Community Event

CDFW Seeks Artists to Enter Annual California Duck Stamp Art Contest

cover photo: Mallard at Yolo Wildlife Area. CDFW Photo by Travis VanZant

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites artists to submit their original artwork to the 2024-2025 California Duck Stamp Art Contest. Submissions will be accepted May 6 through June 14.

The artwork must depict the species selected by the California Fish and Game Commission, which for the 2024-2025 hunting season is the mallard. One of the most abundant ducks in the world, and the most abundant duck in North America, these familiar foragers can be seen in practically any environment with fresh water. The males are easily recognized by their iridescent green head and yellow bill, while both males and females have a patch of bright blue on their wings. They are swift and agile in the air, cruising at speeds of around 50 miles per hour and having the ability to take off almost vertically from water.

The winning artwork will be reproduced on the 2024-2025 California Duck Stamp. The top submissions are traditionally showcased at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s art show, which is scheduled to take place in July.

The contest is open to U.S. residents 18 years of age or older as of March 20, 2024. Entrants need not reside in California. Current and former CDFW employees are ineligible. All entries must be accompanied by a completed participation agreement and entry form. These forms and the official rules are available online at

The design is to be in full color and in the medium (or combination of mediums) of the artist’s choosing, except that no photographic process, digital art, metallic paints or fluorescent paints may be used in the finished design. Photographs, computer-generated art, art produced from a computer printer or other computer/mechanical output device (air brush method excepted) are not eligible for entry and will be disqualified. The design must be the contestant’s original hand-drawn creation. The entry design may not be copied or duplicated from previously published art, including photographs, or from images in any format published on the Internet.

Entries will be judged in June. The judges’ panel, which will consist of experts in the fields of ornithology, conservation, and art and printing, will choose first, second and third-place winners, as well as honorable mention.

Since 1971, CDFW’s annual contest has attracted top wildlife artists from around the country. All proceeds generated from stamp sales go directly to waterfowl conservation projects throughout California. In past years, hunters were required to purchase and affix the stamp to their hunting license. Now California has moved to an automated licensing system and hunters are no longer required to carry the physical stamp in the field (proof of purchase prints directly onto the license). However, CDFW still produces the stamp, which can be requested by interested individuals at

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