DEEP: CT Duck Stamp

Connecticut Migratory Bird
 Conservation Stamp Art Contest
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is holding an artistic competition to determine the image for the 2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp.
Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamps
 from 1993 through 2017

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The Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Program is a great example of how conservation works -- concerned citizens paying into a program that was formed to protect and enhance vital habitat. Over 3,145 acres of critical wetlands have been protected in our state using Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp funds. These wetlands benefit not only waterfowl, but also a multitude of other wildlife species like herons, egrets, fish, and amphibians.
  • Artists are invited to enter an original piece of artwork that depicts a waterfowl species (duck, goose, or brant) that occurs in Connecticut. Images that include a Connecticut scene or landmark in the background are preferred. The winning entry will be featured on the 2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp. (Full Contest Rules - PDF; Certificate of Entry - PDF)
  • Artwork may be in any full-color medium, including acrylic, oil, colored pencil, and watercolor.
  • The contest is open to all artists, regardless of residence, age, or experience.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy, general rendering, and suitability for reproduction. (Final Judging Criteria - PDF)
  • Entries for the CT Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Contest must be received in person or postmarked on or before April 15, 2017, to be eligible. (See Contest Rules for more information.)
American black duck Green-winged teal Ring-necked duck Surf scoter
American wigeon Harlequin Duck Ruddy duck White-winged scoter
Blue-winged teal Lesser scaup Wood Duck Atlantic Brant is NOT eligible
Bufflehead Long-tailed duck Common merganser Canada goose
Canvasback is NOT eligible Mallard Hooded merganser Snow goose
Common goldeneye Northern pintail Red-breasted merganser  
Gadwall Northern Shoveler is NOT eligible Common eider  
Greater scaup Redhead Black scoter  
A Junior Duck Stamp Competition is also held every year in Connecticut. It is sponsored by the Connecticut Waterfowlers Association (more details). Junior Duck Stamp contestants are urged to submit their artwork for Connecticut's Duck Stamp competition as well.
Purchase a CT Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp and Protect Our Cherished Wildlife Habitat!
Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp dollars deliver results for wildlife and habitat! Connecticut stamps can be purchased for $17 each wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold: participating town clerks, participating retail agents, DEEP License and Revenue (79 Elm Street in Hartford), and through the online Sportsmen's Licensing System. Upon request, stamps can be sent through the mail.
Conservation Edition Prints of Migratory Bird Conservation
Stamp Artwork Available for Purchase
{2017 Connecticut Duck Stamp}
Conservation Edition prints of the 2017 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created by nationally renowned artist Mark Thone are now available in limited quantity. Both remarqued and non-remarqued signed prints are available for sale: remarque prints cost $250 and the other versions are $200. Those interested in purchasing a print should email or call 860-418-5959. All proceeds from the purchase of these stunning prints will go into the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to be used for the enhancement of wetland and associated upland habitats in our state.
{2015 Connecticut Duck Stamp}
The 2015 Connecticut Duck Stamp print is available from Crittenden Studio. For more information and to order, visit
Print a full-color brochure on the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Art Contest (PDF).
History of CT’s Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Program
{1999 CT Duck Stamp} The Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Program was initiated in the early 1990s when concerned sportsmen worked with the DEEP to develop legislation that would generate revenue for wetland conservation. Modeled after the federal Duck Stamp Program, the Connecticut program requires the purchase of a state Duck Stamp, along with a hunting license, to legally hunt waterfowl in the state. By state law, funds generated from the sale of Duck Stamps can only be used for the development, management, preservation, conservation, acquisition, purchase, and maintenance of waterfowl habitat and wetlands, as well as the purchase and acquisition of recreational rights or interests relating to migratory birds.
The early state Duck Stamps featured waterfowl art from artists across North America. However, since 2003, the stamp has featured designs from local artists. In an effort to generate more interest in the Duck Stamp Program, with the goal of increasing stamp sales and revenues to improve wetland conservation, the DEEP is returning to the more appealing full-color format for stamps and holding a contest to select the artwork for the stamp. Art enthusiasts, stamp collectors, and conservationists can purchase as many stamps as they wish. Full-color prints may also be available at the discretion of the winning artist.
{2010-2011 CT Duck Stamp}
The first Connecticut Duck Stamp debuted in 1993 with a fee of $5.00. From 1993-2002, the sale of Duck Stamps and prints generated over $1.2 million in revenue. Print sales gradually declined over time and the print program was discontinued with the 2002 Duck Stamp. In order to maintain revenue for growing habitat conservation needs, the cost of the Connecticut stamp was increased to $10 in 2005 and $13 in 2010. Surveys conducted by the DEEP indicated that the majority of waterfowl hunters were behind increased stamp fees. Hunters and conservationists have consistently expressed strong support for the Duck Stamp Program and associated conservation projects. The sale of stamps alone currently generates approximately $50,000 per year.
  • {2000 CT Duck Stamp} Over 3,145 acres of wetlands have been restored or enhanced. Projects have encompassed nearly 50 sites, mostly on state-owned wildlife management areas. In 2011, two more projects, one in Tolland and another in Haddam, were completed using Duck Stamp funds.
  • Specialized large equipment was purchased to conduct extensive marsh restoration work, particularly along the coast.
  • A 75-acre addition to the Wangunk Meadows Wildlife Management Area in Portland was purchased.
  • Duck Stamp funds have generated additional monies for Connecticut through matching grants from federal conservation initiatives. By combining Duck Stamp funds with these additional monies, over $4 million have been available to complete wildlife conservation projects. Thus, Connecticut has received a 4:1 return on Duck Stamp monies.
  • The wetland restoration work funded by Duck Stamps has benefitted many wildlife species, including several designated as species of greatest conservation need in Connecticut’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
  • The Duck Stamp Program is a prime example of a user fee program that has greatly benefitted not only wildlife, but also the people of Connecticut by improving the health of our local environments.
Contest Entries for the 2017 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp 
In an extremely close contest, a panel of judges selected wildlife artist Mark Thone’s depiction of canvasbacks at the mouth of the Thames River as the winner of the 2016-17 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp Art Contest. Mark hails from Shakopee, Minnesota, and is new to Connecticut’s Duck Stamp contest. His painting was chosen out of 18 entries submitted by artists from across the country, including seven from Connecticut, and will be the image for the 2017 Connecticut Duck Stamp. A pair of common mergansers with their brood painted by Frank Dolphens of Omaha, Nebraska, was voted a very close second. A tie for third place was between a painting of two gadwall by Broderick Crawford and a blue winged teal painted by last year’s second place artist, Christine Clayton. The DEEP Wildlife Division encourages local artists to submit paintings for the next contest for the 2018 Duck Stamp.
Mark Thone's artwork has placed in the top group in numerous state stamp competitions, and he was recently the winner for the 2016 Nevada Duck Stamp. When Mark saw a picture of the New London Ledge Lighthouse, he was inspired to paint a group of canvasbacks flying by the lighthouse as his entry for the Connecticut Duck Stamp Contest.

