Living the Dream

0
271

For someone who, to hear him tell it, had been “painting like a madman,” 2024 DU Artist of the Year Richard Clifton seemed remarkably relaxed. The 60-year-old Clifton, who lives on a 115-acre farm adjoining the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Delaware, was preparing for his turn as the featured artist at the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland, and a production crew was arriving soon to get footage of him for a festival video.

Plus, as if he didn’t already have enough on his plate, Clifton’s furnace had stopped working, and his repair guy, like repair guys everywhere these days, was having trouble finding the parts he needed.

But if Clifton was feeling stressed, you couldn’t detect it in his voice. A native son of Delaware who grew up on a farm just a few miles from the one he owns today, he talks the way farmers do-softly, evenly, and without an excess of emotion, as if he were describing the weather. You can hear it in the way he drops the g in words like “thinking” and “working,” and you can hear his Tidewater accent in the way a word like oil comes out sounding like ohl.

His roots in the region run deep. “On my mom’s side they were carpenters,” he related, “and on my dad’s side they were farmers. So I’ve got both those things in my blood. I can actually do a little bit of carpentry. I’ve built a deck around our swimming pool twice now-it got more extravagant the second time. And I know how to drive a tractor, work ground, and do those kinds of things.”

At the moment Clifton farms some of his ground himself and rents the rest, but he’s leaning toward taking over the entire operation. As he put it, “I want to see if I can get my farmin’ legs back and make a little money off the place.” He’s thinking, too, of a crop rotation that will allow him to harvest a short-season corn variety in early August, then plant Japanese millet. “Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise,” Clifton explained, “the millet would make heads by mid-October.”

In other words, just in time for the waterfowl season.

jf23-aoty

The tradition of waterfowl hunting also runs deep in Clifton’s family. A good portion of the property now encompassed by the Prime Hook refuge was originally “Clifton land,” and while he missed out on some of the marsh gunning his father and uncles enjoyed when he was growing up, he took full advantage of the field hunting opportunities available to him. To the best of Clifton’s knowledge, in fact, he was the first person in those parts to hunt snow geese with a rag-style decoy spread.

See also  Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel Review

“I had this idea,” he recalled with a little laugh, “that I could drape white kitchen trash bags over corn stubble. The first time I tried it I went by myself, so if it turned out to be really dumb no one else would know. But it turned out that the geese fell for it. I killed a limit of snows and a couple of Canadas that first day, and after that it was game on for several years until the birds got wise to it.”

At the same time that the teenaged Clifton was getting his legs under him as a waterfowler, the art he saw in the pages of magazines like Ducks Unlimited, Sports Afield, and Field & Stream planted the seed of another idea. He began thinking that it might be possible to emulate the likes of David Maass and Jim Killen, to name a couple of the artists whose work inspired him, and carve out a career painting ducks and geese.

“I was starting to have that dream,” he told me. “And I wondered if I was capable of doing something like that. It turned out that I was, but way back then it was just a dream. You’re thinking, lsquo;Man, it would really be something if I could be like one of those guys.’

“And now I’m a four-time DU Artist of the Year, which is pretty exciting. I also just learned that I won the Delaware duck stamp contest for the 10th time. If you’re counting, and some people are, that gives me 54 duck stamps altogether, including two federal duck stamps.”

Not bad for an artist who’s entirely self-taught and, in his own words, “figured things out mostly by trial and error.”

For his 2024 DU Artist of the Year image, Green-Wings Across the Bow, Clifton chose to fill the frame with a small flock of vividly realized American green-winged teal buzzing the bow of an ancient wooden boat-a boat that, over the years, has become as much a part of the marsh as the cattails themselves. It’s the second time he’s depicted greenwings for his Artist of the Year painting. When I asked him about that he replied, “To me they’re an iconic duck-hunting species. I have old photos of my dad and uncles after a day of hunting on land that’s now part of the refuge. They’re holding their double-barreled shotguns, and most of the ducks in their bags are green-winged teal.

See also  .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum vs .30-06 Springfield Ammo Comparison - Ballistics Info & Chart Caliber Ballistics Comparison 07 Dec, 2018 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors The following ammunition cartridge ballistics information and chart can be used to approximately compare .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum vs .30-06 Springfield ammo rounds. Please note, the following information reflects the estimated average ballistics for each caliber and does not pertain to a particular manufacturer, bullet weight, or jacketing type. As such, the following is for comparative information purposes only and should not be used to make precise predictions of the trajectory, performance, or true ballistics of any particular .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum or .30-06 Springfield rounds for hunting, target shooting, plinking, or any other usage. The decision for which round is better for a given application should be made with complete information, and this article simply serves as a comparative guide, not the final say. For more detailed ballistics information please refer to the exact round in question or contact the manufacturer for the pertinent information. True .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum and .30-06 Springfield ballistics information can vary widely from the displayed information, and it is important to understand that the particular characteristics of a given round can make a substantive difference in its true performance. Caliber Type Velocity (fps) Energy (ft-lb) .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Rifle 3240 3170 .30-06 Springfield Rifle 2820 2920 [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo] [Click Here to Shop .30-06 Springfield Ammo] VelocityAs illustrated in the chart, .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum rounds - on average - achieve a velocity of about 3240 feet per second (fps) while .30-06 Springfield rounds travel at a velocity of 2820 fps. To put this into perspective, a Boeing 737 commercial airliner travels at a cruising speed of 600 mph, or 880 fps. That is to say, .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum bullets travel 3.7 times the speed of a 737 airplane at cruising speed, while .30-06 Springfield bullets travel 3.2 times that same speed.Various calibersEnergyFurthermore, the muzzle energy of a .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum round averages out to 3170 ft-lb, while a .30-06 Springfield round averages out to about 2920 ft-lb. One way to think about this is as such: a foot-pound is a unit of energy equal to the amount of energy required to raise a weight of one pound a distance of one foot. So a .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum round exits the barrel with kinetic energy equal to the energy required for linear vertical displacement of 3170 pounds through a one foot distance, while a .30-06 Springfield round exiting the barrel has energy equal to the amount required to displace 2920 pounds over the same one foot distance. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to hunting, muzzle energy is what many hunters look at when deciding on what caliber of firearm / ammunition to select. Generally speaking, the higher the muzzle energy, the higher the stopping power. Again, the above is for comparative information purposes only, and you should consult the exact ballistics for the particular .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum or .30-06 Springfield cartridge you're looking at purchasing. [Buy .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo] [Buy .30-06 Springfield Ammo] Please click the above links to take a look at all of the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum and .30-06 Springfield ammo we have in stock and ready to ship, and let us know any parting thoughts in the comment section below.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. 1 Comments Jean-François goulet - Jul 04, 2024Munitions Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

