The 2018 Federal Duck Stamp art competition will be held this Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. 


View the 154 entries on-line at: /


Minnesota’s Hautman brothers — Jim, Joe, and Bob — are the artists to watch, once again. The brothers have won 13 of the previous 29 competitions. 


Bob Hartman of Delano won for the third time last year with an acrylic painting of mallards.


In 2015 the trio placed first, second, and third.


Duck species chosen to be featured on the 2018 stamp are American Wigeon, Wood Duck, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, and Lesser Scaup.


Judging will be live-steamed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service web site ( Judging begins at noon CDT.


Review of the entries is interesting. Many of the paintings contain decoys, hunters, hunting blinds, duck boats, and dogs —content now required by contest rules. It's a first for the stamps. This  is an attempt to focus on the stamp theme this year -- "celebrating our wildlife hunting heritage."


Judges now must "have an understanding and appreciation of America's waterfowl hunting heritage and be able to recognize scenery or objects related to waterfowl hunting."


Well, that's a hunting dog, and that's a shotgun. And that should not require special knowledge.


Take a look at the paintings, duck and dogs and all the rest. Pick the winner. Or, just choose the art you believe the Hautman brothers painted. Very distinct styles are evident.