Montana Junior Duck Stamp Program

2013 Best of Show Artwork-Artist is Carson Collinsworth

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program (JDS) is a dynamic arts and science curriculum that teaches wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum, with participants completing a JDS design as their visual “term papers."

FAQ's Montana Program 
2017 Contest results Loaner Trunks 
National Overview               Exhibit 
Curriculum Award Ceremony 


JDS Waterfowl Xpress - Guide CoverWaterfowl Xpress is a guide and introduction to the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program. This pdf is a combination white paper and FAQ of sorts; read this distillation if you, your class/student/son/daughter have never done the Program before. The information contained will direct you to confidently build a foundation of introductory actions...leading to success. Here is a boiled down version of "How to Draw a Duck" from the guide.


The rules, regulations and entry forms are detailed on the national Junior Duck Stamp Program website. The deadline (postmarked by or hand delivered by) for 2018 contest entries is Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Twelve students from Dawson County High School (Glendive) provided the Refuge (actually the Montana JDS coordinator) with a narrative of their experience doing their 2014 Junior Duck Stamp artwork. Art teacher NaDean Brown facilitated their short essays which are posted on the Refuge Tumblr blogsite.
A case and how-to-do-it for student drawing and illustration comes from biology teachers Brian Dempsey and B.J. Betz. They published Biological Drawing A Scientific Tool for Learning in 2001 which is now available as a pdf via this National Association of Biology Teachers link.


2017 Montana Junior Duck Stamp Contest Results


JDS 2014 MT Award Ceremony AttendeesA narrative of the 2017 Montana Junior Duck Stamp Contest results is here. Digital scans of first, second and third place artwork has been uploaded to our Flickr collection: 2017 Montana Junior Duck Stamp Contest winning entries.

Abigail Moore (Whitefish) oil painting of a male Wood Duck earned Best of Show. Lina Sturnam (St. Ignatius) had the best conservation message of all entrants: "Keep our world full of wonderful waterfowl."

National Overview

Federal Junior Duck Stamp LogoThe JDS has increased in popularity significantly since its inception in 1989 and even more since the implementation of a national art contest and stamp in 1993. The program was first recognized by Congress in 1994 when the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Act was enacted. In 2000, Congress reauthorized the program and expanded it from 17 states to include students in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. Visit the Federal Junior Duck Stamp website for a comprehensive overview and information concerning this program.


More than 27,000 students enter state JDS art contests each year. While the program’s data collection methods do not account for students who participate in curriculum activities without submitting artwork, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of students have been educated on the importance of waterfowl and wetlands conservation since the enactment of the 1994 legislation.


2012 Junior Duck Stamp National WinnerRevenue from the sales of the national Junior Duck Stamp (the national contest winner design) goes to support awards and environmental education for students who participate in the program, as well as efforts to market the stamp.



Formal Junior Duck Stamp Curriculum CD CoverInformal Junior Duck Stamp Curriculum CD CoverNationally developed, standards-based curriculum is available for educators, addressing both formal and informal platforms. The formal curriculum can be downloaded from the national Junior Duck Stamp Program curriculum webpage. Note that the curriculum product is two-parted; one part focuses on educators and the other part, a workbook, focuses on the middle school aged students (can be adapted for older/younger students). The nonformal curriculum currently is available only by compact disk. Please stop by the Refuge office for a copy.

Montana Program

Montana students have consistently produced excellent "term papers" via the art contest; they have twice won the contest nationally since program inception. Jia Huang was the first female to win the national contest in 1995/96 and Nathan Closson won in 2002/03. Deadline for art entries is March 15; the contest brochure and entry form contains all the rules/regulations. Below is a table with participation rates by judged groups (classroom grades) per year since 2000.


  K-3rd      4th-6th       7th-9th        10th-12th          Total Entries            

 Loaner Trunks

Montana Jr. Duck Stamp Education TrunkThe Refuge has four Junior Duck Stamp educational "loaner trunks" for school usage. They are designed to support educator and student learning/participation in the program. These trunks contain: art materials, books, curriculum, cd, dvd, duck wings, how-to guides, magazines, photographs, posters, puppets, and reference materials. Contact Tom Reed, Montana Junior Duck Stamp coordinator, by email or phone (406) 777-5552 x205 to schedule usage.   

Montana Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit 

2012 Montana Junior Duck Stamp ExhibitMontana entries placing first, second, and third annually are scanned, printed, laminated and mounted on an 8' by 12' exhibit display frame. Once completed all original artwork is returned to students. This exhibit is typically on display year round at Refuge Headquarters. However, it can loaned out for display by schools, libraries, civic organizations, et al. Following are the statistics from the 2015 Contest:

Top 5 Mediums Employed  
Combination   Colored Pencil   Acrylic    Watercolor    Pastel
 50%  19% 16% 9% 2%


Origination of Entries - Top 5 Cities
Stevensville    Victor    Corvallis    Missoula    Florence
 47% 8% 8% 7% 6%


Top 5 Species Depicted
 Mallard   Wood Duck   Trumpeter Swan   Northern Pintail  Green-winged Teal
23%17% 8% 6% 6%

Award Ceremony

2012 Montana Jr. Duck Stamp Award Ceremony AttendeesAll students (including related parents, teachers, mentors, siblings) achieving honorable mention or higher are invited to the Montana Junior Duck Stamp Award Ceremony. The Ceremony highlights/fetes student achievement within the beautiful backdrop of the Bitterroot Mountains and proximal wetlands featuring...ducks! This special event has not yet been scheduled for 2018 traditionally held in the Outdoor Amphitheater at Refuge Headquarters. Please contact Tom Reed by email ( or phone (406) 777-5552 x205 for follow-up information. 

Thank you for your support!

2011 Montana Jr. Duck Stamp Award Ceremony