Use the buttons below the artwork to view the other contest entries.

Entry 1 of 12
Young Connecticut artists in kindergarten through grade twelve are encouraged to submit their artwork of a waterfowl species in the Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp competition sponsored by the Connecticut Waterfowler Association (CWA). Students are judged in four groups according to grade level. Three first, second, and third place entries are selected for each group. A “Best of Show” is selected by the judges from the 12 first-place winners. The “Best of Show” is then entered into the national Junior Duck Stamp Contest. The first place design from the national contest is used to create a Junior Duck Stamp for the following year. Junior Duck Stamps are sold by the U.S. Postal Service for $5 each. Proceeds support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for the students, teachers, and schools that participate in the program.

The deadline for submitting artwork for the next Junior Duck Stamp Competition is March 15, 2017. Questions and artwork should be submitted to Connecticut Waterfowler Association, c/o Chris Samor, 29 Bower Hill Rd., Oxford, CT 06478.
More information about the Junior Duck Stamp Program is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site.
Connecticut Junior Duck Stamp Artist Placed Second in the 2012 National Competition
An original painting of a drake wood duck by Avon High School senior Matthew Messina, of Avon, was chosen as Best of Show in the 2012 Connecticut Duck Stamp competition. Matthew’s painting was sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to compete in the national 2012 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest, and it was awarded with second place.

Content last updated on October 19, 2016.