Montana Artist Wins 2015 California Duck Stamp Art Contest

Media Contacts:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958
Melanie Weaver, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3717

A painting by Chuck Black of Bozeman, Mont., was chosen as the winner of the 2015 California Duck Stamp Art Contest. The painting, which depicts an American green-winged teal, becomes the official design for the 2015-2016 stamp.

2015 First Place

Following the contest held June 17 in Davis, the judges complimented Black’s painting, praising the artist’s anatomical accuracy, and attention to feather detail and habitat.

“I am extremely grateful to have been chosen,” said Black, a professional wildlife artist. “Having recently switched to oil paint from acrylic, I am thrilled to have such positive feedback because it reassures me that I am going in the right direction. I wanted to make the painting a true depiction of waterfowl but did not want to distract from the duck itself. That is why I decided to go with one drake instead of a lot of ducks … I wanted the bird to be prominent.”

2015 Second Place 85A0179

Black and 20 other artists from around the country submitted entries for this year’s contest, sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind., placed second, Frank Dolphens Jr., of Omaha, Neb., placed third and Timothy Schreiber of Lincoln, Ala., received honorable mention.

The top four paintings will be displayed at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s 45th Annual Classic Wildlife Art Festival in Sacramento, which is scheduled July 11-12.

2015 Third place Award_ 85A0193

Since 1971, the California Duck Stamp Program’s annual contest has attracted top wildlife artists from around the country. The contest is traditionally open to artists from all 50 states in order to ensure a wide pool of submissions. All proceeds generated from stamp sales go directly to waterfowl conservation projects throughout California.

In the past, hunters were required to purchase and affix the stamp to their hunting licenses. Today, hunters are no longer required to carry the stamps because California’s modern licensing system prints proof of additional fees paid directly onto the license. However, CDFW still produces the stamps, which can be requested on CDFW’s website at

2015 Honorable Mention

The subject of the 2016 California Duck Stamp Art Contest will be the lesser snow goose, with details on that contest to be released at a later date.