Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest Regulations 2023

Federal Duck Stamp Contest Rules and Regulations 2023


The 2022 Contest was held virtually on September 23 & 24, 2022

You may view the 2022 entries on the USFWS Flickr page. Please remember these are low resolution scans that have not been color corrected. All judging was done viewing the originals in person in a controlled environment. A contest guidebook is available to assist you in following along with the videos of the Contest judging.

Day 1 and Day 2 of the judging can be viewed on-line.  Overall scores are now available. Final scores by judge will be posted when they are available.

Joseph Hautman Wins 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest

Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, took top honors at the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, held Sept. 23 and 24, 2022.

News release
Gallery of 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Contest entries
Top 3 Art
Full contest scoring & list of entrants will be posted when available

The annual Federal Duck Stamp made from this artwork goes on sale at the end of June. A “First Day of Issue” event is often held to celebrate the artists, purchasers, and conservation partners.

For more information about entering the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest - including inquiries from entered artists and prospective entrants - please contact Suzanne Fellows.

If you are a member of the news media and you need information about the Federal Duck Stamp or would like to arrange an interview, contact Valerie Fellows or 703/358-2285.

2023 Duck Stamp Contest Information for Artists

The 2023 Federal Duck Stamp Contest rules are now available.

We are planning to have a live judging event at Drake University, Des Moines, IA on September 15 & 16, 2023. Please return to this site for more information.

Who Can Enter the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest
The contest is open to all U.S. citizens, nationals and resident aliens who are at least 18 years of age by June 1, 2023.

Eligible Species
At least one of the five eligible waterfowl species must be the dominant feature of your entry (in the foreground and clearly the focus of attention). Eligible species for 2023 are:
Snow Goose
American Black Duck
Northern Pintail
Ring-necked Duck
Harlequin Duck

Inclusion of additional elements such as non-eligible species or other designs that depict uses of the stamp for sporting, conservation and/or collecting purposes are optional.

There can be no writing (including numbers on bird bands or lettering on signs) depicted on your entry. Do not sign your entry.

Only one entry per artist can be accepted.

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 material, including photographs, or from images in any format published on the Internet.

Entry Size Requirements
Entries must be 7" x 10" and oriented in the horizontal position. They must be 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 thickness of 1/4".

Entry Submission Requirements & Deadline
Include the official entry forms and your payment with your artwork (see contest regulations for entry forms and payment information). Artists may submit their artwork and entry fee beginning on June 1, 2023. No early entries will be accepted. All artwork must be postmarked no later than midnight August 15, 2023.

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 2023 contest will be held for display at a special event following the contest. No artwork will be returned until late October 2023. 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. No individual boxes or shipping material can be saved or returned. 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 by emailing Suzanne Fellows.

A panel of five noted art, waterfowl and stamp authorities judges each competition. Judges evaluate entries according to criteria in regulations including, but not limited to, accuracy of the waterfowl and habitat, composition, inclusion of any mandatory elements or published theme, 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 published criteria in the 2023 Contest Rules will be accepted for judging.

Tips and Hints
Before you begin your entry, find out what characteristics make good stamp design.

You must be 18 years old by June 1 to enter the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. Younger artists in Kindergarten through twelfth grade should 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 Interior. However, winning artists may sell prints of their designs, which are sought after by hunters, conservationists, and art and stamp collectors.

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. Sixty-five artists submitted 88 entries that first year. To this day, the contest remains open to any artist 18 or older who is a U.S. citizen.

In 2005, 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.

Get Started 


Top three pieces of Artwork for 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Contest
After two days of competition, Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, emerged as the winner of the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest with his painting of three tundra swans flying over a wetland. The announcement was made via live stream at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters in Falls...
A pair of redheads floating 2022-2023 Duck Stamp by Jim Hautman
Interested in seeing Federal Duck Stamps through the years? Browse our online stamp gallery and see how production techniques have changed the look - but not the conservation purpose - of the Federal Duck Stamp. You can also learn about the artists responsible for these miniature masterpieces.
A large bird with brown feathers, white head, and yellow beak flies against a pale blue sky
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