Contact(s): Krista Pham, DNR assistant upland wildlife ecologist, 608-261-8458, Krista.Pham@Wisconsin.gov
MADISON - Talented wildlife artists submitted a total of 29 pieces of artwork for the 2017 Wisconsin wild turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl stamp design contest, and the top three submissions in each division will be on display in the Natural Resources Park at the 2016 Wisconsin State Fair.
Caleb Metrich, Craig Fairbert, and Sara Stack were awarded first place in the 2017 contests, with each artist choosing to portray a glimpse into Wisconsin's wealth of outdoor resources. Metrich and Fairbert are veterans of Wisconsin's wildlife stamp design contests, while Stack earned a victory in her first year as a competitor.
Judging concluded July 28, with 16 artists submitting one or more entries. The judging panel included Bruce Urben, Board of Directors President for the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, Doug Fendry, Pheasants Forever Regional Wildlife Biologist, and Tim Eisele, freelance outdoor writer and photographer.
State Fair attendees interested in wildlife conservation and art are encouraged to visit Natural Resources Park to check out the winning designs and learn more about the many accomplishments of Wisconsin's wildlife stamp programs.
2017 Wild Turkey Stamp design contest
Caleb Metrich of Lake Tomahawk, a self-taught artist who grew up in a home that placed great value on spending time in the outdoors, submitted the winning design for the 2017 Wild Turkey Stamp design contest. Metrich likes to paint what he observes in nature, and the farmland scene depicted in his Wild Turkey Stamp submission features a property where he pursues turkeys in southern Wisconsin. Metrich says he is particularly grateful to his father, a retired taxidermist with years of wildlife knowledge, who provided helpful critiques and mounted wildlife specimens to observe.
John H. Nemec, Jr. of Peshtigo was awarded second place, while third place went to Craig Fairbert of Tony.
All turkey hunters are required to purchase the $5.25 Wild Turkey Stamp to legally hunt turkeys in Wisconsin. Proceeds from stamp sales provide vital support for turkey management and hunting in Wisconsin, and bring in over three-quarters of a million dollars annually for habitat management and restoration projects, education, research, equipment purchases and management of the wild turkey program.
2017 Pheasant Stamp design contest
Craig Fairbert, an avid hunter and fisherman from Tony, submitted the winning design for the 2017 Pheasant Stamp design contest. Fairbert credits his victory to over four decades of painting and drawing experience, and lists Luke Frazier and Kyle Sims as his artistic inspirations.
Fairbert's advice to beginning artists is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. He urges novice artists to learn from their mistakes, noting that no painting can ever be perfect.
Brian Kuether of Greenfield was awarded second place, while two artists - Caleb Metrich of Lake Tomahawk and Todd Haefner of Janesville - tied for third place.
A $10 Pheasant Stamp is required to hunt pheasants in the state of Wisconsin, and proceeds bring in several hundred thousand dollars annually for the development, management, conservation and maintenance of wild pheasants and their habitat in Wisconsin and also support stocking efforts on Wisconsin's public hunting grounds.
2017 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp design contest
First place in the 2017 Waterfowl Stamp design contest was awarded to Sara Stack of Marengo, who submitted a painting of a pair of canvasbacks flying over Chequamegon Bay. Stack is a first-time participant in Wisconsin's wildlife stamp design contests.
Stack is an avid outdoorswoman who recently moved to Wisconsin. She started painting at the age of 13 when she got her first set of acrylic paints, and is largely self-taught. She chose to include the Ashland Breakwater Lighthouse in her painting after kayaking into Chequamegon Bay this summer. Though she doesn't have much space for a studio at the moment, she enjoys hunting and hiking, and is excited to take advantage of the fishing opportunities here in Wisconsin.
Duck and goose hunters are required to purchase the $7 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp in order to hunt waterfowl in the state, and proceeds are used for managing, restoring, and protecting habitat in Wisconsin and Canada for waterfowl and other wetland-associated species.
Please note that an electronic "stamp approval" is printed on the licenses of wild turkey, pheasant and waterfowl hunters at the time of purchase. Hunters will not receive an actual stamp unless they request it.DNR service centershave the state stamps available free of charge for hunters with current stamp approval. Anyone else interested in collecting the Wisconsin wildlife stamps may purchase one directly from the DNR.
For more information regarding Wisconsin's wildlife stamps, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "wildlife stamps."