New Federal and Junior Duck Stamps now on sale
The 83rd Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, as it is officially called, debuted at a special event on June 24 hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Bass Pro Shops’ flagship retail store in Springfield, Mo.
The stamp features a pair of trumpeter swans in flight painted by wildlife artist Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minn. Last fall, a panel of five judges chose Hautman’s art from among 157 entries at the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, held at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W.Va. This was Hautman’s fifth Federal Duck Stamp Contest win, tying him as the leading Duck Stamp artist of all time.
A pair of Ross’s geese painted by Stacy Shen, 16, of Fremont, Calif., is depicted on the new Junior Duck Stamp, which is also now on sale. Shen’s art was chosen from among best-of-show winners from states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories at the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest held in April at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Fla.
The stamps are available for purchase online, at many sporting goods and retail stores, and some post offices (Federal stamps only), and at some national wildlife refuges.
The Federal Duck Stamp program has raised more than $800 million to protect more than 5.7 million acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife. The effort has been fueled largely by waterfowl hunters, who are required to buy a Duck Stamp each year. Birders and other outdoors enthusiasts, artists, and stamp collectors also buy the stamps, recognizing their benefit to species and habitat conservation beyond waterfowl and their artistic value.
Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from Duck Stamp sales go to the Migratory Bird Conser vation Fund, which supports wetland acquisition and conser vation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
A current Federal Duck Stamp is also good for free admission to any refuge that charges an entr y fee. Of the more than 560 refuges, many offer outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.
The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is the culmination of a year-long educational program that helps students learn about wetlands and waterfowl conservation, explore their natural world, and create a painting or drawing of a duck, goose, or swan as their “visual term paper” to demonstrate what they learned.
The winning art at a national contest is made into a stamp the service sells for $5 to conservationists, educators, students, and the public. Proceeds support conservation education. Since the first Junior Duck Stamps went on sale in 1993, well over $1 million has been raised, which has been re-invested in this arts and science education program.
The 2016 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest to select the 2017 stamp will be held Sept. 9 and 10 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. * * * Youth fishing derbyElks Lodge #1622 of Easton is sponsoring a free youth fishing derby from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 9, for Caroline and Talbot county youth grades K-8 at the Bay Street Ponds in Easton.
The rain-or-shine event will include pond fishing, metal detecting, face painting, the Phillips Aquatic Bus, and more. Awards will be offered for three age groups for the largest and most fish. There will also be raffles and give-a-ways. Lunch and Rita’s Ices will be ser ved. Pre-registration is requested online (elks1622.org/fishingderby. html). * * * Duck blind know-it-all Ant larvae are digestible clumps of fat and protein and are the main source of animal protein for black bears over much of temperate North America. Follow me on Twitter @csknauss Email me at email@example.com
Easton’s Clay Schmidt, left, works the ball on offense during Freestate 2018s’ 13-8 victory over Wavelax, Thursday evening at Annapolis High School. Schmidt scored four goals to lead Freestate.