US Stamps

2023 Tundra Swans federal duck stamp to be issued June 23 in Memphis

Jun 7, 2023, 9 AM
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s federal duck stamp to be issued June 23 features Joseph Hautman’s acrylic painting of three tundra swans flying over a wetland.

By Charles Snee

Minnesota artist Joseph Hautman’s acrylic painting of a trio of tundra swans in flight over a wetland is featured on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s federal duck stamp that will be issued June 23 in Memphis, Tenn.

A first-day ceremony for the federal stamp and the 2023 junior duck stamp is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid Memphis, 1 Bass Pro Drive, Memphis, Tenn. Doors for the store open at 9 a.m.

Of 187 entries submitted to the 2022 federal duck stamp art contest held online Sept. 23-24, 54 entries (including Hautman’s) made it to the final round of judging. Eligible species for this year’s duck stamp contest were the tundra (whistling) swan, mottled duck, American green-winged teal, American wigeon and Barrow’s goldeneye.

Frank Mittelstadt of Beaver Dam, Wis., placed second with his acrylic painting of tundra swans, and Robert Hautman of Delano, Minn., took third place with his acrylic painting of an American wigeon.

The Hautman brothers — James, Joseph and Robert — have collectively won the duck stamp art contest a record 15 times. James notched the most recent win; his painting of a pair of redheads floating on water appears on the 2022 $25 duck stamp (Scott RW89).

Robert’s painting of a pair of mallards in flight appears on the 2018 $25 duck stamp (Scott RW85). The 2017 $25 duck stamp features James’ painting of Canada geese (RW84).

Joseph last came out on top in the 2015 contest, when his painting of two trumpeter swans was selected to appear on the 2016 $25 duck stamp (Scott RW83).

Serving as judges for the 2022 contest were artist Sean Murtha, philatelist Richard Houk, conservation partners Marshall Johnson and Paul Schmidt, and waterfowl biologist and conservation partner Christopher Nicolai.

The U.S. migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp, commonly known as the federal duck stamp, is issued annually by the Fish and Wildlife Service to serve as a permit for waterfowl hunting, and as a collectible for fans of wildlife art and conservation efforts.

Although not valid for postage, duck stamps are sold by the U.S. Postal Service at post offices (in single-stamp panes only) and through its Stamp Fulfillment Services division in Kansas City, Mo. They are also available at selected national wildlife refuges and sporting goods retailers and from Amplex Corp.

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