After two days of competition, James Hautman of Chaska, Minnesota, emerged as the winner of the 2021 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest with his painting of a pair of redheads floating in the water. The announcement was made via live stream at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.
Hautman’s acrylic painting will be made into the 2022-2023 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp”, which will go on sale in late June 2022. The Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $25 and raises approximately $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.
This year, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, approved the allocation of more than $111 million from the fund, made up partly of Duck Stamp dollars, to support the acquisition of lands from willing sellers for the Refuge System. 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.
“The talent at this year’s Duck Stamp contest was incredible,” said Service Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams. “The remarkable attention to detail showcases the birds’ beauty in their natural environment. The sale of Duck Stamps plays a major role in the conservation of public lands and is an essential component of the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative to conserve 30 percent of our land and waters by 2030. Buy a Duck Stamp and help conserve habitat that protects wildlife and provides recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, birdwatching, and hiking.”
Since it was first established in 1934, sales of the Duck Stamp to hunters, bird watchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and collectors have raised more than $1.1 billion to conserve over 6 million acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife and provide countless opportunities for hunting and other wildlife-oriented recreation on our public lands.
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 anythat charges an entry fee.
In addition to James Hautman, Robert Hautman of Delano, Minnesota, placed second with his acrylic painting of Ross's geese, and Joshua Spies of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, took third place with his acrylic painting of a flying drake redhead.
Per the 2020 final rule requiring a theme of “celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage,” this contest had a mandatory requirement that each entry had a waterfowl hunting scene and/or accessory. Of 137 entries judged in this year’s competition, 14 entries made it to the final round of judging. Eligible species for this year’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were the greater white-fronted goose, Ross’s goose, blue-winged teal, king eider, and redhead. View the online gallery of the 2021 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest entries.
The judges for this year’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were: Paul Rhymer, artist; Dave Goyer, philatelist; Wayne Hubbard, conservation partner; Larry Richardson, artist; and Dixie Sommers, conservation partner.
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 at http://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/buy-duck-stamp.php.