The federal duck stamp program is making national headlines this week. James Hautman, of Chaska, Minn., was announced as the winner of the 2016 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest on Saturday, Sept. 10. And on Wednesday, Sept. 14, a new documentary about the duck stamp program will make its television debut.
Hautman’s painting of a trio of Canada geese took top honors at this year’s contest and will appear on the 2017-2018 duck stamp, which will go on sale in June 2017. This is Hautman’s fifth Federal Duck Stamp Contest win, tying him with his brother Joseph for most duck stamp contest titles.
The documentary, The Million Dollar Duck, follows six wildlife artists from different walks of life as they vie to win the 2013 contest. Funded in part by Ducks Unlimited, the film was directed by Brian Golden Davis and produced by Mark Jonathan Harris and Richard Prager. The documentary won the Audience Award for Documentary Feature and Jury Award for Documentary Feature earlier this year at the Slamdance Film Festival. It will air Sept. 14 on Animal Planet at 9 p.m. Eastern.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $25 and raises about $25 million each year to conserve and protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System. To date, duck stamps have helped protect more than 6.5 million acres of waterfowl habitat.
Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current stamp when they hunt. Conservationists, stamp collectors and others may also purchase the stamp to support wildlife conservation. A current duck stamp can also be used for free admission to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee.