By Starrla Cray
DELANO, WATERTOWN, MN With 60 acres of natural splendor and hundreds of wildlife paintings to match, it’s no surprise that artist Bob Hautman of Delano was recently inducted into the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame.
“Bob stands out for his artistic contributions and his love for nature,” Minnesota Waterfowl Association (MWA) executive director Brad Nylin noted. “He has won the Federal Duck Stamp contest two times, generating millions of dollars for habitat in Minnesota and in the country. The sales of duck stamps go directly toward building better and more habitat on the landscape.”
The MWA launched the hall of fame in 2010 to honor Minnesotans for their efforts on behalf of waterfowl conservation, wetland habitat, and wildlife and waterfowl hunting.
“I feel pretty honored to be selected in that group,” Hautman said. “A lot of people do more with conservation than I do.”
Hautman and his wife, Dodie Logue, purchased their farmstead in 1998, restoring 60 acres of the property with prairie and wetlands.
“I wanted to create a habitat for wildlife,” Hautman said. “We can’t pave and plow every inch.”
Hautman seeded the land with seven different grasses and 10 to 15 types of flowers. The first few years, he trimmed it to 8 inches to keep weeds from invading.
Now, Hautman and Logue are reaping the benefits with an abundance of deer, coyotes, foxes, mink, turkeys, and songbirds.
“It’s really nice,” Hautman said, adding that the landscape provides constant inspiration for his artwork.
For more than 25 years, Hautman has been a full-time artist who specializes in acrylic paintings of waterfowl and other wildlife.
He has won the Minnesota Pheasant Stamp Contest, the Federal Duck Stamp contest twice, and the Minnesota Duck Stamp contest three times.
He’s also won several other state stamps most recently last year’s Texas duck stamp.
Hautman said “the pressure’s on” for him to win the federal contest this year, because his brothers won the past two years.
Although entries aren’t due until fall, Hautman is already contemplating designs.
He and his brothers, Jim and Joe, have had their art featured on more than 40 state and federal conservation stamps, at the Oval Office and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and on products such as comforters, bath accessories, mugs, puzzles, and more.
Jim, of Chaska, and Joe, of Plymouth, were also inducted into the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame this year.
Other 2012 honorees included retired sporting goods store owner Don Parsons of Minneapolis, the late wildlife writer Steve Kufrin of Benson, conservationist Roger Strand of New London, Clarissa native Howard Hanson, who helped guide passage of the Minnesota duck stamp; and retired DNR area manger John Idstrom of Owatonna.
They were recognized at the MWA annual awards banquet Feb. 4 in Bloomington.
The new inductees join past hall of fame members Bob Austin, James Ford Bell, Marv Bernet, Harold Duebbert, Paul England, Robert Head, Ray Hangge, Don Helmeke, Art Hawkins, Bob Jessen, Dr. John Komarak, Les Kouba, Dick Lindell, David Maass, Harvey Nelson, Jimmy Robinson, William (Bill) Stevens, and Tom Tubbs.
To nominate a person for next year’s hall of fame, call the MWA State Office at (952) 767-0320 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include contact information, as well as a brief summary of the nominee’s qualifications.
“Anybody can nominate anybody,” Nylin said.