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Waterfowl conservation stamps feature hunting imagery after new mandate

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US artists, hunters and conservationists concerned stamps promote the idea that conservation always involves hunting

Each year, the country’s most talented wildlife artists submit their waterfowl-themed artwork to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) annual contest to determine an image for the following year’s federal duck stamps. But this year’s entries look a little different.

In May, the USFWS announced a new, permanent theme for the stamps, which help fund wetland conservation: waterfowl hunting. That’s why this year’s submissions featured imagery of birds along with dispensed shotgun shells, duck calls lost among tall reeds, and hunters with rifles aimed at blue skies, as Audubon magazine first reported.

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