Joseph Hautman, an artist from Plymouth, Minn., is the winner of the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest.
The announcement was made by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va., during the annual art competition.
This is Hautman's fourth Federal Duck Stamp Contest win. His art previously appeared on the 1992-1993, 2002-2003 and 2008-2009 Federal Duck Stamps.
Hautman's acrylic painting of a single wood duck will be made into the 2012-13 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2012. The service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $15 and raises about $25 million each year to provide critical funds for conserving wetlands for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people.
Of 190 entries in this year's two-day competition, 32 entries made it through to the final round of judging.
Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp -- commonly known as the Duck Stamp. Conservationists, stamp collectors and others must also purchase the stamp in support of habitat conservation.
Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from the $15 Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports the purchase of acres of wetlands for inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps have helped to purchase nearly six million acres of wildlife habitat for the Refuge System. To date, Duck Stamp funds have been used to acquire habitat at hundreds of refuges in nearly every state. There are 555 national wildlife refuges spread across all 50 states and U.S. territories.
A current Duck Stamp may also be used for free admission to any national wildlife refuge open to the public. Refuges offer unparalleled recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.