Joseph Hautman wins the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Contest

On September 24, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced the winner of the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota took home the top prize with a painting of three tundra swans flying over an area wetland. His acrylic painting will be featured on the 2023-2024 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, which is more commonly known as the “Duck Stamp”.

Federal duck stamps have been required of every statewide waterfowl hunter since the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act of 1934, which was conceived by former Field & Flow editor Ray P. Holland. Other birders and conservationists may also purchase the stamp on a voluntary basis. The act has become a cornerstone of US wetland conservation and has funded the acquisition and conservation of more than 6 million acres through the National Wildlife Refuge System. Today, the stamp costs $25 a pop and garners roughly $40 million in sales each year. The duck stamp for each year is chosen through an open public competition.

three tundra swans fly in the painting
Hautman’s painting beat 187 other entries. Joseph Hautman

“The Duck Stamp Contest is one of my very favorite events every year,” USFWS Director Martha Williams said in a press release. “I am always impressed with the caliber of art presented, and each entry reminds us of the beauty of the natural world that the duck seal was created to protect. I encourage everyone to buy a duck stamp as it has a real impact on preserving wetland habitats for waterfowl and many other species of wildlife.”

Read more: Field & Stream wins auction on John Oliver’s Duck Hunt duck stamp

It is not the first time that Hautman takes first place in the competition. In fact, he and his brother James Hautman — who won last year’s contest — are something of a duck stamp con artist. With the latest win, both Hautman brothers have won six federal duck stamp contests each. Hautman’s entry won out 187 entries, including 54 finalists.

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