Jim Denney of Alexander City, Ala., is the winner of this year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of a pair of Northern Pintails. This artwork will be used as the design for the 2020-21 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required when hunting waterfowl in Alabama. Funds generated by the sales of waterfowl stamps at both the state and federal levels are used for conservation of waterfowl habitat.
The win makes Denney the only four-time contest winner, having previously won the 2016-17, 2012-13 and 2008-09 contests. Denney estimates the acrylic painting took him 25-30 hours over the course of a month to complete. “I selected Pintails because they are one of my favorite species and I have a mounted pintail that I harvested in Oklahoma, which is great for reference. I had originally selected Cinnamon Teal as the species to use, but I thought the Pintails might have more regional appeal to the judges,” he said.
2020-21 will be the last time Alabama produces a physical waterfowl stamp. “Since the state implemented a lifetime waterfowl stamp and added a waterfowl stamp privilege section to the regular hunting license, demands for a physical stamp have declined significantly,” said Seth Maddox, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Migratory Game Bird Coordinator. Waterfowl hunters will still be required to have either an annual or lifetime state waterfowl hunting privilege designated on their license.
“I am very honored to be the winner of this final contest,” Denney said. “Looking back at the 40-year history of the Alabama duck stamp, we have had some very talented artists. I am very happy to be mentioned among them. I would like to thank the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for putting this contest on for 40 years and doing such a good job. This contest has helped me, and I am sure many others, a great deal in our artistic careers.”
Nine artists entered the contest this year. Bill Stem of Huntsville, Ala. was first runner-up with a pair of Blue-winged Teal. Tied for second runner-up were Barbara Keel Lunsford of Auburn, Ala. (Mallards), and Eddie LeRoy of Eufaula, Ala. (Blue-winged Teal).
A panel of experts in the fields of art, ornithology and conservation judged the contest. Representing the field of art was Roxie Veasey, Professor of Art, Drawing and Design at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Representing the field of ornithology was David Hayden, retired Assistant Wildlife Section Chief of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. Representing the field of conservation was Ricky Ingram, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Manager.
Entries were judged on suitability for reproduction as a stamp, originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and general rendering. The designs were limited to living species of North American migratory ducks or geese. Winning species from the past three years – Canada Goose, American Green-winged Teal and Wood Duck – were not eligible subjects for the contest this year.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.