The importance of and attention to duck stamps was recently highlighted in a segment on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” showcasing the at times beautiful, controversial and hilarious nature of the federal program.

And much like the national competition, California’s duck stamp contest will help waterfowl conservation projects throughout the state, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) said.

“Since 1971, CDFW’s annual contest has attracted top wildlife artists from around the country,” CDFW said. “All proceeds generated from stamp sales go directly to waterfowl conservation projects throughout California. In past years, hunters were required to purchase and affix the stamp to their hunting license. Now California has moved to an automated licensing system and hunters are no longer required to carry the physical stamps in the field (proof of purchase prints directly onto the license).” 

To help with that conservation effort, CDFW recently announced that artists can submit their original artwork for the 2022/23 California Duck Stamp Art Contest through June 10.

CDFW said the artwork submitted must depict the species selected by the California Fish and Game Commission for the 2022/23 hunting season, the Canada goose.

“These large, easily recognizable waterfowl are the most widespread goose in North America and are found in a wide variety of habitats in California,” the CDFW said. “While some nest in the state, others continue the age-old migration along the Pacific Flyway, flying north in the spring and south in the fall – a journey of up to 2,500 miles.”

The winning artwork will be featured on the 2022/23 California Duck Stamp and the top submissions are traditionally showcased at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s art show scheduled to take place in July, CDFW said.

“The design is to be in full color and in the medium (or combination of mediums) of the artist’s choosing, except that no photographic process, digital art, metallic paints or fluorescent paints may be used in the finished design,” CDFW said. “Photographs, computer-generated art, art produced from a computer printer or other computer/mechanical output device (air brush method excepted) are not eligible for entry and will be disqualified. The design must be the contestant’s original hand-drawn creation. The entry design may not be copied or duplicated from previously published art, including photographs, or from images in any format published on the Internet.”

While those who enter don’t have to reside in California, the contest is only open to U.S. residents who are 18 and older as of March 22.

All entries must be accompanied by a completed participation agreement and entry form. Forms and official rules are available at wildlife.ca.gov/duck-stamp/contest. Entries will be judged in June by a panel that will consist of experts in the fields of ornithology, conservation, and art and printing. There will be first, second and third-place winners, as well as honorable mention.

CDFW said stamps can be requested by interested individuals at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps.

Recommended for you