LDWF announces 2023 Louisiana Duck Stamp contest

The winning 2022 Louisiana Duck Stamp by Louisiana's Elaine Erikson. (Photo courtesy LDWF)
The winning 2022 Louisiana Duck Stamp by Louisiana's Elaine Erikson. (Photo courtesy LDWF)

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced the rules and timeframe for the 2023 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp, or Louisiana Duck Stamp, competition.

“Bufflehead will be the featured species in this year’s competition,” said Jason Olszak, LDWF’s Waterfowl Program Manager.

The bufflehead, closely related to the goldeneyes, is North America’s smallest diving duck and is comparable in size to the more common green-winged teal. Aptly named after its resemblance to a bull bison’s head, the buffalo-headed duck is also commonly referred to as a butterball.

Less sociable than other diving ducks, buffleheads are not often found in large rafts on big water, but rather in small flocks or pairs in mostly saline marsh pools and coastal estuaries throughout the late-winter in Louisiana. Like wood ducks and goldeneyes, the bufflehead is a cavity nester but specializes in smaller cavities created by the northern flicker, reducing competition for nest sites by the larger birds. Consequently, their breeding range encompasses wooded regions in the Aspen Parklands and Boreal Forests of northern Canada and Alaska.

The 2022 contest was restricted to designs featuring fulvous whistling ducks. Louisiana’s own Elaine Erikson’s mesmerizing painting of a resting pair continued a long tradition of excellent stamp designs. The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp bearing that design will go on sale June 1, 2022.

The 2023 contest will be restricted to designs with the bufflehead as the focal species. Artists are also reminded of the requirement for associated habitat.

“The primary objective of this program is to provide revenue to create, enhance and maintain habitat for waterfowl and associated wetland wildlife,” Olszak said, “so a habitat component is required in each entry and is one of the five judging criteria.”

To enter, an artist must submit an original, unpublished work of art, along with a signed and notarized artist’s agreement and a $50 entry fee. Entries should be addressed to:

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attn: Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Program
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Entries will be accepted from Oct. 17-Oct. 25, 2022, with the contest to be held in the Joe Herring Louisiana Room at the LDWF Headquarters building, beginning at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26, 2022. The public is invited to attend.

Please visit these links to fill out the 2023 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition artist agreement and see the full list of rules:

https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/assets/Hunting/Waterfowl/Files/2023-duck-stamp-agreement.pdf

https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/assets/Hunting/Waterfowl/Files/2023-duck-stamp-contest-rules.pdf

The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988. The program was created to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana.

During the last 25 years, more than $15 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $6 million spent on land acquisition. In addition, revenue has supported wetland development projects on Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.

Judging for the art competition will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Accuracy of form, size, proportion, color and posture.
  2. Level and accuracy of detail in all aspects of the waterfowl.
  3. Appropriateness, accuracy and detail in depiction of the habitat.
  4. Attractiveness and creativity in composition, subject, background and lighting.
  5. Suitability for reproduction as stamps and prints.

A panel of judges with experience in waterfowl biology and/or artistic method will select the winning design. The competition is open to all artists 18 years of age and older. Employees of LDWF and members of their immediate families are ineligible.

For more information, go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/louisiana-duck-stamp.

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