A 20-cent commemorative stamp recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act was issued July 2, 1984, in Des Moines, Iowa. The First Day of Issue ceremony was held at the Des Moines Marriott Hotel.
Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling, a noted conservationist and a cartoonist for the Des Moines Register newspaper, proposed that the government require hunters to purchase a federal revenue stamp before hunting waterfowl. The proceeds from the sale of the stamps were to be used to purchase and develop waterfowl habitats. In 1934, Congress passed the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, thereafter requiring every waterfowl hunter, sixteen years of age or older, to buy and carry the stamp.
Mr. Darling was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 to head the Bureau of Biological Survey, now known as the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Mr. Darling also designed the first "duck stamp," on which the 1984 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act stamp design is based. It was titled "Mallards Dropping In" and featured a pair of mallards alighting in a windy marsh.
The stamp was designed and modeled by Peter Cocci. The stamp was printed in the intaglio process and issued in panes of fifty.
Postal Bulletin (June 7, 1984).