Image provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Richmond, Va. wildlife artist Guy Crittenden's paniting of a pair of bluewing teal was judged the winner in the 2015 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition announced earlier this month. It's this image that will be the state's duck stamp for the 2015-2016 waterfowl hunting season. Crittenden placed second in the previous two state artwork contest, and his other works won this year's state competitions in Connecticut, Michigan and Oklahoma. "I am thrilled. The competition in Louisiana each year is very strong, and this is one of the top honors in my artistic career," Crittenden said. There were 20 paintings submitted for the Louisiana contest. Indiana's Jeffery Klinefelter, a two-time Louisiana winneer, finished second, and Dale Pousson from Egan, finsihed third. The state Duck Stamp Program has generated more than $12 million for waterfowl conservation projects in the state since the program began in 1989.

Regarding increasing the duck stamp amount from $15 to $25: This increase may be a slight pain to some hunters, but all in all, it helps every hunter. The money from the duck stamps goes toward wetlands conservation and helping to keep the wetlands alive. Right now, we are losing 1 acre of wetlands every 45 minutes. This small increase can help to keep that number down. This is a good thing all around; hunters and people all around should support this and stay legal — buy a duck stamp.

Please join conservation organizations like Ducks Unlimited, WARPT, etc.

Steven Berger