Haut­man wins duck stamp con­test again

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake

The great bas­ket­ball coach John Wooden fa­mously said, “Win­ning takes ta­lent. To re­peat takes char­ac­ter.”

Wooden knew a lot about win­ning. No other coach ever led a team to more than two NCAA cham­pi­onships in a row; UCLA won seven in a row un­der Wooden’s lead­er­ship. Ever yone knows there’s more to be a cham­pion than raw ta­lent. It takes hard work, prac­tice, per­sis­tence and some­times a lit­tle bit of luck doesn’t hurt.

Jim Haut­man, an artist from Chaska, Minn., knows a lot about win­ning, too. In Philadel­phia this past week­end, Haut­man was crowned the win­ner of the 2016 Fed­eral Duck Stamp Art Con­test for the fifth time. His il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer spans over 25 years of paint­ing award-win­ning wildlife im­ages and on Satur­day he proved he still has what it takes to be a cham­pion.

His win­ning paint­ing of a trio of Canada geese will be made into the 2017-2018 Fed­eral Mi­gra­tory Bird Hunt­ing and Conser va­tion Stamp, or “Duck Stamp,” which will go on sale in late June 2017.

His win­ning streak be­gan in 1990 when he be­came the youngest ever win­ner of this pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion. And in 1995 he won again, gar­ner­ing the first-ever per­fect score for his paint­ing of a mal­lard. Haut­man went on to earn another per­fect score in 1999. His fourth win was for the 20112012 stamp. To date his art­work has been fea­tured on 23 dif­fer­ent con­ser­va­tion stamps.

If you’re won­der­ing why he doesn’t have any back-to-back wins, it’s be­cause the con­test rules state the first-place win­ner can’t com­pete for the next two years, maybe so other peo­ple have a chance to win. Other peo­ple like Jim’s two broth­ers, Joe and Bob.

Jim is not the only tal­ented artist from the Haut­man fam­ily. He is tied with his brother Joe, a for­mer physi­cist, for the most Fed­eral Duck Stamp Con­test wins. Joe was not el­i­gi­ble to com­pete in this year’s con­test since he won last year. Their other brother, Bob, has two wins un­der his belt. Bob’s ren­di­tion of a pair of Canada geese came in third this year. In 2015, this fam­ily of ex­cep­tional artists made his­tory when the broth­ers placed first, sec­ond and third in the con­test. Be­tween them they have won the con­test 12 times.

The Haut­man fam­ily has built quite a duck stamp dy­nasty. In fact, they are so well known they were men­tioned by name in an Academy Award-win­ning film. At the end of the movie “Fargo,” Norm Gun­der­son tells his wife Marge that his mal­lard made the three-cent stamp, but “Haut­man’s blue-winged teal got the 29-cent.” It prob­a­bly helped that the Haut­man broth­ers grew up in St. Louis Park, Minn., and were child­hood friends of some other

fa­mous broth­ers from St. Louis Park, Joel and Ethan Coen, the duo who wrote and di­rected “Fargo.”

The Fed­eral Duck Stamp Con­test is the only ju­ried art com­pe­ti­tion spon­sored by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. Any artist 18 years or older may en­ter a paint­ing and more than 100 mas­ter­pieces vie each year to be picked to grace the front of the stamp. This year, the judges had to nar­row down the field of 152 en­tries to eight fi­nal­ists. The con­test rules iden­tify the el­i­gi­ble species for the stamp and this year’s species were the Canada goose, brant, north­ern shov­eler, red-breasted mer­ganser and Steller’s ei­der.

The 2016-2017 Fed­eral Duck Stamp is now on sale. It fea­tures a pair of trum­peter swans painted by Joe Haut­man and costs $25 apiece. Wa­ter­fowl hunters na­tion­wide 16 and older are re­quired to pur­chase and carry the cur­rent Mi­gra­tory Bird Con­ser­va­tion and Hunt­ing Stamp. In Mar yland, hunters are re­quired to buy the Mary­land Mi­gra­tory Game Bird Stamp for $9 as well.

And if you want to see the orig­i­nal Duck Stamp art, the top en­tries each year, along with win­ning en­try from the Fed­eral Ju­nior Duck Stamp Con­test, go on a tour across the na­tion to be ex­hib­ited at mu­se­ums, refuges and fes­ti­vals. South­ern Mary­lan­ders can take a short drive to Eas­ton to see the works of art in per­son at the 2016 Eas­ton Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val, held Nov. 10 to 13.

The stamp is pur­chased by a much larger group of peo­ple than just duck hunters. Any­one can help sup­port con­ser­va­tion by buy­ing a stamp. Fish­er­men, wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers, stamp and art col­lec­tors, bird­ers and out­door en­thu­si­asts of­ten pur­chase the stamp to sup­port the con­ser­va­tion and preser­va­tion of habi­tat for birds and other wildlife.

Ninety-eight per­cent of the pro­ceeds go to the Mi­gra­tory Bird Con­ser­va­tion Fund, which is fo­cused on pur­chas­ing habi­tat for in­clu­sion into the Na­tional Wildlife Refuge Sys­tem. Since 1934, sales have helped pro­tect more than 5.7 mil­lion acres of bird and wildlife habi­tat.

In ad­di­tion to serv­ing as a hunt­ing li­cense, a cur­rent Duck Stamp is a free pass to any na­tional wildlife refuge that charges an en­try fee. A stamp can be pur­chased at sport­ing goods stores, many wildlife refuges, through the U.S. Postal Ser­vice or on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice web­site.

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