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 Church, Virginia. This is his 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”, which will 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.
Just this past week, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, 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 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 national wildlife refuge A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. Learn more about national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee.
In addition to Joseph Hautman, Frank Mittelstadt of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, placed second with his acrylic painting of tundra swans, and Robert Hautman of Delano, Minnesota, took third place with his acrylic painting of an American wigeon.
Of 187 entries judged in this year’s competition, 54 entries made it to the final round of judging. Eligible species for this year’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were the tundra (whistling) swan, mottled duck, American green-winged teal, American wigeon, and Barrow’s goldeneye. View the online gallery of the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest entries.
The judges for this year’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were: Sean Murtha, artist; Richard Houk, philatelist; Marshall Johnson, conservation partner; Paul Schmidt, conservation partner; and Christopher Nicolai, waterfowl biologist and 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 purchase online.