The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest


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The wild duck chase : inside the strange and wonderful world of the Federal Duck Stamp contest

Request Username Can't sign in? Forgot your username? Enter your email address below and we will send you your username. That 98 percent of the revenues generated from the purchase of the duck stamp One of the most redeeming things about Martin J. That 98 percent of the revenues generated from the purchase of the duck stamps goes toward the purchase and conservation of wetlands suggests that this should be anything but a government program. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the program is that the stamp itself is created anew each year, the winning painting of a contest where entrants and judges alike are anonymous until the final judging.

Smith's masterfully weaves the history of the program and the competition into the painstaking preparation and judging for the contest, giving us a great look at many of the contestants as they choose which of the five available species they'll choose to render and in which position--on land, in water or in flight--they'll choose to capture them. Open as the competition is to anyone who submits the entry fee and a painting, it's a surprisingly small world dominated not by one person, but by one family of three brothers who, between them, have won the contest nine of the previous 25 years, a domination that, as Smith points out, the New York Yankees never even enjoyed.

You may be surprised to learn how much money the winning artists can make from both stamp and art collectors. That winners are precluded from entering for three years after winning makes their story all the more remarkable. I've never been a hunter, but Smith goes a long way toward debunking many of the common stereotypes held about them. That their passion for hunting could actually lend itself to the conservation of the same birds they hunt and the habitats in which they're found makes for an ironic and fascinating dichotomy, one that may change the way many readers view the sport and its participants.

Of course, it's always the most esoteric and off-the-wall subjects that lend themselves to the best stories, and this is no exception.

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That Smith has also turned this one into great reading makes it all the more pleasurable. Whether you're a hunter or not, you'll enjoy this "Wild Duck Chase. Jan 24, Tom Lewoc rated it it was amazing. This is a phenomenally written book.

Strange and wonderful world of competitive duck painting, a talk by Martin J. Smith | esicywowyq.tk

Smith's amazing ability with the written word, created a great read that anyone can pick up an enjoy. Collectors, conservationist s , hunters, birders, and even the common person would enjoy the historical nature of the stamp program along with the actual craziness of the stamp competition and us collectors based on how Smith put this book together.

I enjoyed the fact he never lost the major point of conservation of our future throughout the entire book. H This is a phenomenally written book. Having read many of the historical reference books or past writings on the duck stamp program, this was a welcomed culmination of the story, the history, and process of the program. He skillfully included every facet of the migratory bird stamp world into an enjoyable read while highlighting all the major players. Sep 30, Pamela Kelley rated it it was amazing.

The book was excellent especially when there was a documentary on PBS to go along with it so you could see the beautiful wildlife. The ducks were given justice in the film. The book describes them perfectly. I recommend the book first and then the film. Excellent information for environmental minded folks who enjoy our wetlands. Sep 18, Colleen rated it really liked it Shelves: science-nature.


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  • Strange and wonderful world of competitive duck painting, a talk by Martin J. Smith.

A great look at a micro-culture, or even a few, wildlife artists, duck stamp enthusiasts, hunters and birdwatchers. Terrific conservation program that deserves more publicity, hope this book helped. Apr 13, Rob Slaven rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads , non-fiction. It is worth noting, as always, that I received this book in a GoodReads drawing in exchange for an honest review. In fact when I started it my fiancee looked at me with that expression that says politely and succinctly, "you're reading a book about what now?

From a writing standpoint Smith is consummately professional. He gives us a depth of detail that is admirable and evocative. I'm ready to buy a Duck Stamp, or a dozen, at next opportunity. His portrayal of a government program that works and works well has me sold. Chapters 3, 11 and 12 resonate especially as they withdraw from the details of the contest and the competitors and focus on the background and the origin of the program and conservation in the United States. The grandness of those three chapters, however, does lead us to the shortcomings of this book. While the program itself a wonder to behold, many of the personal specifics of the competitors I found rather tangled and dull.

Yes, the Hautman family is the stuff of legend in this pass-time, but I'm not sure we needed to hear about them and others like them at such length. Other readers will probably find the depth of coverage here endearing but I suffered a bit from Hautman fatigue. In summary, an amusing little romp through a model government program and one that we should all look to support. Sep 27, Leah K rated it liked it. It was put into place to begin conserving wetlands and waterfowls.

A few years later they began a contest for people to design the yearly stamp. Yet how many people know about this valuable program? Not as many as should. I picked this book up on a whim from the library, one of my roulette games. Not something I would have read under normal circumstances but glad I did. Educational and interesting — at least to me. Apr 06, Odile rated it it was ok. My questions to the author: Why did he write this book? It sounds like the Federal Duck Stamp is a dying institution: what will it take to revive it?

Can it be saved? My take away from the book: Yes, I have a prejudice against hunters and apparently, I am not alone I hope I don't offend any of you. May be I need to soften my judgement. I haven't bought my duck stamp yet but I am considering it.


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  5. I envy these federal duck stamp artists: they must have a good time doing it. Painting ducks is apparently more fun than designing rockets to send man or manned made robots into space. There is beauty in all mankind pursuits. I may become a bird watcher. Sep 09, Gregg rated it really liked it. A very interesting story of the history of the Federal Duck Stamp, the nerve wracking contest to choose the winning art, the important benefits the sale of the stamp provides and a look at some of the "Rock Stars" and quirky characters of this unique contest.

    There is a lot of information about the legendary Hautman brothers and a bit less on some of the other participants. Being from Minneapolis, I am familiar with the Hautman family. I am honored to have an Elaine Hautman painting in my home. What an amazingly talented family!

    Sep 16, Cindy rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads , nonfiction. As a person who grew up in an agricultural area and had family members who hunted for sustenance, I grew up respecting nature and the ecology of hunting. I was not aware, however, of the Federal Duck Stamp. Our present day lives are so 'sophisticated' and complex that we have lost understanding the importance of our ecological footprint.

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    This book pleads the case for more awareness of our natural resources and in itself is a way to get the word out. I, for one, am going to make more of an effort As a person who grew up in an agricultural area and had family members who hunted for sustenance, I grew up respecting nature and the ecology of hunting. I, for one, am going to make more of an effort to educate people about how interconnected our refuges are to our survival. Oct 02, Seth rated it liked it. This book was perfectly adequate but was not one of the exceptions to that general rule.

    View 1 comment. Feb 15, Ty Keith rated it it was amazing. A page turner in the vein of "The Big Year. The birding community, to which I proudly belong, needs to put our money steadfastly behind this program by buying stamp annually and encouraging our brethren to do the same. Sep 07, Linnae rated it liked it Shelves: clean-reads , true-tales.

    Since its inception, the duck stamp has provided millions of dollars for habitat conservation.

    The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest
    The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest
    The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest
    The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest
    The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest The Wild Duck Chase: Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest

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