Officials aim to put hunting emphasis back into federal duck stamp
By Chris Eger
With the theme of “Celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage,” entries have to include not only the required fowl but also hunting accessories in their art. (Photo: MDWFP)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced the upcoming contest for the country’s next duck stamp will include a hunting-related aspect to the art.
Besides duck and goose hunters who have to have the stamp to stay legal, many stamps are purchased each year by avid collectors, birdwatchers and wildlife groups, in all generating $40 million annually for conservation efforts — and entries for the 2018 Duck Stamp Contest will have to include, besides a stunning image of waterfowl, a visual element that features hunting. The move is part of an overall effort by the Trump administration to grow the number of sportsmen taking to the country’s woods.
“Hunters have always been a crucial piece in conserving America’s natural resources, with the Duck Stamp being one of the greatest examples,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt in a statement. “It’s incredibly appropriate that this year’s contest theme would be ‘Celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage.’ I learned the greatest life lessons a boy could learn with a shotgun in hand from the inside