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Minnesota Artist Scot Storm and the $40 Million Duck Stamp:
Midwest artists claim all three contest honors

Minnesota artist Scot Storm’s winning Federal Duck Stamp Contest entry. Photo by USFWS.

Minnesota artist Scot Storm’s winning Federal Duck Stamp Contest entry. Photo by USFWS.

By Vanessa Kauffman
Headquarters – External Affairs


Larry Dean
Regional Office – External Affairs

It’s as easy as 1…2…3. Or so it might seem for Midwest artists who claimed all of the top three honors at the 2018 Federal Duck Stamp Contest in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 14-15.

Not many artists in history can claim to have rendered a $40 million painting. But Freeport, Minnesota’s Scot Storm’s will most assuredly one day be able to count himself as one. That’s because his acrylic painting of a wood duck and decoy won the 2018 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest.

Storm’s painting will be made into the 2019-2020 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp”, which will go on sale in late June 2019. The Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $25 and raises up to $40 million in sales each year. These funds support critical conservation to protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people.

“Waterfowl hunters are some of our nation’s most passionate wildlife conservationists,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “More than 80 years after it was established, sales of the Duck Stamp to hunters, bird watchers, outdoor enthusiasts and collectors have raised more than $1 billion to conserve nearly six million acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife and provide countless opportunities for hunting and recreation on our public lands.”

To recognize the contributions of waterfowl hunters, who have been instrumental in conserving our nation’s wildlife, all entries in this year’s contest were required to include depictions of one or more hunting-themed elements. Storm’s artwork featured a wood duck decoy.

“I look forward to seeing this beautiful artwork adorning the 86th Federal Duck Stamp,” said Andrea Travnicek, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, who unveiled the winning painting at this year’s contest. “The stamp created using Scot’s art will serve as a lasting reminder of our rich waterfowl hunting heritage.”

This is Storm’s second Federal Duck Stamp Contest win. His art previously appeared on the 2004-2005 Federal Duck Stamp.

Frank Mittlestadt of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, placed second with his acrylic painting of wood duck with a hunting scene in the background. Greg Alexander of Ashland, Wisconsin, took third place with his acrylic painting of lesser scaup.

Second place entry by Frank Mittlestadt of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Photo by USFWS.

Second place entry by Frank Mittlestadt of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Photo by USFWS.

Of 153 entries in this year’s competition, held at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Nevada, 19 entries made it to the final round of judging. Eligible species for this year’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were the wood duck, American wigeon, northern pintail, green-winged teal and lesser scaup. View the online gallery of the 2018 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest entries.

The judges for this year’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were: Lowell Baier, an attorney and environmental policy adviser; Bob Blohm, a retired administrator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program; Roberta Laine, an art educator; Chris Maynard, an artist and avid hunter; and Brett James Smith, a wildlife artist who works in multiple media.

“A huge thank-you goes to the staff here at Springs Preserve for hosting the contest this year,” Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth said. “With its hiking trails and beautiful gardens, Springs Preserve is a great example of how you don’t need to go far from the city center to explore the great outdoors.”

Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current Federal Duck Stamp. Many non-hunters, including birdwatchers, conservationists, stamp collectors and others also purchase the stamp in support of habitat conservation. Additionally, a current Federal Duck Stamp can be used for free admission to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee.

Funds raised from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps goes toward the acquisition or lease of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. This year, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by Secretary Zinke, awarded $22.9 million from the fund, made up partly of Duck Stamp dollars, to support the acquisition of refuge lands from willing sellers. The new areas provide additional access to the public to some of the most spectacular places available for hunting, fishing, birdwatching, hiking and other outdoor activities.

You can contribute to conservation and America’s great outdoors tradition by buying Federal Duck Stamps at many national wildlife refuges, sporting goods stores and other retailers, through the U.S. Postal Service, or online.

Third place entry by Greg Alexander of Ashland, Wisconsin. Photo by USFWS.

Third place entry by Greg Alexander of Ashland, Wisconsin. Photo by USFWS.

Last updated: October 10, 2018