U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have announced the winner of the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest: 18-year-old Rayen Kang of Johns Creek, Ga.
A panel of five judges chose the winning entry, which features an emperor goose and is painted in acrylic, from among best-of-show entries from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The selection will serve as the 26th Junior Duck Stamp.
“Connecting kids to the outdoors and getting them involved early in hunting, fishing and conservation is incredibly important,” said Secretary Zinke. “Programs like the Junior Duck Stamp help create future conservationists, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts–and maybe even the next Teddy Roosevelt.”
The Junior Duck Stamp program began in 1989 as an extension of the Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp, commonly known as the Federal Duck Stamp, and officially launched as the national Junior Duck Stamp art contest in 1993. It encourages students to explore their natural world, participate in outdoor recreation activities, and learn wildlife management principles.
Daniel Billings, 17, of Gallatin, Mo., claimed second place in the annual competition with his oil painting of a redhead.
Additionally, USFWS announced that 16-year-old Abigail McIntyre of Manhattan, Kan., won the 2018 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Message Contest. Her slogan, “Conserving our wetlands is as important as conserving our art. It is our history, our inspiration, our life and our future," was selected from a bevy of entries.
“I am constantly amazed at the talent of all of our Junior Duck Stamp Program participants, and this year is no exception,” said Assistant Director for Migratory Birds Jerome Ford. “These young people express their appreciation for nature eloquently through their art and their conservation messages.”
The Junior Duck Stamp Contest winner receives $1,000. The second place winner receives $500, the third-place winner receives $200 and the Conservation Message winner receives $200.
Complete contest results can be found here. A gallery of all state Best of Show entries can be found here.
For more information, go to fws.gov.