MADISON - Nearly 45 pieces of wildlife artwork were on display for the combined judging of the designs to be featured on the 2012 Wisconsin wild turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl stamps. The judging took place on Saturday, August 27, at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo. There were 13 wild turkey entries, 10 pheasant entries, and 20 waterfowl entries submitted by artists from around the state of Wisconsin.
A painting of two tom turkeys set in a Wisconsin woodland landscape, submitted by Caleb Metrich of Lake Tomahawk, is the winning entry for the 2012 Wisconsin wild turkey stamp design contest.
2012 Wisconsin Wild Turkey Stamp
The winning entry for the 2012 Wisconsin pheasant stamp design contest is an acrylic painting of a pair of pheasants set in a Wisconsin farmland landscape, submitted by Jon Rickaby of Green Bay.
2012 Wisconsin Pheasant Stamp
Rickaby also won the 2012 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp Design Contest with his oil painting of a swimming redhead duck. This is only the second time in the history of the three stamp design contests that the same artist has painted the winning design for both the pheasant and waterfowl stamps.
2012 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp
The judging panel for all three contests included Cory Catlin, president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation; Craig Schlender, president of the Sauk County Chapter of Pheasants Forever; Jim Gronowski, incoming state chairman of Wisconsin Ducks Unlimited; Ashly Steinke, special projects coordinator with the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association; and Stan Temple, a retired wildlife professor and senior fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Caleb Metrich, 28, resides in Lake Tomahawk. He's been painting for as long as he can remember, and virtually all of his skills were self-taught through trial and error and experimenting with various media. Metrich grew up in a home that placed great value on spending time in the outdoors, and one of his favorite activities is hunting with his father; the two of them have travelled across the Midwest in pursuit of turkeys, deer, and waterfowl. He likes to paint what he's observed while hunting, which is why he included a special detail in his winning painting of a pair of gobblers - the tom in the background has a double beard, something Metrich had never seen until he harvested just such a gobbler this spring. Metrich's advice to beginning painters is to paint what comes naturally - don't try to force it. Being accurate in your depiction of nature is also crucial, and Metrich says he is particularly grateful to his father, a retired taxidermist with years of wildlife knowledge, who provided mounted wildlife specimens to work from as well as helpful critiques.
This year's first runner-up was Virgil Beck of Stevens Point, and the second runner-up was Steven Hovel of DeForest.
Sales of the wild turkey stamp help provide future opportunities for turkey management and hunting in Wisconsin. All turkey hunters are required to purchase the $5.25 wild turkey stamp to legally hunt turkeys in Wisconsin. Sales of the wild turkey stamp bring in more than $750,000 annually for habitat management and restoration projects, education, research, equipment purchases, and the management of the wild turkey program in our state.
Jon Rickaby, 45, resides in Green Bay with his wife and two children. Rickaby has been painting for the last 25 years; he began taking private art lessons at the age of 12, and started painting again in earnest after a short break to focus on school and work. In addition to admiring the work of wildlife artists such as Robert Bateman and Carl Brenders, Rickaby is inspired by the natural scenes he has come across while hiking, fishing, and hunting pheasants and ruffed grouse in Wisconsin. When asked what advice he could offer to beginning artists, he stressed the importance of being methodical and spending adequate time on each project. Rickaby would like to sincerely thank his family for being his biggest supporters, for spending time with him in the outdoors...and for putting up with his studio space in the living room.
Rickaby has had previous success in the state wildlife stamp contests. In addition to winning this year's pheasant and waterfowl stamp design contests, he also won the 2007 pheasant stamp design contest.
The first runner-up for this year's pheasant stamp contest was Robert Metropoulous of Minocqua. The second runner-up was Russell Meyer of Oconomowoc.
For this year's waterfowl stamp contest, Brian Kuether of Greenfield was the first runner-up, and Steven Hovel of DeForest was the second runner-up.
Sales of the $10 pheasant stamp bring in more than $370,000 annually for the development, management, conservation, and maintenance of wild pheasants and their habitat in the state, and also help to support the stocking of pen-reared pheasants on Wisconsin's public hunting grounds. A pheasant stamp is required to hunt pheasants in the state of Wisconsin.
Proceeds from the sale of the $7 waterfowl stamp are used for managing, restoring, and protecting habitat in Wisconsin and Canada for waterfowl and other wetland-associated species. Duck and goose hunters are required to purchase the waterfowl stamp in order to hunt waterfowl in the state of Wisconsin.
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 Centers have the stamps available free of charge for hunters with stamp approval. Anyone else interested in collecting the stamp may purchase one directly from the DNR. For more information, call the DNR Call Center at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463) or use the online licensing center.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Krista McGinley, Wildlife Stamp Coordinator, at (608) 264-8963 or Krista.McGinley@Wisconsin.gov