"It was actually brought about by hunter-conservationists who saw the declining waterfowl, and wanted to make sure that there were ducks and geese for their grandchildren," Woods said.
But it's the grandchildren of another culture speaking out in opposition. For years the Fish and Wildlife Service has not fined subsistence hunters, but in 2001 the Department of the Interior issued an opinion requiring subsistence hunters to buy the stamp.
The department gave hunters a grace period and last year officials issued warnings, but starting this month, if you bag a duck and you're found without a stamp, you'll face a $100 fine.
Some subsistence hunters are outraged. Myron Naneng, who heads the Association of Village Council Presidents, says the law is unfair and impossible for some people to comply with.
"I don't think I"ll ever want to buy a duck stamp, otherwise I'll be -- if I start buying a duck stamp I'll be considered a sports hunter," Naneng said.
According to Naneng, when federal officials worked with Alaska Natives on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the 1980s, subsistence hunters were told they didn't need duck stamps.
"Many of our lands that we have, especially here in the (Yukon-Kuskokwim) Delta, the lands that we have around here are used primarily for the reproduction of the migratory birds that winter down in Lower 48," Naneng said. "So we already take care of our lands for those purposes."
Naneng says many subsistence hunters can't afford the duck stamp fee. He adds that the stamps are not always available at post offices, and that not everyone has Internet access to purchase them online.
"Many of the gains that we've had in working with Fish and Wildlife Service in years regarding the migratory bird issues that we've had throughout the state are going to be jeopardized by the fact that Fish and Wildlife Service is going to be enforcing the duck stamp requirement," Naneng said.
Fish and Wildlife Service officials, however, say they're working hard to fix the problem.
"There has been some problem in the past because the duck stamps are primarily aimed at the fall hunt, of having them available early enough for the spring-summer hunt," Woods said. "And that's something we've worked hard to try to remedy."
In the coming weeks hundreds of birds will end up in the hands of hunters -- but nobody knows how many will have duck stamps in their pockets.
Contact Jackie Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org