After two days of competition, Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minn., 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 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters in Falls Church, Va. This is Hartman’s sixth win of the prestigious contest.
Hautman’s acrylic painting will be made into the 2023-2024 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp,” and go on sale in late June 2023. 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.
Last week the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved the allocation of nearly $105 million with grants through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and funds from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. The fund is 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 Duck Stamp Contest is one of my very favorite events every year!” said Service Director Martha Williams. “I am always impressed with the caliber of the art submitted, and each and every entry reminds us of the beauty of the natural world the Duck Stamp is designed to protect. I encourage everyone to buy a Duck Stamp as it makes a real impact in conserving wetlands habitats for waterfowl and many other wildlife species.”
Since it was first established in 1934, sales of the Federal 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 wildlife-oriented recreation on our public lands.
Waterfowl hunters 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.