DEEP: CT Duck Stamp

Connecticut Migratory Bird
 Conservation Stamp Art Contest
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection holds an annual artistic competition to determine the images for the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp.
Contest Entries for the 2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp 

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

Entry 1 of 12
In a contest filled with great artwork, a panel of judges selected world renowned and Connecticut artist Chet Reneson’s depiction of a pair of surf scoters flying at the mouth of the Connecticut River with the Saybrook Jetty and Lighthouse in the background as the winner of the 2017-2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp Art Contest. Chet has been painting and carving for over half a century and resides in Lyme. His painting was chosen out of a total of 22 entries submitted by artists from across the country, including a record 12 from Connecticut artists. His painting will be the image for the 2018 Connecticut Duck Stamp. A pair of American black ducks flying in front of Gillette Castle and the Chester Ferry painted by Broderick Crawford of Georgia placed second. Broderick’s artwork has placed third twice and this was the second time his work has been runner-up. Third place went to the Clayton Family of Ohio for a painting of a pair of Canada geese painted by Matt Clayton. The Clayton Family has submitted artwork every year, and Christine placed second in 2015 and third in 2016. The DEEP Wildlife Division encourages local artists to submit paintings for the next contest for the 2019 Duck Stamp.
The Winning Artist: Chet Reneson was born and raised in Connecticut. He developed an interest in drawing and painting at a very early age and, by the age of 12, was producing exceptionally detailed drawings and paintings. Over the past 50 years, his work, particularly his watercolor paintings, have attracted and been highly sought after by collectors and sportsmen alike. Chet has won a number of prestigious awards, such as being named Artist of the Year by Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and the Atlantic Salmon Federation. The Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp Contest is Chet’s first win in such a contest, but merely for a lack of entering his artwork in such affairs. Never shying away from hard work, much of Chet’s artistic work has reflected the passions of his life and experiences. Chet has always enjoyed hunting and fishing and, as the years have passed, he now concentrates on hunting upland game birds and fishing for landlocked salmon and brook trout. He taught his son and grandchildren the crafts of the sporting trade and continues to run his hunting dogs on a daily basis.
Conservation Edition Prints of the 2018 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp created Chet Reneson are now available in limited quantity. Signed prints sell for $200 each, and all proceeds from the purchase of these stunning prints will go into the Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. Those interested in purchasing a print should contact DEEP Wildlife Division biologist Min Huang at or 860-418-5959.
View the Winning Entries at Sessions Woods: The top three paintings for the 2017-2018 Contest will be on display through the end of September 2017 at the Wildlife Division's Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center in Burlington (341 Milford Street, Route 69). The Education Center is open to the public on Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30 AM-4:00 PM.
Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation Stamps
 from 1993 through 2018

Image 1 of 12
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.
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.
Protect Our Cherished Wildlife Habitat -- Purchase a CT Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp!
Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp dollars deliver results for wildlife and habitat! Migratory bird hunters are required to purchase a Connecticut stamp to participate in migratory bird hunting seasons. Other licensed hunters are encouraged to purchase a Connecticut Duck Stamp (even if they do not participate in the migratory bird hunting seasons) to show their support for the conservation and purchase of wetland habitats. Hunters can purchase stamps 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.
Nonhunters and others who wish to support wetland habitat protection can also purchase Connecticut stamps for $17 from the online Sportsmen's Licensing System under the "Other" category. Those who are not already licensed hunters or anglers will need to get a Conservation ID number to use the site. Stamps can also be purchased at  DEEP License and Revenue in person or by sending a check for $17 to DEEP License and Revenue, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106 (ordered stamps will 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.
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 Waterfowl 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, 2018. Questions and artwork should be submitted to Connecticut Waterfowl Association, c/o Chris Samorajczyk, 29 Bowers Hill Rd., Oxford, CT 06478.
More information about the Junior Duck Stamp Program is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site.

Content last updated on November 8, 2017.