Thursday, January 9, 2014

2013 S.C. Waterfowl Stamp portrays history and religion

S. C. Duck Stamp with State Dog Boykin Spaniel with Black Duck wearing Jack Miner band

Ducks and religion may have become “quacked up” on the A and E channel, but they mix well in South Carolina, especially considering the 2013 S.C. duck stamp depiction of a Jack Miner band one with a message from scripture. A duck’s migration history is revealed only when it carries a leg band, also known among hunters as jewelry. The 2013-14 S.C. duck stamp portrays the first ever recovery of a Jack Miner duck band, something so rare that 99 percent of hunters will never see one.
There is something special about duck hunting the late season dates of January. The allure of harvesting a duck that comes from Canada or some far off place makes the 5 a.m. alarm easier to heed. Waterfowlers scout and plan with a religious zeal long before the hunting date arrives. The chief ink-stained wretch and his outdoor correspondent are in the hunt this month with a Bear Island WMA drawn hunt. The SCDNR public duck hunts often offer a high quality opportunity for many sportsmen to have a proper hunt experience.
Waterfowl hunting in S.C. is an old game, and stories concerning Jack Miner relay just how interesting the waterfowl world was more than 100 years ago. In 1904 this Kingsville, Ontario resident managed his family property as a migratory waterfowl refuge. Then in 1909 he pioneered the banding of migratory waterfowl, a new concept that was proven as valid when an S.C. duck hunter harvested the first duck with a Jack Miner band.
That band was on a migratory black duck that traveled from Canada to Anderson County where history shows that a Dr. Bray reported the band in January of 1910. Amazingly, this waterfowl tagging and data recovery success led to greater awareness about duck migration, paving the way for the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1916 between Canada and the United States. The Miner bands inspired the popular waterfowl banding program administered today, which has been expanded into the banding of all sorts of winged creatures. 

While Jack Miner bands are still being employed by his Foundation today, they are much more rare than federal leg bands. From the onset the Jack Miner bands were inscribed with a short Bible verse due to his strong religious beliefs. Some examples from these bands include “Be not afraid, Only Believe” from Mark 5:36, “Behold I come Quickly” from Revelations 22:7, “God is our Refuge” from Psalms 46:1, and “Ye Must Obey God” from Acts 5:29.
Given the firestorm of controversy on social media regarding Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty show related to stating one’s religious beliefs, it could be said that Jack Miner pioneered the pairing of religion and waterfowl. Jack Miner passed away in 1944 and a record of his tagging efforts and of his Biblical verse choices may be found on the at
To view the entire feature story in the newspaper click on Charleston Mercury.

To view past blog entries about hunting ducks click here.


  1. Fantastic post. I never heard about the bands before but what a great history lesson. From the upstate - great stuff.

  2. Many Thanks Joel D. - I always have my eyes and ears peeled for such an intersection of history and the outdoors.


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