BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN After watching his brothers Joe and Jim win the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest the past two years, it seemed like it was Bob Hautman’s turn to win the national competition.
The Delano artist did just that, claiming his third win.
His acrylic painting of a pair of mallards will appear on the 2018-19 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or Duck Stamp, just as his art appeared on the 1997-1998 and 2001-2002 editions.
His brothers have each won the contest five times.
Someone else will have a chance to win the contest in 2018.
“Next year, we are all out because you have to sit out three years after a win,” Hautman said.
He added that they consider it special to have all won the contest multiple times.
“It would have been very hard if one of us could never paint one good enough to win,” Hautman said.
His most recent win was applauded by US Fish and Wildlife Services Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan.
“Congratulations to Bob Hautman on his win today,” Sheehan said. “He is part of a collection of talented wildlife artists whose work has helped conserve habitat not just for waterfowl, but for a vast diversity of wildlife, and helped create and maintain hundreds of places where hunters, anglers and outdoors enthusiasts of all stripes can enjoy their passion.”
The stamp sells for $25 and raises nearly $40 million each year to provide critical funds to conserve and protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people.
That means a lot to Hautman.
“It gives me great opportunities to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands and conservation,” he said of winning the contest.
In addition to national recognition, Hautman will receive a sheet of Duck Stamps signed by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, who hailed the success of the program.
“Our nation’s waterfowl hunters and other sportsmen and women have a long tradition of leading the way in conserving wildlife and habitat,” said US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “There is no better example of this than the Duck Stamp, one of the most successful conservation programs in U.S. history, through which hunters have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars since its inception eight decades ago.”
A total of 215 artists entered the contest in 2017.
Hautman received a perfect score from all five judges, for a total of 25.
His most recent win comes after about 30 years of painting full time.
He considers ducks to be his favorite subject to paint.
“I’ve always loved ducks and I like the endless possibilities of how you can paint them,” Hautman said.
For inspiration, he enjoys watching the ducks in his own pond. Hautman and his wife, Dodie Logue, live on 60 acres that they restored into a wildlife preserve.
He credits his parents for encouraging himself and his brothers to pursue the arts.
“Our late mother, Elaine, was a great artist and teacher,” Hautman said. “Both parents gave us every opportunity to pursue our art.”
In doing so, Hautman said he enjoys that he can paint when and where he wants.