The US Fish and Wildlife Service asked the artists entering this year’s duck stamp competition to work with theme, waterfowl hunting. That hasn’t been popular in the artistic community.
Some artists feel sidelined by the decision. Last year, the [US Fish and Wildlife Service] requested the artists’ thoughts on the new rule. Most people opposed it, but the USFWS “railroaded it through”, said Richard Clifton, a wildlife artist and this year’s winner. His picture shows a single lesser scaup drake, and a lost duck call in the water beside it.
“I’m a pretty big-time waterfowl hunter, but I didn’t feel like [this rule] was necessary. Waterfowl hunters are going to buy the stamp regardless. [I’m not sure] why there’s a need to appease them,” said Clifton. “By mandating it, it puts a wrench into your design. Personally, I’d rather see the paintings be more about the duck.”