The results are in, and two artists have won top honors in the state’s Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp art contests. A painting of a pintail duck and a Golden Retriever by Daniel Allard of Marengo, Ohio, will grace the 2018-19 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp, and a painting of a brook trout by Eric Jablonowski of Suwanee, Ga., will adorn the 2018 Delaware Trout Stamp.
The paintings won top honors in the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s annual stamp art competition, held April 8 at the Delaware Ducks Unlimited Greenwing Event at Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center near Greenwood. The competition drew 22 entries for the 2018-19 Waterfowl Stamp and 11 entries for the 2018 Trout Stamp. The 38th annual Waterfowl Stamp contest specified that submitted artwork must include a pintail duck and a Golden Retriever.
As the 2018-19 Waterfowl Stamp winner, Daniel Allard receives a $2,500 prize and 150 artist’s proofs of the limited-edition print series of his first-place entry. A graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design and an avid outdoorsman, Allard uses his artwork to help promote wildlife conservation and to help contribute to wildlife habitat and research. After leaving the commercial art world in 2006 to become a stay-at-home father, he began combining his love of art and wildlife in his paintings. Active in several conservation organizations, he is a four-time Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Artist in various states, and recently won the 2018-19 Ohio Wetland Habitat Stamp Contest.
As the 2018 Trout Stamp winner, Eric Jablonowski receives $250 and retains the rights to reproduce and sell prints of the stamp. Having sold his first wildlife drawing at age 7, Jablonowski discovered his love of the outdoors and his artistic talent at an early age. He grew up in the western Pennsylvania countryside and credits a childhood spent exploring fields and forests for his ability to paint fine details. He started with pencil drawings and quickly moved on to oil pastels and other mediums. Today, he works primarily in oil paints. His creative process involves spending time outdoors observing wildlife anatomy, habitats and the properties of lighting. The first time Jablonowski, an avid fly fisherman, entered the Delaware Trout Stamp contest in 2010, he won second place; this year is his second entry.
Other winners included:
• 2018-19 Waterfowl Stamp: Second place - Garrett Jacobs, Orlando, Fla; third place - Paul Makuchal, Pocomoke, Md.; honorable mentions - Diane Ford, Bethesda, Md.; Ron Kleiber, Erin, N.Y.; and Caleb Metrich, Lake Tomahawk, Wis.
• 2018 Trout Stamp: Second place - George Bradford, Georgetown, brown trout; third place - Donnie Hughes, Lexington, S.C., brook trout; honorable mentions - George Bradford, Georgetown, rainbow trout; Broderick Crawford, Clayton, Ga., brown trout; and Jonathan Milo, Monroe, Conn., rainbow trout.
The winning 2018/19 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp will be available July 1, 2018, and the winning 2018 Delaware Trout Stamp will be available Jan. 1, 2018.
Waterfowl and Trout Stamp entries are on display through Monday, April 24, at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 2591 Whitehall Neck Road, Smyrna. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 302-653-9345.
The 2018-19 Waterfowl Stamp judges were: Lou Caputo, Delaware Ducks Unlimited representative; Charles Sheppard, art collector; Dale Scuse, member of the Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish; Anthony Gonzon, wildlife biologist; and Justyn Foth, wildlife biologist.
The 2018 Trout Stamp judges were: Leon Spence, artist; Ed O’Donnell, Trout Unlimited member; Sam Palermo, avid angler; Edna Stetzar, fisheries biologist; and Garrett Grier Jr., member of the Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish.
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, started the Delaware Waterfowl Stamp (formerly known as the Delaware Duck Stamp) and print program in 1980 to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving wetland habitats vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $2.8 million has been raised.
The Division of Fish & Wildlife began requiring trout stamps in the 1950s, and a trout stamp and a general fishing license are required to fish in designated trout waters during certain seasons. Trout stamp art was first used in 1977. The fees paid for trout stamps are used to purchase rainbow and brown trout from commercial hatcheries, with the purchased trout stocked in two downstate ponds and selected streams in northern New Castle County for Delaware’s trout seasons.
Delaware hunting and fishing licenses, as well as Waterfowl Stamps and Trout Stamps, are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. For more information on Delaware hunting and fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on Delaware’s waterfowl and trout stamp art competitions, call DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife at 302-739-9911.