Duck Stamp Contest & Event Information

for artists, spectators and conservationists

Official 2016 Federal Duck Stamp Contest Rules & Entry Forms
Thank you for your patience! Here are the  official rules and entry forms (2.4MB) for the 2016 Federal Duck Stamp Contest. For 2016, there is no requirement to include an appropriate secondary non-waterfowl migratory bird species on your entry. However, please review the regulations in their entirety before completing and submitting your entry. We appreciate your contribution to habitat conservation and look forward to seeing your entry!

2016 Federal Duck Stamp Contest
The 2016 Federal Duck Stamp Contest will be held Sept. 9 and 10 at the  Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Judging will begin at 10 a.m. each day. Check back here for much more information about the contest and related special events. Contest results will be posted here.

Other Contest Information

Who Can Enter
The Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Art Contest is open to all U.S. Citizens, nationals and resident aliens who are at least 18 years of age by June 1, 2016.

Eligible Species

Five or fewer species of waterfowl are selected each year and one of these is required to be the dominant feature of your entry (defined as being in the foreground and clearly the focus of attention). The waterfowl species eligible in 2016 are:
Canada goose (see note above)
Northern shoveler
Red-breasted merganser
Steller's eider

Designs may also include, but are not limited to, hunting dogs, hunting scenes, waterfowl decoys,  national wildlife refuges as the background of habitat scenes, non-eligible species, or other designs that depict uses of the stamp for sporting, conservation, and collecting purposes.

Preparing Your Entry

Entry may be in any media EXCEPT photography or computer-generated art. Design must be the contestant's original hand-drawn creation. The entry design may not be copied or duplicated from previously published art, including photographs, or from images in any format published on the Internet.

Entry Size Requirements
Each entry must be 7" x 10" and matted over with bright white matting. The matting must be 1" wide. Total size (entry with matting) must be 9" x 12" and less than ¼" thick. We suggest using a 1/8" masonite board or foamcore with 1⁄8" matting to equal the total width of 1/4" thick.

Deadline and Entry Submission
Artists may submit their artwork and entry fee beginning on June 1, 2016. No early entries will be accepted. All artwork must be postmarked no later than midnight Aug. 15, 2016.

Please send your entry to:
Federal Duck Stamp Contest
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Headquarters
5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: MB
Falls Church, VA 22041

Note: All art entered in the 2016 contest will be held for display at a special event through mid-September. No artwork will be returned immediatey after the contest. No artist may obtain his or her work immediately after the contest. After the Duck Stamp contest and display period, art is returned via Federal Express to the address submitted on the contest entry form. Please do not submit art with a P.O. Box return address; also, please submit working phone numbers. Please notify the Duck Stamp Office of any changes to your return address at

A panel of five noted art, waterfowl and stamp authorities judges each competition. Judges  evaluate entries (253.7KB) based on accuracy of the waterfowl and habitat, composition, and suitability to be made into a 1 3/4” L x 1 1/2” W stamp. No entries are judged prior to the start of the contest; any piece of art that meets the size criteria and contains an identifiable, live depiction of one of the eligible species will be judged.

Tips and Hints
Find out what art characteristics  make good stamp design (253.7KB).

You must be 18 years old by June 1 to enter the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. Younger artists, check out the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program.

Federal Duck Stamp Contest winners receive no compensation for their work, other than a pane of stamps carrying their design, signed by the Secretary of the Department of the Interior. However, winning artists may sell prints of their designs, which are sought after by hunters, conservationists, and art and stamp collectors.

2015 Federal Duck Stamp Contest Results & Scoring

History of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest
 Jay N. "Ding" Darling designed the first Federal Duck Stamp in 1934. In subsequent years, noted wildlife artists were asked to submit designs to be considered for the stamp. The first art contest, in 1949, was open to any U.S. artist who wished to enter. Sixty-five artists submitted 88 design entries that first year. To this day, the contest remains open to any artist 18 or older who is a U.S. citizen.

In 2004, the Federal Duck Stamp Contest was held outside Washington, D.C., for the first time in its history. The Fish and Wildlife Service continues to hold the contest in various locations around the country in order to give more people the opportunity to attend.

For more information about the Federal Duck Stamp, see our History of the Federal Duck Stamp page. You can also buy Duck Stamps, Junior Duck Stamps, E-Stamps and stamp-related products.

Last Updated: May 5, 2016