As our friends over at Hunter's Leadership Forum have reported, the hunting theme requirement for Federal Duck Stamp artwork has officially been axed. Put in place by the Trump administration's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2020, the rule required that the Duck Stamp (formerly known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp) contain a hunting aspect in its artwork. On August 24th, however, the USFWS formally reversed this recognition of hunting's contributions to conservation.
In its official announcement, the USFWS explained it was removing the hunting element requirement from future Duck Stamp art submissions, beginning with the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Contest. The USFWS also changed the contest judging requirement mandating that judges have an understanding of America’s waterfowling heritage, and the ability to recognize objects related to waterfowl hunting.
When asked why, the USFWS cited broad dissatisfaction among artists, and a desire to broaden and diversify the stamp' appeal. For more on the story, check out Brian McCombie's story over on the nrahlf.org.