Joseph Hautman’s acrylic painting of a trio of tundra swans winging over a wetland was chosen as the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. The Plymouth, Minnesota artist has now won the most prestigious stamp competition for a record-tying sixth time.
Joseph Hautman’s entry was one of 187 paintings judged during the contest held Sept. 23-24 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offices in Falls Church, Virginia. Another painting of tundra swans by Frank Mittelstadt of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, took second, while an American wigeon by Robert Hautman of Delano, Minnesota, took third.
Eligible species this year included tundra swan, American wigeon, green-winged teal, Barrow’s goldeneye and mottled duck.
“The Duck Stamp Contest is one of my favorite events every year,” said Martha Williams, director of the USFWS. “I am always impressed with the caliber of 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 wetland habitats for waterfowl and many other wildlife species.”
The 2023-2024 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, a.k.a. Duck Stamp, will feature Joseph Hautman’s winning artwork. The 2023-2024 stamp will go on sale in June 2023, and is required of all U.S. waterfowl hunters age 16 and older. Each stamp costs $25.
Since the Federal Duck Stamp was established in 1934, sales have raised more than $1.1 billion used to conserve 6 million acres of habitat for birds and wildlife, as well as to provide hunting and other recreational opportunities at national wildlife refuges.
Dr. Chris Nicolai of Delta Waterfowl was one of the five judges for this year’s contest.
“It was such a high honor to be a judge and have a role in selecting the next duck stamp,” Nicolai said. “The artwork was incredible and we had such a fun time at the contest. I’d rate it as one of the top experiences of my career as a waterfowl scientist.”
Joseph Hautman’s sixth win follows the 2021 contest where his brother, James Hautman, tallied his record-setting sixth triumph with the redhead painting that graces the current 2022-2023 stamp. With three additional wins by Robert Hautman, the talented brothers have won the contest a combined 15 times.
Duck stamps are available at U.S. post office locations, many national wildlife refuges, sporting goods retailers or online at https://www.fws.gov/service/buy-duck-stamp-or-e-stamp.
Photos courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service