Will 2013 be the first year since 2007 that a Louisiana resident wins Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' annual Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Contest?
LDWF has announced the rules and timeframe for its open competition commonly know as Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest.
"Since our competition returned to a featured waterfowl species selected by the artist for the 2010 stamp, the quality of the entries and eventual winner has been outstanding," LDWF Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds said. "The pair of American wigeon that will grace the 2012 Louisiana Duck Stamp is another incredible example."
For the fourth consecutive year, artists may choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana except Northern pintail, Wood duck, or American wigeon. An associated habitat is required.
"The primary objective of this program is to provide revenue to create, enhance, and maintain habitat for waterfowl and associated wetland wildlife," Reynolds said. "So a habitat component is required in each entry and is one of the five judging criteria."
Jeffery Klinefelter of Etna Green, Indiana, who also won the contest in 2008, took home first place in the 2012 competition with his painting of a male and female American wigeon at a marsh edge.
Tom Crain of Branson, Missouri came in second place, and third place went to 2009 winner Anthony Padgett from Noblesville, Indiana.
Lafayette native Tony Bernard won the contest in 2007 after placing second in 2004 and 2006, and third in 2005. His painting of a chocolate Labrador gazing into the horizon as a flock of mallards descends into a body of water edged out Klinefelter, who took second that year.
"It was tense sitting there watching this take place," Bernard said. "I knew it would be close, but I didn't know there would be a tie. It was just an awesome feeling to win."
The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana's ducks and geese.
During the last 23 years, more than $11 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $5 million spent on land acquisition. Revenues have supported wetland development projects on Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited and the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.
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 Monday, October 15 through Tuesday, October 23. The contest will be held in the Louisiana Room at the LDWF Headquarters building starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 24. The public is invited to attend.
For more information about the contest, contact Larry Reynolds at email@example.com or 225-765-0456.