By Gary Koehler
Minnesota native David Maass drew inspiration for his winning painting, Pitching into Cypress, from a personal hunting trip to Arkansas.
A wildlife painter by trade and a duck hunter at heart, David Maass has made a waterfowl-hunting pilgrimage to Manitoba's Delta Marsh during each of the past 35 years. The man has seen plenty of ducks, but in his eyes the good old days might be right now.
This past October, Maass spent a week gunning divers on this fabled Canadian marsh and returned to his native Minnesota
home filled with awe. "People talk about the good old days—and yes, many of them were good," Maass said while recounting his trip. "But this year we had canvasbacks
in numbers that were unbelievable. It was probably as good as I've ever seen it up there. Your guys are doing something right."
Maass has done plenty right in a heralded artistic career spanning more than 50 years. Last fall, he was named the 2013 Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year. His winning painting, Pitching into Cypress
, which features mallards arriving at a cypress flat, ranks as yet another classic in a portfolio abundant with honors.