A painting of a single wood duck will appear on the 2012 United States federal duck stamp.Out of a field of 190 competitors, the acrylic painting by Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minn., was selected Oct. 28 as the winner in the annual federal duck stamp art contest.The contest took place at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W.Va.The win is Joseph Hautman’s fourth in the federal duck stamp art contest. His paintings have illustrated the $15 Spectacled Elder Duck stamp (Scott RW59) issued in 1992, the 2002 $15 Black Scoters stamp (RW69), and the 2008 $15 Northern Pintails stamp (RW75).
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service oversees the nation’s duck stamp program on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior. A panel of art, waterfowl and philatelic authorities is appointed by the Secretary of the Interior each year to judge the federal duck stamp art competition.Winners receive no compensation for their work other than a pane of stamps featuring their design. However, winning artists sell prints and reproductions of their artwork, which are sought after by hunters, conservationists and art collectors.The new federal duck stamps featuring Joseph Hautman’s wood duck painting will go on sale nationwide in late June 2012.In recent years, U.S. federal duck stamps have been issued in panes of 20 with water-activated adhesive, in an artist-signed pane of one with water-activated gum, and in a self-adhesive pane of one.The formats for the 2012 stamps have not been announced.
Although not valid for postage, federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamps, commonly known as duck stamps, are popular collectibles. They are listed and valued with U.S. revenue stamps in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, and in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, Vol. 1.