“I’ve always felt a special pull from greenwings. They’re emblematic of the tradition of waterfowl hunting in my family. That’s why I wanted to incorporate the boat into the image, to include a piece of that tradition.”

To see more of Richard Clifton’s work, visit richardclifton.com.

Ducks Unlimited’s 2024 National Art Package Contributing Artists

Manitoba Morning by Bruce Miller

jf23-aoty-miller

Bruce Miller is a native Minnesotan and a passionate sportsman, and his art is inspired by his experiences in the outdoors. Miller has won over 50 awards for his work, and his paintings have been featured in many art shows in both the United States and Canada. His work has been featured in the DU National Art Package more than 10 times. This year’s print features a regal black Lab focused on ducks circling below an overcast sky.

Droppin’ In by Scot Storm

jf23-aoty-storm

Scot Storm’s artwork reflects his efforts to re-create the excitement and drama of encounters with wildlife in the great outdoors. Storm has won the federal duck stamp competition twice and has been named DU’s Artist of the Year three times. His love of hunting and the outdoors inspired him to step away from a successful architecture career and pursue his love of wildlife art. Storm’s painting Droppin’ In depicts two groups of pintails descending into a marsh in front of a rainbow-lit sky. In the background, a flock of American green-winged teal buzz the surface of the wetland.

2022/2024 Federal Duck Stamp Print by Jim Hautman

jf23-aoty-fedstamp

Jim Hautman has won the federal duck stamp contest a record-setting six times. He and his brothers, Joe and Bob, are probably the most famous family in the world of wildlife art. Each brother is an accomplished painter, and they owe their inspiration to their mother, who is also a talented artist, and their father, who instilled in his sons a love for the outdoors. Jim’s latest duck stamp painting features a pair of redheads in rough water under a menacing sky. DU is offering a gorgeous print of this historic painting framed, double matted, and inlaid with a DU crest medallion and a carved feather.

See also  The Best Rimfire Scope for 22LR in 2024

2024 DU Stamp Print by Adam Grimm

jf23-aoty-duckstamp

In 1999, at the age of 21, Adam Grimm became the youngest person to ever win the federal duck stamp competition. Since then, he has attained widespread recognition as one of the country’s most talented wildlife artists. His painting of a pair of green-winged teal graces the 40th Ducks Unlimited stamp. The stunning package, which is available at DU events, includes a mint stamp, an artist-signed stamp, a matching print, and a stamp medallion.

Ducks Unlimited’s Guns of the Year

jf23-goty

DU’s 2024 Rifle of the Year is a Christensen Arms Mesa bolt-action rifle chambered in .308. It has a custom-colored bronze stock with a black Cerakoted barrel and action and comes with a mounted Leupold VX Freedom 3-9×50 scope with Leupold’s proprietary Firedot illumination technology. This handsome rifle also includes the Ducks Unlimited logo on the floor plate and bolt knob and comes with a hard plastic gun case and gun lock.

DU’s Shotgun of the Year for 2024 is a Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 (SBE3) in 28-gauge. This semiautomatic shotgun has a 3-inch chamber, 28-inch highly polished blued barrel, coin-finished receiver, DU exclusive oil-finished walnut stock, and engraving featuring a gold-inlaid waterfowl scene and the DU logo. The engraving complements that of DU’s Guns of the Year from 2019 and 2022-a 12-gauge SBE3 and a 20-gauge SBE3, respectively. This beautiful firearm comes with five extended choke tubes, a special DU serial number, and a gun lock.

The 2024 Handgun of the Year is a Springfield Garrison 1911 semiautomatic pistol chambered in .45 ACP. This eye-catching pistol features a carbon steel frame and slide, custom 24-karat gold engraving, a five-inch barrel, and additional custom DU engraving on wooden grips. Made in the United States, this firearm comes with a hard case and gun lock.

Continue Reading

Previous article10 Best Fly Reels For The Money 2024 (Best Value Top-rated Fly Reels)
Next articleDeer Antler Terminology in a Nutshell
Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>