Duck Stamp Contest
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Minnesota Man Wins Duck Stamp Art Contest for a Record-Tying Sixth Time

The annual Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest has its 2022 winner. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Minnesota resident Joseph Hautman has won the contest for a record-tying sixth time. His entry this year was an acrylic painting of three tunda swans in flight.

With this win, Joseph now ties his brother Jim's record for most times winning the contest. Between Jim, Joseph, and their other brother, Robert, the three Hautman brothers have won the contest a staggering 15 times. This year Robert took third place, and second place went to Frank Mittelstadt of Wisconsin.

Joseph has claimed more than just the bragging rights of first place. His winning painting will grace the annual Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation stamp in 2023-2024. Every year, these duck stamps are required for waterfowlers nationwide. They are sold for $25 each and generate up to $40 million in sales annually for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. These Duck Stamps are immensely popular for the artwork, even among non-hunters.

The agency then puts funds generated by Duck Stamp sales right back into conservation efforts, especially National Wildlife Refuge areas that host wetlands. The USFWS also uses the funds to acquire new tracts of land which are then opened to public hunting. In a press release, they note that Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland approved allocating an additional $105 million, most of which is money from Duck Stamps, into purchasing new tracts of public land. Considering that a place to hunt is the primary concern for many hunters, opening new opportunities has been a huge driver of hunter recruitment efforts for many states. The USFWS again thanked all this years' entrants.

"The Duck Stamp Contest is one of my very favorite events every year!" Service Director Martha Williams said in press release. "I am always impressed with the caliber of the 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.

To learn more about the Duck Stamp contest, visit the USFWS webpage. All the entries can be seen on their Flickr page.

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