Ducks Unlimited’s film joins the Hautman brothers on a special waterfowling trip to North Dakota. Joe, Jim and Bob Hautman are renowned wildlife artists and perennial winners of the federal duck stamp contest.
“The great thing about hunting in North Dakota mainly is not just the beauty of the landscape but there’s so many ducks there and so many different species,” said Jim Hautman. “So for us to be able to hunt the prairies is a real treat.”
Waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older are required to buy federal duck stamps. Revenue from this program is used to conserve habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. While hunting in the heart of the Prairie Pothole Region, the brothers saw the results of the duck stamp program on the landscape.
“It’s a great feeling to see the Prairie Pothole Region and then you see a sign with ‘Raised by Duck Stamp Dollars’ and it really makes you feel good to know that your artwork helped in preserving some of this land,” said Bob Hautman.
Every year, artists from across the country submit paintings to be judged for potential use on the duck stamp. Contestants are judged on the quality of their art and how well they illustrate a specific theme.
“It’s just an extra bonus on top. We love to paint, and we love to paint wildlife,” said Joe Hautman. “And then to have it be used as a part of a program that’s such a benefit to wildlife and to all the people that use it, it’s just really satisfying to see how much can be made out of a little painting.”