Not about consumption.
    It is about pay to play.

    just because
    hunter A can hunt 60 days and kill his limit.
    Hunter B can only hunt 10 days and kill his limit. to be fairly applied......
    Then that would be the only fair outcome from your proposed equation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
  5. Steve Borgwald

    Steve Borgwald Elite Refuge Member

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    And who enforces the tag system?
     
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  6. Ruination

    Ruination Elite Refuge Member

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    Right. But...and this is going back to the article...there is only so much land.

    But there isn't less money coming in.

    I'd argue we.are about at critical mass and that stops hunter recruitment as much as anything else.
     
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  7. Ruination

    Ruination Elite Refuge Member

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    There were 400k more licenses sold in 2019 though.

    2015 was 14M but it's been 15M every year since.
     
  8. Sam Ortmann

    Sam Ortmann Senior Refuge Member

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    Neither of those articles support your argument though. I’m not saying an increase cost in duck stamps would decrease duck hunting. My point is about the increased cost on a graduated bases. An increase in the cost of a flat rate duck stamp doesn’t disincentivize hunting anymore than a flat tax disincentivizes working. You have to work to make money and since you’re already paying a flat tax you work as much as possible to make the most money and amortize the cost of the tax. But it’s been argued that a graduated tax system, like what the US has, can actually disincentivize people from making more money. We’ve all heard of people intentionally cutting profits to end up in a lower tax bracket. This in turn can lead to less tax revenues. I’m not arguing any points about taxes here but it serves as a good analogy for your opinion on duck licenses.
    There are diminishing returns for a person with every duck they shoot, meaning the 128th duck of the season is less valuable than the first duck of the season. That works with the one time fee duck stamp/license system that’s currently in use because the costs get less and less with each duck killed. So just as each duck becomes less valuable as more are killed, they also become cheaper as a fixed cost is stretched out over greater output. However, with the graduated stamp system, that might not be the case. Just as people who make more than enough money to live comfortably and don’t find much value in the next dollar made sometimes actively avoid making more money so as to not get in the higher tax bracket, so too may duck hunters. If I already have a lot of ducks in my freezer and going out and killing more isn’t going to make a big impact for me, then the added cost of going over my quota and having to reup my stamp might disincentivize me from buying another stamp and then state organizations are actually losing out on funding because I’m not paying again. They would have, however, received that money if it was an equitable flat rate that captured roughly the average of how much it cost per hunter (aka the stamp system we have now).
    Your second article also refutes the points your trying to make. If harvest numbers are decreasing then why would we want hunters to pay per duck? That mean less income and less funding for organizations that need more funding, especially if we expect them to increase public land options and help habitat that helps increase duck numbers and help us out as hunters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
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  9. Billy Bob

    Billy Bob Elite Refuge Member

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    You must really want to see hunter numbers bottom out in a hurry. Nobody is going to waste money on a regular license and a $25 stamp per day to MAYBE have a chance at a bird on public land. That will kill waterfowl hunting faster than loss of access. Just wow.....:doh
     
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  10. KENNEDY63

    KENNEDY63 Elite Refuge Member

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    I disagree.
     

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