US Stamps

FWS removes hunting element requirement from duck stamp contest rules

Aug 26, 2021, 10 AM
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced in late August that beginning with the 2022 federal duck stamp art contest, artists will no longer be required to include a hunting element in their submissions. The 2021 federal duck stamp issued June 25 pictures a lesser scaup drake. Duck calls and a lanyard are seen floating in the water at lower left.

By Linn's Staff

Beginning with the 2022 federal duck stamp art contest, artists will no longer be required to include a hunting element in their submissions, according to information from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, which issues and markets the annual migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp known as the federal duck stamp, announced Aug. 24 that it has published final regulations for its contest that chooses the artwork for the annual stamp.

“This final rule removes the ‘celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage’ theme and the mandatory inclusion of an appropriate hunting element beginning with the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Contest; changes the judging requirements to consider that the entries reflect this theme; and revises the qualifications for selection as a judge,” the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The inclusion of an element “celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage” was added to the duck stamp art rules in 2020.

“Since the implementation of the 2020 final regulations, which made the hunting theme a permanent requirement, many stakeholders and artists have continued to express their dissatisfaction with this element being mandatory for all entries,” the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The hunting theme requirement was first applied for the 2018 federal duck stamp art contest, which selected the art that eventually appeared on the federal stamp issued in 2019.

The 2019 $25 stamp (Scott RW86) reproduces Scot Storm’s painting of a wood duck in the foreground and a hunter’s decoy.

Initially a single-year change only, the revision was given permanent status for the 2021 stamp and beyond.

The Fish and Wildlife Service advises that all artwork submitted for the Sept. 24-25, 2021, art contest to decide the design of the 2022 federal duck stamp will need to follow the current existing regulation that requires the depiction of a hunting element.

To view a copy of the final rule and public comments, search for “Docket Number: FWS-HQ-MB-2021-0048” on the Regulations.gov website.

Information about the federal duck stamp program can be found on the Fish and Wildlife Service website.

Though not valid for postage, duck stamps are popularly collected and listed in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers under the heading Hunting Permit Stamps.

Since the duck stamp program was established in 1934, sales of the federal duck stamp to hunters, bird-watchers, outdoor enthusiasts and collectors have raised more than $1 billion to conserve over 6 million acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife and provide countless opportunities for hunting and other wildlife-oriented recreation on public lands in the United States.

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