A trio of brothers from Minnesota made history recently as they took the top three spots in the 2015 Federal Duck Stamp art contest. The announcement was made by Jerome Ford, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Director for Migratory Birds, at the annual art contest, held at the National Conservation Training Center, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, won the contest with his acrylic painting of a pair of trumpeter swans. This is Hautman's fifth Federal Duck Stamp contest win, making him one of only two artists to have his art appear on five duck stamps.
Hautman's painting will be made into the 2016-2017 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2016. The Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $25 and raises about $25 million each year to provide critical funds to conserve and protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people.
Robert Hautman of Delano, Minnesota, placed second with his acrylic painting of a pair of mallards. Robert has won the Federal Duck Stamp contest twice.
James Hautman of Chaska, Minnesota, took third place with his acrylic painting of a pair of mallards. He is a four-time winner of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.
Among them, the Hautmans have won 11 Federal Duck Stamp contests.
Of 157 entries in this year's competition, 10 made it to the final round of judging. Eligible species for this year's contest were the blue-winged teal, cinnamon teal, gadwall, mallard and trumpeter swan.
"I congratulate Joseph Hautman on his win and the entire Hautman family on their artistic talent," Ford said. "This is not just any piece of art, but one whose impact will be felt for generations to come. Duck Stamps have helped to protect more than six-and-a-half million acres of waterfowl habitat in our National Wildlife Refuge System; now that is a lasting legacy.
"Buying Federal Duck Stamps remains the simplest way to make a difference in conserving our nation's birds and their habitats. For more than 80 years hunters, bird watchers and millions of people who simply care about the environment have 'put their stamp on conservation' with their Duck Stamp purchases."
Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current Federal Duck Stamp. Conservationists, stamp collectors and others may purchase the stamp in support of habitat conservation. A current Duck Stamp can be used for free admission to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee.
Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from sale of the Federal Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports the purchase of migratory bird habitat for inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System. You can contribute to conservation by buying Federal Duck Stamps at many national wildlife refuges, sporting-goods stores and other retailers through the U.S. Postal Service or online HERE.
You can see a gallery of all 2015 Federal Duck Stamp Contest entries HERE.