The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is conducting a competition to select a design for the 2023/2024 California Duck Stamp. To enter, please read the rules below and mail the completed entry form and participation agreement with your entry.
Duck Stamp Contest ENTRY FORM (PDF)(opens in new tab)
- The primary subject of the 2023/24 California Duck Stamp will be the ring-necked duck.
- The contest is open to U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older as of March 23, 2023. Current and former CDFW employees are ineligible.
- Each contestant may submit only one entry. Each entry must be accompanied by a completed and signed Participation Agreement Entry Form.
- Any winning design from another stamp contest (federal, state or private) is not eligible.
- Entries for the 2023/24 California Duck Stamp contest will be accepted from May 1, 2023 through June 9, 2023.
- Entries may be mailed or shipped to:
Non-USPS: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attn: OCEO, Amanda McDermott
1700 9th Street, 2nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95811
USPS: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attn: OCEO, Amanda McDermott
PO Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244
The art should be protectively packaged, and the exterior of the package and all protective materials should be clearly labeled with the artist’s name to ensure proper repackaging.
- All contest entries must include a prominent rendering of this species in the design. If background detail is included in the design, it must be accurate and representative of a natural habitat in California.
- The design is to be in full color and in the medium (or combination) of the artist’s choosing, except that no photographic process, digital art, metallic paints or fluorescent paints may be used in the finished design. Photographs, computer-generated art, art produced from a computer printer or other computer/mechanical output device (air brush method excepted) are not eligible for entry into the contest and will be disqualified.
- The design must be the contestant’s original "hand drawn” creation. The entry design may not be copied or duplicated from previously published art, including photographs, or from images in any format published on the Internet.
- No writing or other information printed on a finished duck stamp may appear on the painting or mat. No signature, scroll work, lettering or accent borders may appear on the painting or mat.
- The overall dimensions of the entry, including mat, cannot exceed 20 inches by 15 inches. Any mat used must be white. The image size cannot exceed 18 inches by 13 inches and must be horizontal.
- The painting must not be framed or under glass. Any acetate or other protective covering used must be lightly fastened to facilitate removal before judging.
- The artist shall retain the original art work. CDFW shall retain all rights and interest in the image and its use.
- CDFW’s Office of Communications, Education and Outreach will select the judging panel, which will choose the winners. The judges will have expertise in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing.
- All designs will be judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.
- There shall be a period of 15 days immediately following the contest judging during which any artist may make a plagiarism claim against the winning design. In the event any such claim is upheld by CDFW, the first runner-up shall be declared the winning design, subject to the same 15-day plagiarism claim period.
- The winning artist may be required to make minor changes to his/her design to ensure that the artwork is suitable for reproduction as a stamp.
- The winning entries (first through third place and honorable mention) will be retained by CDFW for display purposes through July 31, 2023.
- Non-placing entries will be returned to the artists by July 15, 2023.
- It is the responsibility of each entrant to obtain adequate property insurance for their contest submission. CDFW will not insure any contest entry and CDFW assumes no liability for any damage, loss or theft of any entry, before, during or after the judging event.
- Any entry that fails to comply with any of the requirements of this competition may be disqualified.