WASHINGTON, October 29, 2011—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, as the winner of the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest. This marks the fourth time he has won the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. “I was surprised and excited to win,” Hautman said. His artwork, an acrylic painting of a single wood duck, will be made into the 2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in July 2012. Hautman, who first began participating in the Federal Duck Stamp Competition in 1989, said winning the competition was an honor because “the duck stamp has always meant something very special to me.”
Also excited to see Joseph selected as the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest winner was his brother, Jim Hautman, who won last year’s competition. “I am glad he won; I can’t say I’m surprised,” said Jim, who added that Joseph “displayed great execution in his artwork.”
This year’s contest took place at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Over the course of two days, a panel of judges, which included DU CEO and former USFWS Director Dale Hall, considered 190 entries. After the winner was announced, Hall noted how honored he was to be a part of this year’s contest. “This year’s entries featured artwork from a very talented group of artists, making it especially hard to select a winner,” said Hall. “The federal duck stamp will be well served by this year’s winner.”
For more than 77 years, the federal duck stamp has been conserving prime waterfowl habitat while also expanding hunting opportunities and land access across the country. While the stamp has helped to conserve over 5.3 million acres of waterfowl habitat, its buying power has been diminished over the years. The cost of the stamp has not increased since 1991, marking the longest period in the program’s history without a price increase.
“Simply put, $15 is not what it used to be,” said Hall. Ducks Unlimited supports efforts to ensure that the investment waterfowl hunters have made to protect waterfowl habitat over the years is sustained into the future. And it is up to duck hunters and all who enjoy wetlands and waterfowl to continue the conservation legacy of the federal duck stamp. “For these reasons, Ducks Unlimited supports legislation that would immediately increase the price of the stamp from $15 to $25, which would allow the program’s revenues to keep pace with inflation,” explained Hall.
To call attention to this issue, Ducks Unlimited is asking duck hunters and other waterfowl enthusiasts to “double up for the ducks” by purchasing two federal duck stamps this year. The purpose of the campaign is to show that hunters support the program and are willing to pay more for the duck stamp in order to conserve waterfowl habitat.
Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. Visit the DU website, www.ducks.org, for more information.