COLUMBUS — The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp art competition has a long and successful history of attracting some of the top wildlife artists in the nation. The 2020 competition, held recently near Columbus, was no exception. This year’s winner was native Ohioan and world-renowned waterfowl artist Adam Grimm. The stamp is administered by the Ohio Division of Wildlife and is required of all those 18 and older who hunt waterfowl in Ohio.
Grimm’s painting of a mallard drake will be featured on the 2021 Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp. Grimm, who now lives in South Dakota, was the top artist among nine total entries. He has won Ohio’s competition three times.
Second place was awarded to Frank Dolphens, of Nebraska, who submitted a painting of green-winged teal. Third place was a tie between Clark Sullivan, of Michigan, and Justin Madding, of Arkansas, who submitted paintings of mallards and wood ducks, respectively.
Judges for this year’s competition were Rich Bradley, professor emeritus of entomology at Ohio State University; John Hageman, retired professor of Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory; Jason Larson, Gorman Nature Center executive director; Chris Tonra, Ohio State University wildlife professor; and Manon VanSchoyck, Ohio Nature Education Center.
An Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp costs $15 for Ohio residents and nonresidents. The stamp is available at wildohio.gov and anywhere hunting licenses are sold in the Buckeye State. During the 2018-2019 hunting season, 26,872 were purchased by Ohio hunters and conservationists.
A portion of the funds from the sale of Wetlands Habitat Stamps in Ohio are directed toward a $150,000 contribution to the Ducks Unlimited (DU) state grants program, of which Ohio is a charter member. Ohio joined Louisiana and South Carolina in 1965 in contributing funds through DU for wetlands projects in Canada, the nesting ground of many migratory waterfowl species. Ohio has made an annual contribution every year since 1965. Since 1982, Ohio’s contribution has been through proceeds from the Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, the first year it was required for hunting waterfowl. John A. Ruthven was commissioned to paint the first stamp, and his pair of wood ducks were issued to hunters during that year.
The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp also helps fund vital habitat restoration projects in Ohio. Such habitats are important to waterfowl and many other resident wildlife species, including several that are state-endangered.