The 2018-2019 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps are now on sale.

One of the easiest ways that anyone can support conservation is by buying Federal Duck Stamps. While waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older are required to purchase them, anyone can participate in conservation by buying Duck Stamps.

In addition to serving as a hunting license and conservation tool, a current Federal Duck Stamp is also a free pass to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee. Nearly all of the purchase price, or 98 percent, by law, goes directly to help protect wetlands and associated habitats.

In addition to being the only conservation revenue stamp, the Federal Duck Stamp is also unique in the way the stamp is created. Each year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service holds an art contest, the only juried art competition sponsored by the federal government.

Bob Hautman, an artist from Delano, Minn., takes his third Federal Duck Stamp Contest win as his acrylic painting of a pair of mallards adorns into the 2018-2019 Duck Stamp. His art previously appeared on the 1997-1998 and 2001-2002 stamps.

But creative talent is a family tradition as Hautman’s brothers, Jim and Joe, are also multiple Duck Stamp artists, having each won the contest five times.

The winner of the 2018 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is an acrylic painting of an emperor goose by Rayen Kang of Johns Creek, Georgia. This $5 stamp has become a much sought after collector’s item. One hundred percent of the revenue from the sale of Junior Duck stamps goes to support recognition and environmental education activities for students who participate in the program.

The sale of the new duck stamp was kicked off last Friday at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Hanover, Maryland.

Source: USFWS